Fourth-seeded East Ridge put a bit of a scare into top-seeded Hastings Friday before falling in the 2018 Class AAA Section team tournament held Friday at Cretin-Derham Hall. The Raptors wrestled well but dropped a 39-22 decision to the eventual state qualifier in the section team semifinals. Hastings edged Eagan 28-25 in the section finals to advance to state, winning the match on a pin at 285. East Ridge dominated the lower weights in its match against Hastings, but the Raiders got rolling starting at 145 pounds, winning seven of the last eight matches.
Junior Cassie Kahrer won the bars and finished third in the all-around competition to lead the East Ridge Raptors to another section gymnastics title and another trip to state. Two individual Park High School students also will compete Feb. 23-24. It will be the third-straight trip to the Minnesota state meet for the high-flying Raptors, who finished first in all four team events Friday, Feb. 16, at Woodbury High School.
Woodbury's Royals went on an 18-4 run to open the second half and bust a tight game wide open en route to a convincing 69-57 victory Wednesday, Jan. 10 over host East Ridge. Superstar senior guard Michael Jones was at his best for the Royals, scorching the nets for 33 points before a standing-room only crowd at the Raptors Perch. Jones — who had 20 points in the first half — scored in just about every way possible, draining 3-point field goals and short jumpers and scoring on powerful drives to the basket.
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.
Woodbury's Royals made the clutch plays down the stretch to knock off rival Park in a dynamic girls basketball game Friday, Jan. 5. The visiting Royals scored a gritty 45-42 victory at Park for their best win of the season. For Park it was a stunning home-court loss and an early-season blow to their hopes of winning a Suburban East Conference basketball title.
Park went into the Bemidji Invite allowing an average of just 42.7 points a game. The Wolfpack girls did the defense even better Wednesday and Thursday, roughing up Detroit Lakes and host Bemidji to improve to 10-1 on the season. Park overwhelmed Detroit Lake 65-30 Wednesday in the tournament opener, then dropped Bemidji 42-28 in the finale Thursday.
The first time these two teams met this season — a 58-55 Woodbury win back on Dec. 8—it was the Royals who made the clutch plays down the stretch. Saturday night it was Apple Valley's turn. Apple Valley went on an 11-2 run over the final four and a half minutes to edge the Woodbury Royals 47-45 in the consolation championship of the 2017 Roseville Holiday Girls basketball tournament. Apple Valley's 6-3 junior forward Mykel Parham drained a short jump shot at the buzzer to break a 45-all tie and give the Eagles the win.
It was a tough finish to a pretty good tournament for the Woodbury Royals Saturday. Woodbury skated in with a modest 1-7 record, but won two of three games in the tournament. Unfortunately for the Royals, the closing game, a 4-0 loss to host South St. Paul, was a disappointing end at Doug Woog Arena in South St. Paul. But Woodbury played well in victories in Games 1 and 2 in the South St. Paul Premier Tournament, topping St. Paul Johnson 4-1 in the opener and then edging Eagan 2-1 in the semifinals.
For the first eight minutes of the game, the question was if New Life Academy would score. With six minutes to play the question was whether New Life could hang on for the win. And in what turned out to be a game of wild swings, host Park rallied to escape the visiting Eagles by a 56-49 count in a non-conference boys basketball matchup Friday, Dec. 15.
Park bounced back from its first loss of the season — a 68-57 defeat at fifth-ranked Cretin-Derham Hall Tuesday, Dec. 12 — but it took the Wolfpack a while to get rolling on Saturday afternoon. Park led visiting Henry Sibley just 26-25 at the half, but dominated the second half for a 66-55 non-conference victory. It was Park's sixth win in seven games so far this season. The Wolfpack tightened up the defense and ran their offense much better in the second half to pull away from the visitors.