East Ridge boys basketball: Raptors fall to Roseville, CretinThe Raptors were seeking to rebound from two conference losses last week while looking ahead to a Friday celebration of their captain’s recent scoring milestone.
By: Scott Wente, Editor, South Washington County Bulletin
The Raptors were seeking to rebound from two conference losses last week while looking ahead to a Friday celebration of their captain’s recent scoring milestone.
East Ridge dropped a 33-point loss to second-ranked Roseville last Tuesday at home and followed that with an eight-point defeat to Cretin-Derham Hall. Turnovers plagued East Ridge in both games. The Raptors had 31 turnovers in the game with Roseville, 21 when they took on Cretin.
Roseville jumped out to a 49-29 lead in the first half. That 20-point advantage only grew as the Raiders outscored East Ridge 37-24 in the second half to hand the Raptors an 86-53 loss. The Raptors were led by Justin Pahl, who had 15 points, and Brian Ishola and Conrad Sexe, who had 12 points and 10 points, respectively. Roseville had five double-digit scorers.
“We took a step backward” head coach Paul Virgin said of the Roseville game. “It was physical and we need to step it up when that happens. We must continue to work on getting our turnovers down to an acceptable number.”
In the Friday game at Cretin, East Ridge got off to a better start. The Raptors were down 27-26 at the half, but Cretin pulled ahead in the second half and went ahead to beat East Ridge 54-47.
East Ridge scoring leader Pahl turned in a 25-point performance. Raptor guard Jared Morris added 10 points. Nnamdi Nwokolo grabbed seven rebounds.
“Nnamdi had a great game on both ends of the floor,” Virgin said. “He just keeps getting better and better as the year goes on.”
Virgin added: “Jared Morris played great on both ends. He is really coming into his own.”
East Ridge could end the week on a high note. Before the Raptors’ Friday home game against Park, the team will honor shooting guard Justin Pahl for scoring 1,000 points in his high school career.
Pahl reached the milestone in a game against Forest Lake earlier this month. The team will introduce Pahl before the starting line-ups and give him a trophy ball.
“We are all very proud of Justin and this impressive statistic,” Virgin said in announcing the recognition.
Pahl is leading the Raptors with an average of 19.6 points per game.
East Ridge took on Stillwater on Tuesday, after the Bulletin went to press. Virgin said the Ponies are a good-shooting team and very athletic.
The Raptors aren’t looking past the Park game, either.
“Park is a big physical team,” Virgin said. “They have a lot of players with good skills. They always play hard and give us all sorts of trouble. I hope we will respond to the challenges this week.”