Royalton rattled off three straight wins to pull within a game of .500 this week.
It all started, Jan. 6, with a home Central Minnesota Conference win over Holdingford, 72-46.
The Royals led all phases, with a 35-28 advantage on the boards and a shooting percentage of 46% compared to 38% for the Huskers. Royalton also knocked down 38% of its 3-pointers. Holdingford made 27%.
Two early steals for Connor Carlson helped the Royals open up an 8-5 lead before Cal Ollman buried a triple. A trey by Carlson with 8:20 remaining in the first pushed the lead to 21-8.
The Huskers enjoyed a brief, 5-3 run to close the gap, but a Tyler Swenson 3-ball with 5:21 on the first half clock made it 27-13. Another from downtown for Swenson pushed the narrative to 40-22 in favor of the home team.
Zach Ellerbusch came in to drain a 3-pointer of his own from right in front of the Royals’ bench to bring the score to its final.
Jan. 7, the Royals kept Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted in their rearview mirror, as they ran away from a tight ballgame to topple the Lakers, 68-57.
Again, Royalton had a strong night shooting, hitting 43% of its attempts. That included 44% of its 3-pointers, while HLWW shot just 21% from 3-point range.
The Royals fell in an early hole, but used their success on the perimeter to pull into the lead. The Lakers led 11-7 when Swenson knocked down a trey. On their next trip, Ollman hit another 3-pointer. Suddenly, it was 13-11 in favor of Royalton.
Bryson Brezinka got into the mix with back to back 3-pointers to extend the advantage to 25-18, as the Royals were in the midst of an 18-5 surge.
Some pretty ball movement helped them pull ahead by 10 or more for the first time. Joe Achen pilfered a steal and dribbled into the right corner before kicking out to Swenson on the wing. He quickly sent a pass into the post for an easy layup by Blake Albright.
Swenson added another 3 from the near corner to push the lead to 43-23 just before halftime.
The Royals made it a perfect week, Tuesday, with an 84-66 win over Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City.
The Falcons kept it close in the first half. Royalton held a slim, 40-36 lead at the break, but it out-scored the home team by 14 in the second half to run away with it.
Five Royals finished with double-figure scoring efforts. Achen led the way with 25 points with Blake Albright adding 15. Ollman and Logan Pesta finished with 12 each — the former drilling four 3-pointers in the process — while Carlson checked in with 11. Swenson scored nine to complete the offensive attack.
Royalton (5-6 overall, 2-0 conference) travels to Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, Friday, and will tip off at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Eden Valley-Watkins in Royalton.