Luck was not on the side of the Royal girls’ basketball team last week, as Watertown-Mayer fell in the South Subsection finals of the 5AA tournament.
Going head to head against the talented No. 1 (South) Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Lakers, the Royals lost a 66-41 game on March 11 in St. Michael-Albertville.
The Lakers jumped out early in the first half, taking advantage of their strong three-point shooting to take a 37-16 halftime lead. During the game, the Lakers would sink 15 three-pointers to Watertown-Mayer’s two.
“HLWW’s defense played a major role in our poor shooting in the first half,” WMHS head coach John Rosholt said. “HLWW defended very well on the perimeter the entire game.”
In the second half, the Royals offense was able to open up a little bit, making the second half a much more even game. Still, the Royals were outscored 29-25 leading to the 66-41 loss.
For the game, the Royals shot 30 percent from the field, making 16 of 53 shots. They were just 2-18 at the three-point line (11 percent).
“We did not shoot well in the Sub-Section Championship game versus HLWW and conversely HLWW shot extremely well,” Rosholt said. “When we did have the opportunity to score we simply did not knock the shots down with any consistency.”
Even though it was clear the Lakers would win the game late in the second half, the Royals demonstrated great dedication to the game and their team by giving it their all until the end.
“The kids played hard to the final horn,” Rosholt said.
Freshmen Claire Killian and Kirstin Klitzke dominated the Royals’ scoring, with 15 and 12 points, respectively. Six other Royals scored including seniors Lexy Heldt (3) and Chelsea Wandersee (3), senior Liz Miller (2), and sophomores Katelyn Yliniemi (2), Anna Barfknecht (2), and Victoria Lynch (2).
On defense, the Royals pulled down 22 rebounds, with a team-high nine boards from Miller. Heldt had four. Killian grabbed two of the team’s four steals, while sophomore Allison Anderson and Lynch had the others.
The Royals kept turnovers extremely low, handing the ball over only eight times.
After the March 11 game, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted went on the defeat No. 1 (North) Annandale in the 5AA finals March 14 and clinch the state tournament berth. The state tournament began Tuesday.
The Royals have tentatively scheduled their annual banquet for April 3. Look for a full season wrap up in mid April.
Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]