By PATRICK SLACK
In a game in which neither team led by more than five points, it made sense that it would go down to the wire.
The Royalton boys basketball team held the ball and a one-point lead with less than 10 seconds to play against Swanville, Tuesday.
After being forced to spend a timeout to avoid a five-second violation, the Royals were able to inbound the ball to junior Luke Wentland, who was immediately fouled.
Wentland sunk both of his free throws to bring his game-high total to 17, extending Royalton’s lead to 58-55.
Needing a three-pointer to tie, Swanville quickly moved the ball up the court and got a shot off behind the arc, missing the basket, but drawing a foul.
The first free throw was good with one second to play, but the second one was off line.
An attempt to intentionally miss the third to try for a tip-in was unsuccessful, giving Royalton a 58-56 win.
“Swanville is a very scrappy squad that caused us to make a lot of mistakes,” Royalton head coach Randy Thielges said. “In the second half our inside post went to work, giving us enough of an edge to pull this one out.”
Senior Steve Hoff added 12 points for Royalton, followed by senior Tyler Makela and junior Matt Silbernick with eight apiece.
Senior Dan Anshus scored seven points while pulling down a game-high nine rebounds.
Swanville was led by senior Derek Pfeiffer with 16 points and junior Austin Mollner with 14.
Freshman Jordan Sales grabbed 10 rebounds and junior Tren Dinius had six.
Royalton hosts Browerville and Swanville plays at Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, Friday.
Royalton 58, Swanville 56
Royalton 26 32 – 58
Swanville 29 27 – 56
Royalton—Luke Wentland, 17 (5 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 assists); Steve Hoff, 12; Tyler Makela, 8 (3 assists); Matt Silbernick, 8 (5 rebounds, 3 assists); Dan Anshus, 7 (9 rebounds); Brandon Lattimer, 4 (5 rebounds); Curtis Makela, 2.
Swanville—Derek Pfeiffer, 16; Austin Mollner, 14.