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East Ridge boys golf: Raptors win conference tourney, finish second overall

The East Ridge boys golf team earned first place in last week's Suburban East Conference Championship Tournament, held Wednesday, May 22, at Indian Hills Golf Club in Stillwater, and came just one point shy of winning the overall SEC championship crown.

East Ridge scored a 297 as a team and earned the maximum 18 points in the final conference competition of the season, finishing with 46.5 points on the year. Hastings won the overall SEC championship title with 47.5 points, earning second place at the conference tournament with a 303. Forest Lake was third in the overall standings with 43 points. Mounds View, which finished seventh in the 10-team conference, took third place in the final tournament with a 304. Had the Mustangs shot two strokes fewer and edged Hastings for second place, East Ridge would've been conference champs.

At the SEC Championship Tournament, senior captain Brady Hanson led the way with an even-par 72. Fellow senior Logan Delaney carded the Raptors' second-best score on the day with a 73. Another senior, Travis Dorf, carded a 76, as did sophomore John Haering to round out the Raptors' top four scorers for the tournament.

On the year, the Raptors had four golfers earn all-conference awards for the season. Hanson and Delaney each earned all-conference, as did junior Sam Cowley. Haering earned all-conference honorable mention. Overall, Hanson finished in second place as an individual in conference scoring.

East Ridge will be one of the favorites to win this year's Section 3AAA Championship Tournament. The two-day tournament begins Wednesday at Goodrich Golf Course in St. Paul and finishes up at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids on Friday. Out of section play, only one team advances to state, based on the two-day total, along with five individuals not on the top team.

Last year, Hanson and Dorf represented the Raptors at the state tournament. This year, they hope to bring the whole team along for the ride.

A year ago, East Ridge was the surprise team of sections. In the two-day, 36-hole tourney, the Raptors held a four-stroke lead after the first day, shooting a 309 at Keller Golf Course in St. Paul. However, East Ridge shot a 322 on the second day at Bunker Hills to finish runner-up with an overall score of 631 - five strokes back of section champion Eagan, which shot 626.

At last year's state tournament, which is held annually at Bunker Hills, Dorf finished in a six-way tie for 42nd place out of 88 competitors with a two-day 158 on the par-72 course. Hanson was a stroke back, in a seven-way tie for 48th place with a 159.