Royals go 2-1 at Sleep Inn Classic to Start the Year
The Lake Region State College Royals started off the year playing 3 games in 3 days. Head Coach Jared Marshall calls it a, "Toughness weekend," and cites this weekend and Thanksgiving week where they will play 3 games in 4 days, including one against #19 Gillette as his two, "Toughness Weekends."
With 8 returning players from last year's team, including two All-Conference and All-Region Players in Cedric Boone and Jordan Bolton, the team was expected not to miss a beat to start the year. However, that wouldn't be the case in the home opener Friday night versus Dakota County Technical College. The Royals were more than a little out of sync offensively. Factor in a tough shooting performance that saw them go 6-28 from 3 and shoot 37% from the field, that didn't help matters. Despite the struggles offensively, LRSC was right in the game the whole time getting stops on the defensive end. With 1.5 seconds to go they found themselves down 2 having to go the length of the floor. A full court pass from Nik Fassos, a tip by James Streeter to Cedric Boone got the Royals the look they needed. Boone just couldn't get it to go. They Royals fell 85-87 to DCTC. Cedric Boone led with 21pts, newcomer Jordan Lynn with 19pts and Jordan Bolton had 17pts and 9asts to lead the Royals.
Night two of the Classic had the Royals matched up against Anoka-Ramsey Community College. The Royals came out clicking in the first half offensively and locking up on the defensive end. They took an early 50-31 lead into the half. Despite the early lead shooting struggles still plagued the Royals on offense shooting only 23% from behind the arc. ARCC continued to chip away at the LRSC lead getting it under 10 on a few occasions. The Royals wouldn't fold, big shots down the stretch from sophomore Nik Fassos, 13pts and with sophomore post James Streeter establishing himself on the inside with 12pts, the Royals were able to fend off the Golden Ram attack. Free Throws became key for LR as they went 26-31, shooting 84% from the line on the game. In the end it was just enough as the Royals went on to win 82-71 earning their first win of the year. The Royals were led in scoring by Cedric Boone 22pts. Jordan Bolton had 8pts to go along with his 6rebs and 6asts.
The third and final game in three days for the Royals was against Turtle Mountain Community College. LRSC came out a step slow in the first 10 minutes, showing the signs of the two previous games. It took a spark from Sophomore Alex Weston from behind the arc making his first three threes' to get the Royals going. From then on the Royals shooting slump disappeared and everyone got in on the action. Cedric Boone made seven threes of his own, Weston would chip in one more made three to bring his total to 4, The Royals hit 18 3's on the day shooting 41% from behind the arc and shooting 49% from the field. All 14 players scored for LRSC and the squad racked up 34 assists on the day. They cruised to a 117-65 win over TMCC.
Head Coach Jared Marshall said, "We started the weekend off a little tight, which is very unlike us. I was happy to see us battle through our shooting struggles the first two nights and really lock in on the defensive end. Playing 3 games in 3 days is no easy task, our bench gave us some good minutes and provided the depth we needed to be successful. We still have plenty we need to work on but there are a lot of positives to build on after this weekend."
The Royals are back in action next Friday night 7pm versus Miles Community College and Saturday, 5pm against Northland Community College.