WHS girls claim District 833 bragging rightsWoodbury girls cagers sweep neighboring rivals in back-to-back games as Preller nears 500th career win.
By: Tom Carothers, Woodbury Bulletin
Woodbury re-asserted itself as the dominant girls basketball team in District 833 with a pair of convincing victories over its closest neighbors last week.
The Royals proved to be rude hosts in the first-ever Woodbury/East Ridge contest on Tuesday, Dec. 15, routing the Raptors, 70-16, in front of a large crowd in “The Lion’s Den.”
“Best defensive outing of the year,” coach Dave Preller said. “Full court pressure got the ball trapped and we were able to produce some points off of steals and turnovers. “
The Royals evenly outscored the Raptors, 35-8, in each half as Woodbury forward Mary Kroening single-handedly scored as many points as the visitors with a 16-point, 10-rebound evening — despite not playing most of the second half.
Guard Michelle Young, who leads the Royals in assists, recorded 15 points in the victory that saw all 17 Royals receive playing time with 13 scoring.
The 499th victory of Preller’s career came where his days as a head coach got their start as Woodbury claimed a 65-40 triumph at Park on Friday, Dec. 18.
“We didn’t shoot as well against Park’s 1-2-2 zone and adjusted at halftime to go after more offensive boards on our missed outside shots,” Preller said. “We also emphasized passing inside more in second half.”
Despite the struggles, a Royals victory was seldom in doubt as Kroening again led Woodbury with 23 points and 13 rebounds.
Forward Megan Stromen logged 10 points in the contest, with guard Kristina White tallying nine points and center Ashley Sha eight.
Once again, Preller was able to use all his reserves in the contest, with nine WHS players scoring in all.
The victory pushed Woodbury’s record to 5-1 overall, 3-0 in Suburban East Conference play.
The Woodbury coach has win No. 500 in his sights as the Royals host Minneapolis Southwest in the opening game of the annual Woodbury “Winter Wonderland” Tournament on Tuesday, Dec. 22.
The Royals are scheduled to also play either North St. Paul or Hudson, Wis. the next night, depending on the outcomes of the first round games.
Woodbury takes a break from the hardcourt following the pre-holiday tournament, returning to action with a trip to Hastings on Tuesday, Jan. 5.
“We like to give our players and families some holiday time away from basketball between Christmas and New Year’s,” Preller said.
The coach noted that the Hastings game could herald the return of guard Kassey Kallman, who has been sidelined with a broken bone in her foot suffered in the Royals lone loss of the season, against Minnetonka on Saturday, Dec. 5.
The Royals first home game of 2010 comes on Friday, Jan. 8 against Stillwater — with a Friday, Jan. 15 game at fellow SEC undefeated White Bear Lake looming on the calendar.