Boys basketball: Ponies win third in a row

Stillwater guard Aaron Romportl drives past a Forest Lake defender during Tuesday’s Suburban East Conference boys’ basketball victory at Stillwater Area High School. (Gazette staff photos by Scott Ertle)

Stillwater guard Aaron Romportl drives past a Forest Lake defender during Tuesday’s Suburban East Conference boys’ basketball victory at Stillwater Area High School. (Gazette staff photos by Scott Ertle)

OAK PARK HEIGHTS — Andrew Duxbury delivered 25 points as Stillwater defeated Forest Lake 81-70 in Tuesday’s Suburban East Conference boys’ basketball game at Stillwater Area High School.

It was the third victory in a row for the Ponies (10-5 SEC, 16-6), who have moved into a three-way tie for third place in the conference standings with East Ridge (10-5, 17-6) and White Bear Lake (10-5, 15-8).

Matt Anderson of the Ponies goes to the basket for two of his 14 points in Tuesday’s victory.

Matt Anderson of the Ponies goes to the basket for two of his 14 points in Tuesday’s victory.

Stillwater hit six of its seven 3-pointers — including three by Tony Lennox — in the first half to build a 44-33 lead.

“That pulled them out of their zone,” Ponies coach Randy Jordan said.

The Rangers (4-11, 8-15), who handed the Ponies a 61-58 overtime loss earlier this season, never drew closer than seven points in the second half.

“We were afraid of a letdown (after Friday’s win over 10th-ranked Roseville), but it was good,” Jordan said. “I thought the kids responded well. Offensively, when the ball goes in things seem to go a lot better for us.”

Forest Lake shot well from the outside while hitting 12 of 27 3-pointers, including four each by Matt Degendorfer and Noah Davis, who led the Rangers with 24 points.

“We didn’t really shut them down,” Jordan said. “They made some tough threes and scored too many points, but we did a better job of executing and made them play man-to-man and were able to get to the basket and get some good looks.”

Stillwater is allowing just 53.9 points per game this season — the only conference team yielding an average of fewer than 60 points — and also held a rebounding edge against the Rangers. Matt Anderson and Joe Quinn added 14 and 13 points apiece for the Ponies.

“I thought we controlled the boards pretty well,” Jordan said. “Joe Quinn had another good night on the boards.”

 

Forest Lake 33 37 — 70

Stillwater 44 37 — 81

 

Forest Lake (pts): Matt Degendorfer 14, Andrew Wright 2, Anthony Tyler 4, Connor Knutson 10, Noah Davis 24, Wyatt Lawson 8 and Brock Baumgartner 8.

Stillwater: Connor Gamble 3, Sam Lagus 7, Aaron Romportl 7, Andrew Duxbury 25, Tony Lennox 9, Joe Quinn 13, Matt Anderson 14, Chad Schlosser 1 and Joel Malwitz 2.

3-pointers: FL (12): Degendorfer 4, Lawson 2, Knutson 2 and Davis 4; St (7): Gamble, Lagus, Romportl, Lennox 3 and Quinn.

Free throws: FL, 4-11; St, 16-28.

Fouls: FL, 20; St, 11.

Fouled out: None.

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