Woodbury boys basketball: Royals beat rivals East Ridge, Stillwater to remain unbeaten in SECThe Royals stayed hot last week in the Suburban East Conference, with wins over rivals Stillwater and East Ridge.
By: Mike Longaecker, Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
The Royals stayed hot last week in the Suburban East Conference, with wins over rivals Stillwater and East Ridge.
Friday’s 75-56 win over Stillwater boosted Woodbury’s overall record to 8-2 (4-0 SEC). Coach Scott Swansson said he continues to like what he’s seeing from his squad: unselfish play that means any of several players vying for the scoring lead on any given night.
“They’re playing the kind of basketball I would like to watch,” Swansson said.
Against Stillwater, Woodbury found itself in an early 10-5 hole. Then, “all of a sudden, we just cranked our defense up,” Swansson said.
Woodbury eventually built a 35-22 halftime lead. That smothering defense returned in the last half of the second half, Swansson said.
“It was really pretty good team defense,” he said.
Swansson said the Ponies worked hard to limit Renard Suggs’ scoring opportunities; he scored a combined 54 points in the previous two games, but was limited to eight against Stillwater (3-7; 1-2 SEC).
Other players on the Royals made them pay.
“We’ve got guys that can score,” Swansson said.
Ryan Fritze, a senior guard for the Royals, led the team in scoring with 17 points. Teammate Connor McKeen poured in 16 against Stillwater, while Robert Claypool and Rickey Suggs scored 13 points apiece in the game.
Rickey Suggs hauled down 12 rebounds in the game, followed by McKeen, who collected 10. McKeen also led the team in assists against Stillwater, with five.
“I think he’s playing very well,” Swansson said of McKeen.
The Stillwater win came three days after the Royals topped intra-district rival East Ridge 64-44 at home.
Renard Suggs led Woodbury’s scoring attack with 21 points in the game.
“He’s made a great improvement from his sophomore year to his junior year,” Swansson said of Renard Suggs.
Raptors senior Justin Pahl led all East Ridge scorers with 12 points.
Woodbury jumped to a comfortable lead in the first half, heading into halftime ahead 35-18. The Royals stayed in control during the second half, leading 29-26.
Woodbury’s Connor McKeen and Ben Rexroth – both seniors – poured in 10 points apiece.
East Ridge senior Yaroslav Doroshenko added nine points for the Raptors (5-5; 2-1 SEC).
Woodbury played on Tuesday, Jan. 10, in a home match-up against White Bear Lake (6-5; 1-2 SEC) that was played after the Bulletin went to press. Next, the Royals travel Friday to Forest Lake (5-3; 1-2 SEC).