Basketball: Royal boys top Big Lake 71-58, look ahead to big week

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

The Rogers Royals, after vanquishing Big Lake 71-58 on Thursday evening, have a couple big events coming up, and fortunately are just getting back to full strength.

Michael Schreiber, 6-8 senior center who was named to the Minnesota all-star series this week, has 991 career points after scoring 20 against Big Lake along with 8 rebounds and 2 blocks.

“We have Delano at home on Saturday night, so we hope he can get it there,” said coach Joe Belka, meaning Schreiber’s 1,000th point.

The Royals are 8-2 in conference, trailing St. Michael-Albertville (9-1), which held the lead by defeating Buffalo 63-43 on Tuesday night. The Bison, who usually win the title, are out of it at 7-3.

Rogers will host STMA on Tuesday.

“So we have a chance to tie for the lead,” said Belka, whose team lost to the  Knights 76-55 on Jan. 26. Rogers has never won a conference title in boys basketball.

Rogers regained the services of senior point guard Jack Anderson, albeit on a limited basis, at Big Lake.
Anderson  injured  his knee  in a win over Elk River on Dec. 16 and missed 17 games. He played 12 minutes and scored two points, wearing a brace.

“We are hoping Jack will give us a shot in the arm,” said Belka. “We have been playing some good basketball without him, with other guys stepping up. This time of year you are supposed to be playing your best basketball, and we need him to be our floor leader.”

In the win over Big Lake, senior forward Josh Turnquist nailed 21 points and snagged 6 rebounds. Austin Barbeln scored 11 points and Nick Runge 8. The Royals were 11-for-12 on free shots.

Justin Benker scored 15 points and Sam Dokkenbakken 14 for Big Lake, 6-4 in conference and 11-12 overall.