WOODBURY — After closing out the first half with a 10-point lead, Stillwater was never seriously threatened while pulling away for an 88-71 Suburban East Conference victory over Woodbury on Friday.
Senior Andrew Duxbury poured in a season-high 32 points as the Ponies (2-1 SEC, 6-2) knocked off the defending Section 4AAAA champions and one of the leading contenders expected to challenge Roseville in the conference this season.
“It was a good win for us and it gives the kids a lot of confidence as far as playing with the top teams in our section,” Jordan said. “They graduated quite a few, but their JV was undefeated and their sophomores lost one game.”
The Ponies jumped out to a 9-0 lead on Friday, but Woodbury (1-2, 7-3) battled back to take a slim lead midway through the first half. Stillwater responded with a nice run to close out a hot-shooting first half with a 46-36 lead.
Stillwater did not make a 3-pointer in the first half and was just 4 of 19 in the game, but connected on 17 of 19 two-point field goals (89 percent) before halftime and also converted on 20-24 free throws (83 percent) in the game. Sometimes the two went hand in hand as the Ponies made five baskets while getting fouled in the first half.
“We shot a lot of lay-ups, that was the biggest thing,” Jordan said. “I thought defensively we forced them into taking perimeter shots instead of getting into the paint. Offensively, we executed for the most part and did a good job taking our time and getting the shots we wanted.”
The Ponies did not let up in the second half and their lead never dipped below 10 points.
“I thought we played pretty consistent throughout the whole game,” Jordan said. “We had 17 turnovers which is the most we’ve had, so it wasn’t like we played our best basketball, but it was our best shooting night.”
Matt Anderson added 19 points and helped the Ponies produce a 38-27 rebounding edge while Aaron Romportl chipped in with 13 points.
Woodbury’s loss comes on the heels of a three-game sweep over Rochester teams to claim the title in a holiday tournament, defeating Lourdes, Mayo and John Marshall on consecutive days.
“They were coming off the Rochester tournament and feeling pretty good,” Jordan said.
Stillwater 46 42 — 88
Woodbury 36 35 — 71
Stillwater (pts): Sam Lagus 3, Aaron Romportl 13, Brian Branch 2, Andrew Duxbury 32, Nick Ogren 2, Tony Lennox 3, Joe Quinn 6, Matt Anderson 19, Chad Schlosser 4 and Joel Malwitz 4.
Woodbury: Renard Suggs 16, Robert Claypool 2, Nick Yan 12, Matt Ambriz 13, Isaiah Codden 2, Charlie Olson 7, Diallo Powell 6, Mario Franco 8, Ben Meyer 2 and Ben Rizzardi 3.
3-pointers: St (4): Romportl, Duxbury 2 and Lennox; Wo (8): Suggs 3, Yan, Ambriz 3 and Olson.
Free throws: St, 20-24; Wo, 15-19.
Fouls: St, 14; Wo, 21.
Fouled out: none.