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Season recap: boys basketball

Apr 2, 2018


Adam Segal

Kerwin Walton, junior, goes up for a shot in a game last season. Walton is set to start at point guard this season for the Royals.

The Royals boys’ basketball team dominated the state of Minnesota in the regular season after missing the State Tournament last year.

Last year, the Royals had a 21-5 record and were ranked second in the sections tournament, but the season was ended by the Wayzata Trojans in the finals. The Royals fell 51-66 and failed to earn a spot at Target Center for the first time since 2012-2013.

This year it was supposed to be different.

“We have a very deep team and I feel comfortable with any of the players coming on the court,” said Joe Hedstrom, senior.

The Royals were the hottest team in Minnesota and entered the sections tournament on a 25-game win streak. After a tough opening day loss to the Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders, the Royals won every game since.

Sitting on top of Minnesota with a 25-1 record, the Royals thought they were ready for whatever comes at them.

“There are some games where the guards are shooting very well, and there are some games where our big men capitalize on our size in the paint,” Hedstrom said. “The cool part is working to utilize every part correctly, and that’s what we’ve been doing all season.”

The Royals opened up the road to state against the Robbinsdale Armstrong Falcons. The Falcons gave the Royals a bit of trouble in the first half with their zone defense. The Royals came out in the second half and were able to advance to the sections final with a 66-51 win.

“It felt great to get that first win,” said Anthony Davis, senior. “We have four more wins to get to achieve our goals so we have to take one step at a time.”

In the other semifinals game, the Trojans were able to take down the St. Louis Park Orioles and moved into the championship game against the Royals. This brings up a rematch from last year’s game in which the Trojans were able to win and go into state.

“I feel like it’s great to get back at them [Wayzata] for what they did to us last year in this exact game. We will give 100 percent this time to make sure what happened last year doesn’t happen again.”

The Royals and Trojans faced up on Wed., Mar. 14, and it was a hard fought game on both sides. The Trojans were able to top the Royals 63-61 and win the sections tournament for the second consecutive year.

It was a very emotional end to the season for the Royals. After a dominant season, and beating the Trojans twice that year, it all ended just like that. The Trojans were hot from downtown and the Royals were sloppy on offense.

Though the Royals failed to make the state tournament for the second consecutive year, there were positives from this year.

Hedstrom committed to play basketball at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Davis was able to increase his points per game from 11.5 to 15.4 while trying to lead the Royals and Dane Zimmer, junior, showed a lot of promise to be a dominant duo next year with Zeke Nnaji, junior.

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