Woodbury girls basketball: Royals’ SEC struggles continueWoodbury girls basketball team beats Prairie Seeds Academy in non-conference game, but falls to Suburban East Conference foes Forest Lake and White Bear Lake.
By: Sada Reed, Woodbury Bulletin
Twelve Royals scored in Woodbury’s 72-48 non-conference thumping of Prairie Seeds Academy last Wednesday, Feb. 15, a win that included junior Kristina White’s 1,000th career point and the team’s eighth victory of the 2011-12 season.
The win was sandwiched between two Suburban East Conference loses: A 56-37 defeat at the hands of White Bear Lake on Feb. 14 and a 69-61 loss to Forest Lake on Feb. 17.
“We did some good things on offense, but just did not defend consistently enough to win the game,” Woodbury coach Lionel Jones said of the Forest Lake loss.
In last Tuesday’s contest against White Bear Lake, the Royals (8-16, 4-12 SEC) went into the half down 24-22. But the Bears, who were ranked No. 8 in the state for Class 4A, outscored the Royals by 17 points in the second half for the win.
White led the Royals with 12 points, followed by junior Mikaela Hunter with eight points.
Woodbury marched to a different tune the following night, quickly taking an early lead against Prairie Seed. The Royals forced Lycans’ turnovers and sunk 11 of its 16 attempted free throws.
“We kept at it and finished our baskets,” said White. “We got our full bench in.”
Behind White’s 19 points, senior Kelsey Anderson scored nine points, while junior Marisa Olsen and sophomore Kalley Hakes each contributed seven points. Senior Kayla Hinton, junior Erin Stromen, and Hunter each had six points, while freshman Kayla Bilski contributed five points.
Taking advantage of a deep bench is part of Jones’ coaching philosophy, but implementing this tactic has been problematic this season.
“It’s always been my style, but I had to tweak it because of injuries,” Jones said. “We’ve had to adjust some things.”
The Royals finished their week on the road against Forest Lake, falling eight points shy of the fellow SEC team.
White led Woodbury with 18 points, followed by Olsen with 13 points and Hinton with 12 points.
For this week, which is the final week of regular-season play, the Royals were scheduled to host Hastings last night after the Bulletin went to press. Woodbury finishes its regular season Friday on the road at Roseville.
“We have Hastings next, a team who is having a rough year,” Jones said on Sunday. “But they are well coached and their team won’t quit battling until the end.”
The Royals begin section play on Wednesday, Feb. 29. Though its opponent has yet to be determined, White hopes the team can continue putting forth its best effort.
“We’ve been having a great second half of the season,” she said. “Hopefully we can keep winning.”