The East Ridge girls basketball team struggled to win games this past week as they went head to head with fellow Suburban East Conference rivals Park (5-2, 3-0 SEC) on Tuesday, Dec. 13 and White Bear Lake (5-2, 2-1 SEC) on Friday, Dec. 16.
The losses dropped East Ridge to a 3-4 record overall and a 0-3 standing in the Suburban East Conference.
During Tuesday night's game against Park, the home-team Raptors fell behind early on in the first half after the Wolfpack netted a ball within the first few minutes of the game. East Ridge senior forward Kelsey Basten put the Raptors on the board after she shot and made a basket with 12:40 left in the first half. Senior center Katie Hagberg, junior guard Brianna Walker and freshman guard Ali Robinson also scored for the Raptors in the first half. However, East Ridge was unable to catch up and tie the game and the first half ended with a 19-11 score for Park.
The second half saw more baskets for the Raptors, with senior guard Allison Berry scoring a basket in the first 45 seconds of the latter half of the match. The Raptors and the Wolfpack took turns netting in shots throughout much of the second period. East Ridge came close to tying the game more than once, but the Raptors offense was stifled by strong defense from the Wolfpack. Park was able to hold East Ridge back and the Raptors lost 48-29.
"We played well defensively and accomplished what we wanted, but offensively we really struggled. Poor decisions, recognition of defenses and turnovers really cost us an opportunity to win," Raptors head coach Glen Wurm said.
Wurm added that the Raptors' 19-point loss does not demonstrate how close the game was, however.
"Whether we lose by 5 or 55 makes little difference, it's still a loss," Wurm said.
Hagberg led the way for the Raptors' offensively with 10 points, followed by sophomore forward Jamie Swanson with seven.
Unfortunately during Friday's game against host White Bear Lake, East Ridge was unable to bounce back from the loss to Park.
The Bears overtook East Ridge in the first half and the Raptors struggled to even the score. As the buzzer rang at the end of the first half East Ridge trailed the powerhouse Bears by 29 points.
Though White Bear Lake (5-2; 2-1 SEC) continued their assault on the Raptors in the second half, East Ridge netted in six free throws by Walker, Hagberg and Swanson. Basten and junior forward Ellen Wiggins shot in baskets during the second half for East Ridge, but it wasn't enough to overtake the Bears and win the game. The final score was 57-18 and the Raptors left defeated. Walker had a team-high six points in the loss.
East Ridge hosted Irondale (2-4) at the "Raptors Perch" in a non-conference game on Tuesday, after the Bulletin went to print. On Friday, the Raptors travel to Inver Grove Heights to take on the Simley Spartans (5-0) in another non-conference match.