John Molene / Sports Writer
Woodbury advanced to the semifinals of the Section 4AAAA girls basketball tournament, but it wasn't as easy as the Royals might have liked. Woodbury trailed 40-37 with 7:26 to play before pulling away down the stretch for a 50-44 victory Wednesday, Feb. 28. The Royals outscored the Minutemen 13-4 over the game's final seven and a half minutes to earn the win.
WOODBURY — It wasn't the best win of the season for the New Life Eagles, but it was an important one. New Life dispatched visiting Concordia Academy 45-37 in the final regular-season home game of the season. The Eagles rebounded from a 72-54 loss at Maranatha Christian Academy Saturday that snapped a seven-game winning streak.
WOODBURY — East Ridge, Park and Woodbury each crowned two champions Saturday in the 2018 Class AAA, Section 3 individual wrestling tournament Saturday at East Ridge. Heading to state as section champions are Woodbury's Cole West at 113 pounds and sophomore Brock Rinehart at 145, Park senior Garrett Whitehead at 160 pounds and sophomore Antonio Davis at 220 pounds and East Ridge eighth-grader Hunter Lyden at 120 pounds and freshman Roman Rogotzke at 132 pounds.
MINNEAPOLIS — Fourth in the section meet a week ago, Park junior Brenna Sommerland was first in the state Saturday night. Sommerland won a Class AA girls gymnastics championship on the balance beam Saturday night in the MSHSL state meet at Maturi Pavilion on the University of Minnesota campus. Sommerland wowed the beam judges, scoring a 9.7, two 9.65s, and a 9.6 for a 9.65 final score. "I think I'm pretty confident in what I went out and did today," said Sommerland. "I'm happy about it."
APPLE VALLEY — Woodbury junior Timothy Rizzo won the 500-yard freestyle, while East Ridge junior Carter Smith took the 200 individual medley and classmate Casey McGrath won the 100 freestyle to highlight efforts by area swimmers in the 2018 MSHSL Boys Section 3AA Championships Friday. McGrath outdueled Woodbury's Lukas Hruby to win the 100 freestyle in 48.64 seconds. Eagan repeated as the Section 3AA team champions, winning the title with 463 points in the meet held at Blue Water Aquatic Center in Apple Valley.
MINNEAPOLIS — East Ridge finished fifth in the state in the Class AA gymnastics team event held Friday. It was the third-straight, top-eight finish at state for the Raptors. East Ridge was seventh last season and finished third two years ago. Stillwater won the team title with 150.25 points, followed by: Lakeville North, 149.7; Owatonna, 148.7; Champlin Park, 147.975; East Ridge, 146.150; Eden Prairie, 145.700; Cambridge-Isanti, 144.675; and St. Cloud Tech, 143.8.
Tyler Tinucci powered in five goals and the South Washington County Thunderbolts rolled to their 11th straight win of the adapted floor hockey season Wednesday, Feb. 21. The Thunderbolts dispatched visiting Dakota United, winning 11-2 in the Park High School gym. South Washington County improved to 11-0 on the season. The win clinched the CI South Division regular-season title for the Thunderbolts.
Sophomore forward Marco Troje scored a hat trick, including the game-winning goal in overtime, to lead a surging East Ridge to a 4-3 win over Park in the Section 3AA play-in game at the Cottage Grove Ice Arena Tuesday, Feb. 20. “We found a way,” Troje said. “We knew the season was on the line. We had to all buy in.”
Park’s five starting seniors got to end their regular season home careers with a win, but visiting East Ridge made them work for it. Park snapped a two-game losing streak with a 44-33 victory over winless East Ridge Tuesday, Feb. 20, in Suburban East Conference girls basketball.
The first two these two archrivals played this season – a 69-57 Woodbury win at East Ridge back on Jan. 10 – a more experienced Woodbury team took advantage of a still-jelling East Ridge squad. Tuesday night the roles were reversed in a surprisingly lopsided 69-44 East Ridge win in a Suburban East Conference boys basketball game at Woodbury.