New Life Academy won't rest on its laurels after achieving its winningest regular season under boys' basketball head coach Doug Linton. A win Tuesday, Feb. 28, over Providence Academy 79-51 concluded a 23-3 regular season for the Eagles. It marked a program-high 23 regular season wins, one better than last year's 22-5 campaign. "It was pretty nice to see them get 23 wins this year," Linton said. "Hopefully, there will be a few more."
New Life Academy didn't get to dethrone the regular season conference champion, but the Eagles made a convincing run to the league tournament title nonetheless. The Eagles broke a 33-33 halftime tie to beat Maranatha Christian Academy 67-59 for the Minnesota Christian Athletic Association boys' basketball tournament title Saturday. The Eagles pulled away in the second half at Crown College in St. Bonifacius, two days after routing Southwest Christian.
Carly Hager led New Life Academy with 17 points in a 56-39 win against St. Paul Academy to end the regular season. NLA also had Bethany Brocker in double figures with 15 points Saturday, Feb. 25, as the Eagles secured a No. 9 seed for the Class 2A, Section 4 tournament. The Eagles (11-15, 6-7 Minnesota Christian Athletic Association) are scheduled to open the 18-team tournament on the road at Trinity School at River Ridge (12-14, 5-8 MCAA) at 7 p.m. Thursday. Whoever wins will visit top-seeded Minnehaha Academy at 7 p.m. Saturday.
East Ridge kept gaining steam for a strong postseason with a 36-25 win against Chaska-Chanhassen. Despite a deadlock of seven individual match wins between the two teams, the Raptors found a way past the Stormhawks Thursday, Feb. 9. It came down to bonus points. "We fought and found ways to score bonus points and save bonus points," East Ridge coach Matt Everson said.
Led by Kyle Kaemingk’s game-high 23 points, New Life Academy stayed tied for the top spot in the Minnesota Christian Athletic Association. Kaemingk led the Eagles to a 60-56 road win Thursday, Jan. 12, at Southwest Christian in Chaska. Both the Stars and Eagles came in vying for a first-place spot in the conference. “It was one of those games where it seemed like we could never quite put them away,” Eagles coach Doug Linton said.
win total for team wrestling duels for the season in one day. “Earlier in the season, we were very inexperienced, so we’re starting to see the fruits of our labor take off,” Raptors coach Matt Everson said. “These kids are learning positions and what to do in different situations where they find themselves in and we worked on, which is great.”
Carson Lesher, Hunter Lyden, Roman Rogotzke and Marco Cavallaro all won individual titles for East Ridge at the Hopkins Paul Bengtson Tournament on Saturday. It helped the Raptors take fifth as a team in the 12-team tournament with 112.5 points. Lakeville South won the tourney with 193 points. Lesher won the 170-pound title in an 8-6 decision over Phil Skeps of St. Thomas Academy. The Raptors senior improved to 17-3 overall with the wins at Hopkins. He beat Irving Sereno of North St. Paul in a fall at 1:01 to advance to the championship.
Several East Ridge wrestlers are off to strong starts this season despite some losses in team duals recently. East Ridge (1-3, 0-2 Suburban East Conference) fell to Maple Grove 42-29 and Forest Lake 51-24 in a home triangular Thursday. As a team, the Raptors have injuries and youth to work past. While head coach Matt Everson said there are times where the inexperience shows, tough opponents give his team a barometer.
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