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Boys' Basketball: Royals run away from Park after slow start

Michael Jones looks for an open teammate during the first half Tuesday. (Bulletin photo by Blaze Fugina)1 / 3
Brandon Alt looks to complete a pass with Woodury's Nolan Glunz defending him Tuesday. (Bulletin photo by Blaze Fugina)2 / 3
Ike Thilgen dribbles the ball in the offensive zone during the first half of Tuesday's game. (Bulletin photo by Blaze Fugina)3 / 3

Park was able to stay within 10 points of the Woodbury boys' basketball team as the buzzer sounded on the first half in Suburban East Conference basketball play Tuesday.

But the Royals' and scorer Michael Jones were too much to handle in the second half in a home 74-55 victory over the Wolfpack.

Twice Park was able to pull within two points of Woodbury's lead in the first half. Park trailed 14-12 with 6 minutes, 52 seconds left in the first half, and again it cut the score to 21-19 with 3:30 remaining.

But the Royals opened up a 32-22 lead at halftime, and four-and-a-half minutes into the second half the lead grew to 47-26.

Senior Ike Thilgen said the Royals' full-court pressure in the second half helped force turnovers to get the offense going.

"We played pretty bad in the first half," said Thilgen, who contributed six points Tuesday. "Our switches were late. Everything was off. We started to press a little bit harder, get motivated more. Once we started talking, we got the ball out, pushed it up and made a lot of easy baskets."

Jones led Woodbury's offense by scoring 32 points, including 23 of the Royals' 32 points in the first half. Park's leading scorer was Brendan Beaulieu with 21 points.

Woodbury improved its winning streak to six consecutive games since losing 89-73 on the road against Cretin-Derham Hall on Jan. 20. Head coach Kent Getzlaff praised the team's chemistry after the conference victory Tuesday.

"It's as great group to be around, and those things are translating to us having success on the court," Getzlaff said. "They don't care who is the open guy. It doesn't matter to them. It's that Woodbury has an open guy, and they make the extra pass."

The Royals have attributed some of the team chemistry to playing basketball with each other since the days of youth basketball. The familiarity has helped in Woodbury's climb to a first place tie in the Suburban East Conference standings.

"A lot of us have been playing together since fourth grade, and we've known each other since fourth grade," said Nolan Glunz, who scored five points Tuesday. "I feel that really reflects on the way that we've been playing."

Woodbury improved to 11-1 in the Suburban East Conference with the victory. Park fell to 1-10.

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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