Royall upsets Mauston in season opener: 56-47
The Royall Panthers boys basketball team opened the season at home with a win against inner-county rival Mauston in non-conference action Tuesday night. It was an upset victory for the Panthers who are coming off back-to-back stellar seasons. After winning regionals last year, and making an appearance in the state tournament two years ago, Royall looked solid in their first game of the season. The last win for the Panthers over Mauston came back in 2002.
Royall was in control for most of the game and led by as many as 11 points in the second half. Mauston only managed to take the lead twice for a very short period of time late in the second quarter and early in the third. The Golden Eagles stayed within striking distance, but free-throws down the stretch by the Panthers sealed the game away.
Royall was led in scoring by juniors Sam Murphy and Eric Frye with 11 points a piece. The other three starters included senior Gabe Ness who finished with 9 points, junior Cory Frye contributed 8 points, and junior Nate Scheeter added 7 points. Bench points came from senior Shawn Triebs who had 6 points, and sophomore Brandon Retzlaff finished with 4 points. The Panthers shot 77% from the free-throw line making 21 of 27.
Mauston struggled shooting the ball, but junior Joel Heesch once again led the way managing to rack-up 20 points, with 15 of those coming in the second half. Senior Jack Orton finished with his best point total of the season thus far with a quiet 10 points. The other three starters contributed the rest of the scoring for the Golden Eagles with junior Hunter Nelson adding 9 points, senior Taylor Ingraham finished with just 5 points, and junior Ross Thompson added 3 free-throws. For the second game in a row, Mauston failed to accumulate any bench points and suffered their second consecutive loss. The Golden Eagles finished the game shooting 71% from the free-throw line making 15 of 21.
Mauston opens their South Central Conference schedule Friday night as they travel to Wautoma to take on the Hornets. Both teams enter the match-up with 1-2 records.
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