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Boys Basketball: East Ridge fights off No. 9 Edina

Kendall Brown scored a team-high 24 points on Friday, Feb. 1 as East Ridge knocked off No. 9 Edina 72-68 at Edina High School. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 4
Konner Ware led the Eagles with a team-high 16 points on Thursday, Jan. 31 as New Life Academy lost 58-55 to Legacy Christian at New Life Academy. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 4
Ben Carlson had a strong night with 16 points as East Ridge won 72-68 at Edina High School on Friday, Feb. 1. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia 3 / 4
Soren Hoien had a strong night with 12 points Thursday, Jan. 31. Legacy Christian won 58-55 at New Life Academy. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia 4 / 4

 Twelve games.

That's how long the winning streak is for East Ridge. But the streak doesn't matter to head coach Bryce Tesdahl. The confidence and the team chemistry is what matters the most to him.

On Friday, the fourth-ranked Raptors traveled to No. 9 Edina in a battle of top 10 teams.

With about 10 seconds left in the game, East Ridge was fouled and went to the line for free throws. While the team was walking across the court, Tesdahl and the Raptor bench knew the win was locked in.

There was a small fist pump from Tesdahl because he knew it wasn't a perfect night, but he also knew how hard his players worked to come out with the important win.

"It might not have been the best shooting night for us, but we found other ways to win," Tesdahl said. "We had a strong defense that stopped some key plays and transitions and that well-rounded game allowed us to earn the win. I couldn't be more proud of our players."

It wasn't a great offensive night for the Raptors as East Ridge missed many easy shots during the first half. It might have been some rust from several days of no school, but something didn't look right with the team.

At the half, the conversation in the locker room was simple. Ben Carlson said that Tesdahl told everyone to keep shooting the same shots because they will fall eventually.

They did just that and East Ridge started finding its groove with big stops that prevented Edina to get on runs and become more confident.

"It just wasn't our half in the first half," Carlson said. "Luckily, we were able to refocus in the second half and find ways to pull out the victory. It was a big road win for us heading into the second half of the conference season."

Carlson finished the night with 16 points, while Kendall Brown led the Raptors with 24 points. Zach Zebrowski might have only had seven points in the game, but he had many other plays to allow East Ridge to maintain its lead.

Zebrowski was in total control in the second half, while he called out plays and found the open player for the easy shot. Tesdahl said he trusts Zebrowski on the court to make the right decision and it's a great feeling to have as a coach with him out there.

Zebrowski also enjoys having the ball and making the plays on the court. It reminds him of another sport he plays.

"As a quarterback, I feel comfortable with the ball in my hands and making decisions to throw or run," Zebrowski said. "That's the same in basketball because I know any player I pass the ball to can and will make a play for us."

East Ridge won't have much time to regroup from the win before playing another top 10 team. The Raptors will host No. 7 Wayzata at the Perch on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. to see if the streak can reach 13 games.

After that game, the Raptors will return to their conference schedule for the second half the season.

Saturday

Southwest Christian 66, New Life Academy 57

After a big win on Thursday night, New Life Academy wasn't able to capture another win on Saturday as Southwest Christian won 66-57.

The Eagles will travel to PACT Charter School on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday

Stillwater 64, Park 59

It was a close game on Friday night, but Stillwater finished on top with a 64-59 final score over Park.

Charlie Gorres led the Wolfpack with 21 points, while Domenik Block ended right behind him with 19 points.

Park will travel to Brooklyn Center on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m.

Thursday

Legacy Christian 58, New Life Academy 55

It came down to the wire, but Legacy Christian was able to hold onto the victory after a 58-55 overtime win over New Life Academy on Thursday night.

It was team effort on Thursday as three players reached double-digits in points. Konner Ware led the Eagles with 16 points.

Soren Hoien was dominant from outside the arc with 12 points and became the new 3-pointer, while Kollin Kaemingk was battling an injury on Thursday night.

Cooper St. Cyr also finished the game with 11 points. The focus is on these games for the Eagles as Legacy is a conference opponent, but the loss will only motivate the players for the next game.

New Life will travel to Southwest Christian on Saturday, Feb. 2 to try and get back on the win column.

Brian Mozey

I am the sports writer for the Woodbury Bulletin and South Washington County Bulletin. I'm a graduate from the Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Iowa State University and have always had a passion for sports since a young age. Whether it was watching or playing sports, I always knew sports would be in my career. I've been born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis and look forward to continuing to learn more about the Woodbury and Cottage Grove area throughout my time in this position. 

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