By Bruce Strand
Elk River Star News
The Rogers Royals lost to Hayfield 66-61 in the third-place game of the Tartan tournament Saturday, Dec. 22.
Rogers (3-7) led 35-32 at halftime after hitting six of 10 three-pointers, but Hayfield overtook the Royals behind a 32-20 rebound edge and a 21-6 free throw edge. Hayfield made 21 of 33 and the Royals just 6 of 8.
Cullen Loughlin sank 19 points and Sam Spilles 14 to lead the Royals. Spilles, a senior forward, was named to the all-tournament team.
Hayfield got 26 points from Krueger and 16 from Brady Kramer.
In earlier action, the Tartan Titans held off the Rogers Royals 71-64 in the semifinals of Tartan’s holiday tournament on Friday.
The Titans, 6-1 and ranked No. 7 in Class 4A, led by as much as 15 in the second half. Rogers (3-6) made a run late in the game but fell short.
Junior center Brody Jackson scored 16 points and rebounded strongly for Tartan. Senior guard Kharie Kirkland added 14 points, capped by 6-of-9 free shots late in the game.
Ryan Gelle notched 17 points and 6 rebounds for Rogers. Luke Pecka netted 13 points, and Cullen Loughlin and Sam Spilles 11 each. Spilles led with 8 rebounds.
The Rogers Royals reached the semifinals of the Tartan holiday tournament with a 74-60 conquest of Columbia Heights on Thursday afternoon in Oakdale.
The Highlanders had a 4-1 record coming in, but Rogers (3-5) led throughout, including 38-31 at halftime.
Senior forward Sam Spilles laid in 20 points and senior guard Cullen Loughlin hit 17 for the Royals.
Martice Creamer sank 15 points and Colton Williams 14 for Columbia Heights.
Each team had six 3-point shots. The Royals war 8-for-12 and Highlanders 6-for-8 at the line.
The Highlanders tried to pressure Rogers much of the time but the Royals handled it well and had some good looks at the basket through the game.
Rogers will play at Delano on Friday night.