Down by 20 at halftime, the Rogers Royals made a game of it at Brainerd on Monday evening, sparked by a sophomore who came off the bench and scored 23 points.
However, the Warriors held off the Royals 86-75 in Brainerd, after leading 47-27 at the break on 20-for-29 shooting.
Allen Wilson scored 18 of his 23 in the second half and helped the Royals (3-2) get as close as seven points. The up-and-coming guard hit a couple 3-pointers and went to the hoop for the rest of his points.
“We didn’t know too much about Wilson, but now we do,” said Brainerd coach Scott Stansfield to the Brainerd Dispatch. “He’s going to be a handful for the next few years. We look forward to him playing. He’s a fun kid to watch.”
Rogers junior guard Gunnar Bloom also heated up in the second half for 13 of his 16 points. Also scoring 16 was junior 6-9 center Cole Murray, who snagged nine rebounds, too.
Brainerd (3-3) had six double-digit scorers, led by Isaiah Roberts with 14. Logan Madsen, Nick Schwen and Kobe Ahonen had 12 each, Grant Reuer 11 and Hunter Casper 10.
Rogers probably lost this one at the free throw line, sinking just 14 of 30 while Brainerd made 20 of 31. On field goals, Rogers was 28-for-61 and Brainerd 30-for-51.
Brainerd went to the state tournament last year, beating Elk River in the section finals. The Warriors graduated heavily, and this fall many of its players had a late start due to the football team going to the Prep Bowl.
Rogers will open conference play at Monticello on Friday evening.
Rogers scoring — Reid Sagehorn 2, Gunnar Bloom 16 (3 ast, 4 stl), Lance Lendl 9, Joey Simpson 3, Sawyer Thompson 6, Allen Wilson 23 (3 stl), Cole Murray 16 (9 reb)