Saturday, February 5, 2011

Another close win by Royal boys takes its toll on coaches/fans

If you see Royals coach Pat Wynja walking around with a cane and gray hair next week, there’s a reason why: Back-to-back nights of boys’ basketball barn-burners are taking their toll on Royals fans and coaches. “I feel like I’ve aged 20 years tonight,” said Coach Wynja. That was his post-game comment after Thursday nights two-point win at Don Bosco (a game that more than likely clinched a share of the conference title). But there was no rest for the weary, as the Royals were back in action 24 hours later against Woodward Academy (7-8), a team that had won four of its last five, and had wins earlier in the season against Ogden (16-3) and Grandview Park Baptist (14-6). Woodward Academy is the fourth-highest scoring team in the state (all classes) at 70.6 points per game.

It wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t easy, but the Royals squeaked out another close one in the end, 70-64, in a game that (for the second night in a row) wasn’t decided until the final seconds. To give you an idea of how tight the contest was, the score was tied at the end of the first quarter and the end of the third quarter, and the Royals led by only two at halftime. Foul trouble plagued the Royals as both Brandon Eley and Austin Larsen sat with four fouls for much of the second half. The Royals trailed by 5 points with under three minutes to play, before Ethan Jamison scored six critical points in a row to bring the Royals within a point. A pair of free throws finally gave the Royals a two-point lead with 38 seconds left, and free throws proved the difference in the end—the final 7 points for Colo-Nesco all came from the free throw line.

Both the boys’ and girls’ teams wrap up their regular season Tuesday night in Colo against Dunkerton. The game time has been moved up to 5:30 pm, and it’s probably a good thing--old people need to get to bed early!

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