Boys basketball finishes first half of the season with a record of 12-1
January 10, 2018
While most students were enjoying the long and much needed winter break, the Royals boys basketball team kept their foot on the gas pedal and focused on remaining the top team in Minnesota.
Over the break, the Royals had a total of six games and they won all six to extend their win streak to 12 games. Currently, the Royals have a record of 12-1.
A big thing the Royals were working on before these games was their on and off ball defense. The Royals defense was able to hold teams, on average, to 66 points per game.
“We worked on the most important aspects of playing on-ball and off-ball defense in order for our team to shut down any team that we play against,” said Kerwin Walton, sophomore.
The defense isn’t the only thing that shined in this six game stretch, the Royals offense was very strong as they averaged 89.3 points per game.
“We also work mostly on emphasizing our ball movement on offense so that we can get everyone involved in our possessions,” Walton said.
During the first game of this six game stretch, the Royals were able to score triple digits as they blew past the Fridley Tigers 105-65. Zeke Nnaji, junior, was able to lead the Royals in scoring the game with 26 points.
The Royals picked up a key win against the Minnehaha Academy Red Hawks on Dec. 23. The Royals were able to beat the Red Hawks with ease, they won 92-75 and big help came from Anthony Davis, senior, as he scored 31 points. The Red Hawks are currently ranked third in the state with a 8-2 record.
The Royals next game was their closest game of this stretch, they beat the St. Thomas Academy Cadets 84-77. Nnaji was a big part in this close win, he was able to 26 points and help lead the Royals to their ninth straight win.
The next game the Royals played was against the Waconia Wildcats, the Royals picked up their tenth straight win as they beat the Wildcats 70-51. The Royals didn’t have an individual standout player in this contest, the leading scorer, Nnaji, only had 13 points. Anthony Davis, senior, and Dane Zimmer, junior, each had 12 points.
To end their winter break games, the Royals faced two teams from South Dakota. They first played the Lincoln Patriots where they won 93-59, next they faced the Washington Warriors and won 91-69. Over the two games, Blaise Beauchamp, sophomore, averaged 22 points per game and Nnaji scored 21.5 points per game.
Joe Hedstrom, senior, has still not been able to find his game that was seen last year. Over the winter break games, Hedstrom averaged 8.2 points per game, which is below his season average of 8.4 points per game. However, he was able to score double-digits twice, scoring 14 and 11 points.
Nnaji had a very strong six game stretch averaging 20.2 points per game and bringing up his season average to 19.9 points per game.
The Royals had an amazing first half of the season after a tough loss to the Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders. They ended the first half on a 12-game win streak and continued their streak continued into the second half after a 94-86 win against the Orono Spartans.
“I think the way that we bounced back after our first game this season was really impressive, Nnaji said.” “Yeah, we’re not where we want to be yet, but I think that we’re on the right path. If we keep working hard, we will definitely have a great shot at winning it all.”