by Jared Hines
Contributing Sports Writer
When the Royals defeated the Hornets from Big Lake 70-62 on Feb. 14, many players and parents of the girls basketball team couldn’t help but look at the season standings and see how far the team has come.
In just one season’s time, the team has dealt with the hiring of a new coach, the stepping down of that same coach, two girls not being able to play because of injuries and the hiring of a new coach.
All of which occurred before Dec. 22.
Coach Greg Amundson and the Royals pulled out a victory on the road Feb. 14, edging out an eight-point victory over a Hornets team the Royals defeated by 23 the first time the two played. The win was the Royals fourth straight, and seventh win in the team’s last nine contests, pushing them to a 12-13 record. At one point the Royals were just 2-9 on the season.
In Tuesday night’s win, Claire Swan led all Royals scorers with 17 points. Megan Secrist added 14 and Haylee Fingalsen added 10 more. 11 total players scored in the victory, something that is not uncommon in coach Amundson’s quick-rotation strategy he has instilled in the Rogers program. No player averages more than 10 points per game in this system, and no Royals player has scored more than 20 points in a single game. Still, the wins keep piling up.
Since Amundson’s arrival on Dec. 22, the Royals are 10-7, including a 10-4 record since the calendar turned to 2017. In the Mississippi 8 conference, the Royals are 9-3, with one conference game remaining. The Royals travel to St. Michael-Albertville High School on Feb. 23 to take on the conference-leading Knights in the last game of the regular season for Rogers. The Knights still have four games on the regular season schedule before they take on the Royals. Currently the Knights are 17-4 and 10-0 in conference play. The Knights defeated Rogers 64-45 in their first meeting on Jan. 31.