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Brown, Raptors romp in record-setting win

East Ridge junior forward Courtney Brown Jr. swoops in for two of his school record-setting 39 points early in the second half against White Bear Lake Jan. 23, 2018, in the Raptors's 100-59 triumph. John Molene / Sports writer 1 / 3
TJ Kelly of East Ridge lowers his shoulder and drives to the basket past a White Bear Lake defender in the second half of East Ridge's 100-59 win Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. John Molene / Sports writer 2 / 3
Senior forward Joey Arndt of the East Ridge Raptors scores in the second half against White Bear Lake. John Molene / Sports writer 3 / 3

Star forward Courtney Brown Jr. took a bow early and headed to the bench, his record-setting night done.

Most of the East Ridge starters and then the first-line backups would join him on the bench, one by one, as the clock ticked down.

But it was the backups-to-the-backups who got the biggest cheer and saved the best for last for the Raptors, scoring the 100th point in the final seconds to cap a 100-59 blowout win over visiting White Bear Lake Tuesday, Jan. 23.

It was the highest point total for the Raptors ever — the 100 point total blowing holes in the school's previous high water mark of 92 points.

It was also a school single-game scoring record for Brown, who scored his 39 points in just about every way possible against the Bears. Brown swooped in and dunked it, layed it up, put back in offensive rebounds, drained short-, medium- and long-range jumpers and added some free throws just for fun.

"Courtney was outstanding," East Ridge head coach Bryce Tesdahl said. "Great individual and team accomplishments. But we were effective today."

"We were just able to get into our spots like we get to in practice," Brown said modestly. "We were just making shots today and we're going to try and continue that the rest of the season."

East Ride sophomore forward Ben Carlson was also in the zone, torching the Bears for 26 points.

"I thought we shared the ball really well," Carlson said. "We got a lot of people in the game, a lot of people scoring."

"We had a really good game tonight," he added. "We just need to keep building off this."

The lopsided win was also the fourth straight and fifth victory in the last six games for the surging Raptors.

"I thought we were sharp and you never know. We had three days off obviously over the weekend and then school closed yesterday and we got about a 30-minute shoot around this morning," Tesdahl said. "So I was kind of interested to see how we'd come out. But we got out right away and started the game on a nice little run and from there I think it built confidence and we got into spots where we've been practicing. But I think this team is coming together a little bit and figuring out where we're good."

East Ridge improved to 11-4 overall and 5-2 in the Suburban East Conference. The Raptors are third in the conference, a game-and-a-half behind league-leading Cretin-Derham Hall (6-0. 12-1) and one game back of archrival Woodbury (6-1, 9-7).

"We're doing pretty good," Brown said. "We can always do better."

White Bear Lake tumbled to 9-7 overall and 3-4 in the league.

East Ridge got off to a fast start and was never headed in Tuesday's game. The Raptors led 47-31 at the half and the only suspense in the second half was whether East Ridge would crack 100. They did.

East Ridge, which prides itself on its defense, has averaged more than 88 points in its last three outings.

East Ridge plays at Mounds View (2-5, 4-11) on Friday, Jan. 26, then hosts top-ranked Cretin-Derham Hall in a SEC showdown Tuesday, Jan. 30.

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