On the Royals’ annual parents' night, Rogers came up just short against a regional rival and former Northwest Suburban Conference opponent.
Rogers (4-5, 1-1) lost 57-54 to St. Michael-Albertville (7-4, 0-0) on Jan. 3. The Royals have lost two of their last three games and have lost their last two home games against the Knights.
Head coach Joe Belka said Rogers got off to a slow start. The Royals trailed 12-0 less than five minutes into the first half.
“We’re very familiar with each other, being former conference opponents, playing each other twice a year,” Belka said. “There’s nothing that they did that we weren’t prepared for or that hurt us, specifically. We dug a hole. It’s a 36-minute game and we beat them for 33 of the 36 minutes. I love how we battled. I love how we competed. I love how we made plays. We gave ourselves opportunities, but the 12-0 hole seemed to be insurmountable for us.”
Down 12-0 in the first half, a few 3-pointers by senior forward Thomas Glad got Rogers back to within three. After the 12-0 run, the Royals outscored the Knights 23-14 yet still trailed 26-23 at halftime.
“We shot the ball outside way better than they did,” Glad said. “They didn’t shoot the ball very well.”
Rogers outscored St. Michael-Albertville 33-31 in the second half. If it weren’t for the 12-0 run in the first half, the Royals would likely have won the game.
Offensive Player of the Game
Rogers senior guard Sam Simpson led all players with 21 points. Simpson tied his season-high and career-high mark of 21. He also scored 21 points against Maple Grove in the Royals 57-44 loss to Maple Grove on Dec. 12.
Rogers was scheduled to visit Totino-Grace (6-4, 1-1) on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m at Totino-Grace High School in Fridley. The Royals haven’t played the Eagles since Dec. 11, 2012, when Totino-Grace when the Royals won 73-58.
St. Michael-Albertville was scheduled to visit Buffalo (5-3, 0-0) on Jan. 10 at 7:15 p.m.
Belka said Rogers couldn’t convert on offensive opportunities in the second.
“If we make a couple more shots, instead of 12-0, it’s 12-6, 12-12. Who knows what the case may be. Our kids were ready to play. Our kids were excited to play. If we could make a few more shots, we might be in a better spot.”