Woodbury boys basketball: The Royals’ unsung heroes help spark tourney runWoodbury head coach Scott Swansson said a number of “unsung heroes” helped the Royals boys basketball team win the Section 4AAAA championship and reach the state tournament this season.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
They haul in a big rebound, dive to the floor for a loose ball, cheer on the team from the sidelines and work hard at every practice.
Woodbury head coach Scott Swansson said a number of “unsung heroes” helped the Royals boys basketball team win the Section 4AAAA championship and reach the state tournament this season.
“Some guys didn’t start or didn’t play as much as they maybe would’ve wanted to. But, their attitude was tremendous throughout the year,” Swansson said. “They always practiced hard and played hard when they got in there. It was more about the team than their personal agenda. That was a tremendous thing for our team.”
According to Swansson, in addition to standout players like Rickey and Renard Suggs, Connor McKeen, Robert Claypool and Ryan Fritze – who regularly filled Woodbury’s stat sheets – the Royals got critical contributions from players like seniors Jordan Voit, Tyler Graves, Noah Danner, Benjamin Rexroth, Jeremy Richardson and Pat Smith and juniors Diallo Powell and Mario Franco this year, even though they all may not have always shown up in the box scores.
“It was just such an enjoyable year,” Swansson said. “Everyone knew their place on the team and accepted their role. They all stuck together. I can’t stress enough how important that is for a team.”
At the state tournament, Powell provided the Royals a boost nabbing four rebounds, going 2-for-2 from the free throw line and 1-for-2 from the field. Rexroth hit both of his shots in the state tournament game along with two big free throws and grabbed four rebounds in 16 minutes. Graves came off the bench and hit a big three pointer, played stingy defense and hauled in three rebounds. Also, Franco scored seven points in three minutes and Danner, Smith and Voit also each hit the Target Center court.
Swansson said each player on the team had a role in the Royals’ accomplishments this season and believed they would look back fondly on the past year.
“Nobody is going to remember how many minutes they played,” Swansson said. “They’re going to remember that they won the section championship and played in the state tournament and the thrill of having done that, not that they scored 20 points. It was that they were part of a team that did something.”