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East Ridge falls to Roseville in Section AAAA quarterfinal

East Ridge senior John Hietpas drives toward the basket in the second half of the Raptors' 91-81 loss to Roseville in a Section 4AAAA quarterfinal in Roseville. Bulletin photo by Scott Wente1 / 3
East Ridge junior Justin Pahl flips the ball behind his back while on a fast-break during the Raptor's 91-81 loss Friday to the Roseville Raiders. Pahl led East Ridge with 25 points. Bulletin photo by Scott Wente2 / 3
Senior Dillon Johnson goes up for two of his 14 points in East Ridge's Section 4AAAA loss to Roseville Friday. Bulletin photo by Scott Wente3 / 3

The East Ridge boys basketball team's season ended Friday in a 91-81 loss to the Roseville Raiders in a Section 4AAAA quarterfinal at Roseville.

The three-seed Raiders opened strong offensively and led by 13 at one point in the first half while employing a tight defense that forced turnovers and rattled the Raptors. East Ridge gained composure and brought the deficit to within 3 points near the end of the first half, but Roseville standout senior Lucas Brown's buzzer-beating jumper gave the Raiders momentum and a 48-43 lead at the half.

The second half saw another run by Roseville and the Raiders stretched their lead to as many as 18 points. But key shots by the Raptors' Justin Pahl and John Heitpas helped to tighten the game. East Ridge, seeded sixth in the section tournament, pulled to within 8 points at 87-79 with just over a minute remaining, but Roseville's aggressive play inside was too much for the Raptors.

"They had some plays tonight," Raptors head coach Paul Virgin said. "We tried hard, but just didn't have an answer."

Pahl led the Raptors with 25 points, including key 3-pointers that kept East Ridge in the hunt. Hietpas added 17 points and Dillon Johnson scored 14. Adam Schwartz had 11 points and Dayo Idowu added 6 points. Jake Coquyt and Brian Rieck scored 5 points and 3 points, respectively.

The Raiders' David Stanley led all scorers with 27 points. Brown, a Division 1 recruit, added 24 points for Roseville.

The loss marked the end of just the second season for the young East Ridge program.

See the upcoming print edition of the South Washington County Bulletin for a wrap-up of the Raptors' second season.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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