Woodbury put together one of its best first halves of the season Tuesday, Jan. 9, en route to a 68-37 win over crosstown rival East Ridge.

The Royals, who edged Park 45-42 in their last game, had that many points by halftime in taking the measure of the visiting Raptors. Woodbury jumped out to leads of 10-0 and 30-10 in the first half and led 45-17 at the break.

"I think it started with our defense, our defense really locked down and then we got some transition points," said Woodbury varsity assistant Angie Heldstab who filled in for head coach Megan Kirchenwitz Tuesday. "And then it was just the girls executing. Just knowing the plays and setting screens and making sure they followed through with what they needed to do and it came from just about everybody scoring. It was very well balanced."

Senior point guard Rachel Hakes earned a season-high 10 assists to go along with her 13 points.

"For a while there our shot selection went down but after we picked it up we were patient and we waited for a good shot," said Woodbury junior forward Lizzy Dodge, who led the Royals with 18 points. "Every game I think we get a little better. We work together as a team every game better."

Sophomore guard Lexy Paulson and senior forward Solape Amusan each had 11 points to round out a balanced Woodbury attack.

"Going in I thought it was really important to get our whole team involved," Hakes said. "I really do see myself as a true point guard and sometimes I have to alter my role to score more or something like that.

"But I think with each passing game, each person sees their role more and they see themselves as a scorer and so tonight I was hoping - I've been saying I was going to get 10 assists the whole season and tonight I had eight at halftime, and they said once I get two more I'm out of the game so I got my 10 assists and so I was really happy that I could get all my teammates involved," Hakes added.

The second half was much more even, won 23-20 by the Royals, as both teams went to their benches early and often.

Woodbury improved to 3-2 in the Suburban East Conference and 6-5 overall. It was the third win in four games for the improving Royals. Woodbury moved into a tie for second in the conference with White Bear Lake and Roseville.

"That is the plan, to get better each and every day," Heldstab said. "We continue to gel as a team. W graduated quite a few kids last year and these kids have kind of stepped up into those roles and done a nice job of figuring out where they fit in as a team and how they work well together. "

East Ridge remained winless on the season, falling to 0-5 in the conference and 0-12 on the season.

The Royals play at White Bear Lake (7-6, 3-2) Friday, then host Hastings (9-3) in a non-conference matchup Saturday.

The Raptors host eighth-ranked Roseville (10-3, 3-2) Friday, then entertain Simley (6-5) Saturday.