The East Ridge boys basketball team began the Suburban East Conference season on the right foot.
Off of non-conference wins over St. Louis Park and Minneapolis Southwest, East Ridge (5-2; 2-0 SEC) started the week taking down Hastings, opening a 34-21 halftime lead and cruising to the win.
“We came out and played great right away,” East Ridge head coach Paul Virgin said. “Their zone slowed us down for a bit but when we figured it out we continued to get easy shots. It was a great defensive night and we rebounded very well as a team.”
Hastings had only three offensive rebounds the entire game and shot just 29 percent from the field. East Ridge totaled 45 rebounds and shot 43 percent from the field.
For East Ridge, junior guard Sid Tomes scored a team-high 19 points, senior center Ryan Keenan had 12 points, eight rebounds and three blocks and senior Xavier Cole netted 13 points off the bench.
Against Mounds View, East Ridge outscored the Mustangs 44-35 in the second half to break a first-half tie and roll to the win. The Raptors closed out the game going up 14 points with roughly five minutes remaining.
“We started out slow in the first half and really played much better in the second,” Virgin said. “I was pleased with that. Mounds View is a big physical team and they will win a lot of games this year in the SEC.”
East Ridge senior guard Jake Knupp led the way for the Raptors in the game with a team-high 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Knupp was also 6-for-6 from the free-throw line and added three assists. Senior forward Brian Ishola had a good all-around game, scoring 18 points to go along with four steals, two assists and four rebounds. Also, Tomes scored 16 points and had a team-high four assists and five steals.
East Ridge traveled to Park on Tuesday after the Bulletin went to print. Next, East Ridge hosts Forest Lake on Friday. Tip-off is set for 7:15 p.m. in Woodbury.