Woodbury boys basketball: Royals sunk by Stillwater after gaining tourney titleAfter running the table in Rochester, the Royals ran into a buzzsaw at home.
By: Mike Longaecker, edtior, Woodbury Bulletin
After running the table in Rochester, the Royals ran into a buzzsaw at home.
Woodbury won all three games at the Rotary US Bank Holiday Classic tournament Dec. 27-29 in Rochester, capped with a 21-point championship game win over Rochester John Marshall. But when the Royals returned home last week to the Suburban East Conference Friday, Jan. 4, against Stillwater, it appeared another Woodbury team had shown up.
Head coach Scott Swansson called the 88-71 loss “an embarrassing effort.”
“We can’t give up 88 points and expect to win,” he said.
The loss dropped the Royals to 7-3 and 1-2 in the SEC.
Woodbury fell in a hole early against the Ponies, but chipped away, eventually gaining a narrow lead. That lead didn’t hold; Woodbury went into the halftime break down 46-36.
Things didn’t get much better in the second half, where Woodbury struggled to collect rebounds and hit open shots.
“We let (Stillwater) basically do whatever they want,” Swansson said.
He said the intensity that was present in the Rochester tournament seemed to be lost against the Ponies.
Senior standout guard Renard Suggs led Woodbury in scoring against Stillwater with 16 points. Junior guard Matt Ambriz scored 13 in the effort, while fellow 11th grader Nick Yan chipped in 12 points.
The loss followed an encouraging series of games in Rochester, where the Royals took the tournament title in a 93-72 win over Rochester John Marshall, the No. 10 ranked team in Class 3A at the time.
Suggs led the way for Woodbury in the title game with 31 points. Fellow senior Robert Claypool added 19 points against John Marshall, while Ambriz recorded 17. Senior Diallo Powell finished with nine points, six rebounds and five rebounds.
Woodbury reached the tournament finals after beating Rochester Lourdes 78-71 in the first round before crushing Rochester Mayo 83-49 in the semifinals.
All 12 Woodbury varsity players recorded points in the semifinal game against Mayo, led by Suggs (18) and Powell (12). Junior Nick Yan added 11 for the Royals and Ambriz scored nine.
The Royals now settle in for the SEC season, which lasts until March 1. That began Tuesday against White Bear Lake in a game played after the Bulletin went to press.
Woodbury plays Forest Lake (1-2 SEC) in a home game on Friday.