East Ridge girls basketball: Raptors sunk by Stillwater, ParkIt was another rough week for the East Ridge girls basketball team, who last week withstood double losses after competing in two conference games against Stillwater and Park.
By: Breeanna Jent, Woodbury Bulletin
It was another rough week for the East Ridge girls basketball team, who last week withstood double losses after competing in two conference games against Stillwater and Park. The Raptors’ losses to the Ponies and the Wolfpack bring East Ridge to a current 7-11 overall record and a 2-9 standing in the Suburban East Conference.
In the match against Stillwater (9-9; 6-5 SEC) on Tuesday, Jan. 24, the Raptors were on top of their game after overtaking Stillwater’s early lead in the first half. With 13:59 left on the clock during the first period, freshman guard Amanda Robinson shot in a three-point basket that brought the Raptors to a 6-3 lead over the Ponies. At 7:36 Stillwater came from behind to tie the score and less than a minute later surpassed East Ridge by netting a two-point basket. With 1:15 left in the first half, it was Raptors sophomore forward Jamie Swanson who put the Raptors back on top after she made a basket to put the score at 20-19 for East Ridge. The Raptors were hanging on with a two-point lead over the Ponies and a 23-21 score when the buzzer rang to call the half.
Throughout the second half, East Ridge and Stillwater traded the ball back and forth and each team continued to rack up the points. With only a minute and a half left in regulation time, Stillwater had a one point lead, which Raptors senior guard Allison Berry tied 47-47 less than a minute later. In the nail-biting final seconds of the match, Stillwater made three of four free throws to bring the score to 50-47. With only six seconds left, Berry netted a free throw to give East Ridge one last point in the game, but Stillwater held East Ridge back just enough to prevent being taken into overtime. Stillwater celebrated a win by a narrow margin, and East Ridge lost 50-48.
Despite the loss, Raptors head coach Glen Wurm said that the girls played well enough to win that night, pointing out their defensive teamwork. He said that the team was comfortable with their defensive playing and felt that they “did a pretty good job throughout the course of the game.”
Wurm added that while the end result of the game was “disappointing” for the Raptors, the team was overall satisfied with the way they played and plan to continue exhibiting strong defense in the season’s upcoming matches.
Later in the week the Raptors traveled to Cottage Grove, where they were hosted by Park (14-5; 9-2 SEC) on Friday night. Unlike their previous match that week, the competition against Park was much less close.
Despite Raptors efforts, Park was able to stave off East Ridge in order to shoot in 27 points in the first half while the Raptors netted 16. After halftime, East Ridge was able to score 17 points, but Park’s additional 24 points brought the Wolfpack to an 18-point lead and a 51-33 final score that night.
“First and foremost, we have to make sure we get shots and don’t turn the ball over,” Wurm said, noting that 11 of the points Park scored over the Raptors in Friday night’s game were due to turnovers given by East Ridge. “For the most part, we’re getting in some shots, but we’re not shooting well.”
Wurm stated that the Raptors are focusing on practicing their offensive strategies and are looking to incorporate sharpened offense into future matches.
For East Ridge, junior guard Courtney Keefe contributed with three points in Friday’s game. She was helped by team members Walker and Berry, who each scored seven points; senior forward Ellen Wiggins, who scored six; junior guard Hannah Pignato, who made two points; and Swanson and Hagberg, scoring four points each.
Park sophomore Sydney Lamberty led the Wolfpack in points scored with 16, followed by junior Larissa Lurken, who contributed 14 points; senior Rachel Kothe, who made eight; sophomore Temi Ogunrinde, who scored five points; and teammates Lauren Rein, Carlie Williams, Courtney Waldo and Jenna Joswiak, who each made two points for the Wolfpack.
On Tuesday, Jan. 31 the Raptors hosted 10th ranked White Bear Lake (13-6; 9-2 SEC) after the Bulletin went to print. On Friday, Feb. 3, East Ridge will travel to Woodbury to face the Royals (5-13; 2-9) and hosts section rival Apple Valley (9-8) in a non-conference match on Saturday, Feb. 4.