Boys basketball: Raptors win battle of Woodbury, 73-64 over Royals
In Woodbury, the East Ridge boys basketball team is currently the king of the court.
East Ridge beat Woodbury 73-64 on Friday, Jan. 28, at East Ridge High School in the third-ever game between the two schools.
Woodbury had won the first two meetings between the intra-district and Suburban East Conference rivals -- 61-31 and 64-54.
However, in this season's first matchup, East Ridge (10-6; 4-5 SEC) overcame a slow start, took an early second-quarter lead and hung on for the win.
After the two teams played to a 32-32 first-half tie, East Ridge slowly built an 11-point lead capped by a layup by senior forward Dillon Johnson off a steal with 3:10 remaining in the game. A three-pointer by Woodbury sophomore guard Renard Suggs cut the Raptors' lead to 67-61 with 46.1 seconds remaining but that was as close as the Royals would get.
The story down the stretch may have been free throws -- and the inability of Woodbury to make them.
The Royals (5-9; 4-5 SEC) went into the bonus -- which garners automatic free throws on any fouls -- with over five minutes remaining in the game, but went 4-for-14 from the free throw line down the stretch.
Woodbury began the game with an 11-0 run, taking an 11-0 lead just over two minutes into the game. East Ridge, however, chipped away on the Royals' advantage and took a 19-17 lead on a three-pointer by senior guard John Hietpas with 9:31 remaining in the first half. The two rivals traded baskets and leads until the two teams ended the first half knotted in a 32-32 tie.
East Ridge senior Adam Schwartz had a team-high 17 points for the Raptors -- including 14 points in the second half, junior Justin Pahl scored 15 points and Taylor Hawkins netted 13 points.
Woodbury junior Connor McKeen had a game-high 23 points and junior Rickey Suggs netted 16 points to lead the Royals.
Next, East Ridge travels to Mahtomedi to take on the Zephyrs in a non-conference game on Saturday, Jan. 29. In its next game, Woodbury plays host to Park on Tuesday, Feb. 1.