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Royals bounce back with three wins

The Woodbury boys' basketball team rebounded on a busy week after two losses to start the season.

The Royals picked up three wins, including a 77-74 victory at Forest Lake to kick off the Suburban East Conference schedule. Three games is a lot for one week, but head coach Kent Getzlaff said the Royals were relieved to have the full lineup back after absences in the first two games of the season.

"We either had one or two guys out the first two games," Getzlaff said. "I think we have a chance to be a very deep team, but we're not a very deep team right now so when you take away one starter in the first game and two starters in the second game that's going to make a very big difference for us."

Among those starters was David Alston, who missed the first two games of the season with his commitments to the Minnesota Football Showcase. But Alston, one of the team's five seniors, was back for all three games this week.

"He's a really good leader, a very smart player," Getzlaff said. "I think having him back really helped our half-court defense and our rebounding. Those were huge keys to our first two wins against Rosemount and Lakeville South."

Woodbury started its week with a 71-36 victory over Rosemount at home on Tuesday, Dec. 12. Michael Jones led with 21 points while DJ Fleming finished with 17.

Woodbury followed with a 76-65 victory at WHS against Lakeville South on Thursday, Dec. 14. Jones scored 39 points to lead the offense, and Fleming added 14 points. Jones was the leading scorer against Forest Lake on Friday, Dec. 15 when he scored 39 points. Alston also finished with 12 points.

Jones was able to keep up his high scoring pace this season, averaging nearly 33 points per game over the first five games. The future Davidson player has continued to surprise Getzlaff with his strong play early this season.

"I haven't seen anybody get off to the kind of offensive start he is right now, especially considering four of the five teams we've played so far are very high-quality teams," Getzlaff said.

The Royals were scheduled to have another busy week, playing home games against Roseville on Tuesday, Dec. 19 and North St. Paul on Thursday, Dec. 21.

East Ridge falls to Cretin-Derham Hall

The East Ridge boys' basketball team dropped its first game of the season to No. 3 ranked Cretin-Derham Hall on Friday.

The future University of Minnesota player Daniel Oturu scored 29 points to lead the Raiders to a 71-57 victory. Courtney Brown led the Raptors with 20 points, and Ben Carlson finished with 11.

East Ridge, now 2-2 this season, will play a home game against New Prague on Tuesday, Dec. 19 before heading to Lakeville South for a game on Thursday, Dec. 21.