East Ridge girls basketball: Raptors fall to Forest Lake, Mounds ViewDespite a valiant effort and hopes to continue their success after celebrating a victorious match against Hastings back on Feb. 10, the East Ridge girls basketball team suffered two consecutive defeats last week.
By: Breeanna Jent, South Washington County Bulletin
Despite a valiant effort and hopes to continue their success after celebrating a victorious match against Hastings back on Feb. 10, the East Ridge girls basketball team suffered two consecutive defeats last week.
East Ridge, which holds an 8-16 record and a 3-13 conference standing as they enter the final two matches of the regulation season, fell to Suburban East Conference opponents Forest Lake and Mounds View in its last two games.
In Tuesday’s match against Forest Lake (13-11; 8-8 SEC), the Raptors played a strong first half, trailing behind six points at half time. Despite standout performances from junior Brianna Walker and sophomore Jamie Swanson, who scored 10 points each for the Raptors throughout the game, along with the help of teammates including freshman Amanda Robinson and junior Courtney Keefe, who both netted five points in the match, the Raptors couldn’t overtake the Rangers in the second half. Forest Lake led by 12 points as the buzzer sounded and East Ridge lost the match 54-42.
The Raptors then traveled to Mounds View (19-5; 13-3 SEC) on Friday evening to take on the Mustangs in their last match of the week. Mounds View netted in 28 points, overshadowing the Raptors’ 16 points, in the first half. The Raptors battled back during the second half and shot in 26 points, closing the Mustangs’ lead. Unfortunately East Ridge’s attempts to tie the score were thwarted by Mounds View defense, and the Raptors trailed a mere five points at the end of the game, losing 47-42.
Walker led the team in points scored, with 11. She was followed by senior Katie Hagberg, who netted nine, and Swanson, who scored eight.
Raptors head coach Glen Wurm said he and the team felt that Friday night’s game against the Mustangs was a much more competitive match than Tuesday’s game against Forest Lake.
Collectively, Wurm said the team felt as though their efforts against the Rangers on Tuesday “fell a little bit flat,” a first for the Raptors this season.
“We competed really hard,” Wurm said of the match against Mounds View. “We’ve talked a number of times throughout the season about the importance of competing and going as hard as you can. Even if it turns out that you just didn’t have enough shots, you can still walk away with a feeling of success knowing that you played your hardest.”
East Ridge met No. 9 ranked Roseville (21-3; 14-2) on Tuesday, Feb. 21, after the Bulletin went to print. They will compete against Cretin-Derham Hall (9-15; 5-11) on Friday, Feb. 24 in the final match of the season before heading to sections on Feb. 29.
To prepare for these games, Wurm said that the importance of shooting baskets and capitalizing upon chances to score are going to be the key to winning, and would continue to be emphasized in practices. He also said that the Raptors were well aware of the strength of these teams, especially Roseville, who stand at the top of the conference.
“Defensively, we’re fine,” Wurm said. “We’re not a big team, and we have some struggles at times with larger teams, but at the end of the night we just have to find a way to generate more offense and put the points on the board.”
Still, Wurm maintains that the most important part of the game is putting in every last ounce of effort.
“As you go through these seasons, you create memories,” Wurm said. “The most memorable moments are the ones where you know you competed really hard.”