By PATRICK SLACK
It turned out, only Mother Nature could keep Royalton senior Luke Wentland from 1,000 points.
With the Royals snowed out against Long Prairie-Grey Eagle four days earlier, Wentland entered Tuesday’s home contest against Isle sitting at 998 for his career.
Royalton fed the ball to Wentland early, but a pair of shots in the paint rimmed out on two of the Royals’ opening three possessions.
The next time down the floor, Wentland didn’t bother driving the lane, pulling up and hitting on an open look from beyond the arc, crossing the 1,000-point milestone on the way to a 47-37 Royalton win.
“Luke has a blend of athletism, size, driving ability and shooting range that make him difficult to defend,” Royalton head coach Randy Thielges said. “The 1,000 points has probably taken him a little longer because of nagging injuries, shin splints, an ankle injury and a knee injury, that have slowed him or forced him to sit out games.”
“It was nice for our fans to celebrate with Luke, although he was disappointed that he came up two points short in Browerville,” he said.
Wentland finished as the top scorer on the night, draining 15 points, while pulling down nine rebounds and recording eight steals, the type of all-around effort that has become the norm for him, Thielges said.
Senior Matt Silbernick followed with 12 points, nine rebounds and six assists, joined in double figures by senior Ethan Zimny with 10 points.
Seniors Lucas Snyder (4), Justin Opatz (2) and Stephen Strusz (2) also scored.
“We talked as a team before the game about that scoring the 1,000th point needed to be part of the team’s game plan to be successful versus Isle,” Thielges said. “Luke was going to score eventually. With that being said, it is always our game plan to get Luke and Matt Silbernick as many quality shots as possible.”
Royalton carried a slim 21-20 lead into halftime, before slowly pulling away in the second half, holding Isle to just 16 field goals on the night.
Royalton 47, Isle 37
Isle 20 17 – 37
Royalton 21 26 – 47
Royalton—Luke Wentland, 15 (9 rebounds); Matt Silbernick, 12 (9 rebounds, 6 assists); Ethan Zimny, 10; Lucas Snyder, 4; Justin Opatz, 2; Stephen Strusz, 2.