John Molene / contributor
Woodbury got off to a strong start, but faded down the stretch Friday, Jan. 19, in a 69-53 loss to eighth-ranked Cretin-Derham Hall. The Royals led 8-3 early and were still in striking distance at the half, trailing 31-24, and with seven minutes to play, down just 51-45. But the Raiders finished strongly, outscoring the host Royals 18-8 over the game's final seven minutes to make the final score look more lopsided than the game really was. League-leading Cretin improved to 7-1 in the Suburban East Conference and 11-3 on the season.
It was lather, rinse and repeat for the South Washington County Thunderbolts Thursday afternoon, Jan. 18. The Thunderbolts improved to 3-0 on the season with another impressive early-season outing, swamping Owatonna 18-5 in adapted floor hockey in the Park High School gym. The Thunderbolts came in with lopsided wins over South Suburban (18-5) and Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville (17-8) to start the season. Thursday's game was more of the same. South Washington County jumped out to a 12-1 lead after one period and never looked back.
Park rallied from a 2-0 deficit after two periods to score a 3-2 win over rival East Ridge in a wild Suburban East Conference contest Thursday, Jan. 18, at the Cottage Grove Ice Arena. The Wolfpack pushed three goals across in the third period, including the game winner by Keegan Oberding with 3:07 to play. Park scored twice in the last 4:25 to earn the hard-fought win. "We wanted it a lot more," Oberding said. "We came out harder than them and we battled." Matt Moreland scored both of Park's other goals.
Park's Wolfpack awoke from a sleepy first half with a 22-2 run to open the second and take a 48-27 win over host East Ridge in Suburban East Conference girls basketball Tuesday, Jan. 16. Winless East Ridge got off to a fast start, jumping out to leads of 8-0 and 11-2 before the Wolfpack could get their footing. The Raptors played one of their best first halves of the season, said head coach Glen Wurm, and led 19-15 at the break.
East Ridge sophomore forward Fiona Claugherty scored a hat trick as the Raptors made it a girls' hockey season sweep over archrival Woodbury Saturday evening, Jan. 13, at Bielenberg Arena, winning 7-1. It was a similar game to the first time the two teams played this season, a 7-2 win by the Raptors back on Nov.
New Life Academy battled all the way back from a 13-point second-half deficit Friday, Jan. 12, only to fall victim to a last-seconds shot in a tough 65-64 loss to visiting Southwest Christian. It was a tough home-court loss for the Eagles who rallied from way back to take a 64-63 lead with 25 seconds left. "It was a really tough one," Eagles head coach Kory Kiekhoefer said. "Our mission after this one is we're on to the next one. To us it's only losing if you're not learning. We're going to learn from this, learn from the mistakes that we made in this one.
Park and visiting Woodbury skated to a 2-2 overtime in a match of numerous twist and turns in the Cottage Grove Ice Arena Saturday afternoon, Jan. 6. Woodbury's Zach Lenz slammed in the game-tying goal with just nine seconds remaining to lift the Royals into the tie. Neither team could manage a score in overtime. Park came into Saturday's game on a four-game winning streak and a 5-0-1 record in its last six games. Woodbury has been slowly improving from a rugged -7 start with two wins in its last four games. But Saturday the two rivals were fit to be tied.
Tied at 42-all with 9:38 to play, Woodbury dominated the last nine and a half minutes to pull away from visiting Blooming Kennedy in girls basketball Wednesday, Dec. 20. The Royals outscored the visitors 24-9 down the stretch to earn the 67-51 non-conference victory.
It took the Woodbury Royals a while to figure things out. They trailed 17-9 early and 30-21 at the half. But when the Royals figured out how to roll, they rocked it. Woodbury outscored host Apple Valley 37-25 in the second half to take a come-from-behind 58-55 victory over the Eagles Friday, Dec. 8. It was Woodbury's first win of the young season and gave looks of both how young the Royals are and how much potential there is on this team. The Royals have just two seniors on the roster, both starters, and add a junior and two sophomores to the starting lineup.
Sixth-ranked East Ridge put five players in double figures and romped to a convincing 86-41 win over visiting Minneapolis Southwest as the Raptors opened the home season in a rare Wednesday game. New head coach Bryce Tesdahl got his first win at the school as East Ridge evened its season record at 1-1. The Raptors then improved to 2-1 with a 71-66 win over Chanhassen on Friday, Dec. 8.