John Molene / Sports Writer
WOODBURY — East Ridge junior Carter Smith had two individual wins, and a leg on a winning relay, to help lead the Raptors past Park in a dual swim meet Thursday at Woodbury Middle School. East Ridge won the meet, 101-73, improving to 5-1 in dual meets this season. The Raptors went 1-2-3 in the butterfly and also scored big points in the backstroke, individual medley and 200 freestyle relay to distance themselves from the Wolfpack.
INVER GROVE HEIGHTS — East Ridge battled, but top-seeded Eagan skated into the Section 3AA championship with a 2-0 win over the Raptors Saturday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Community Center in Inver Grove Heights. Eagan (21-5-2) will play South Suburban Conference rival Apple Valley (12-14-1) for the section title Wednesday. East Ridge ends its season with a 13-14 record.
Park's girls hockey season came to a sudden end as the third-seeded Wolfpack were upset by sixth-seeded Eastview 4-1 in the first round of Section 3AA play Wednesday at Cottage Grove Ice Arena. Park ended its season with a 13-12-1 record. Eastview (8-16-2) advances to the section semifinals for a game against second-seeded Apple Valley (13-13-1). Apple Valley edged Hastings 3-2 Wednesday. In Section 4AA girls hockey, seventh-seeded Woodbury dropped a 5-0 decision to second-seeded Mounds View at Aldrich Arena Saturday afternoon.
WOODBURY — Host East Ridge put a late-game scare into visiting St. Paul Central in a rare Wednesday evening game, only to fall 59-52. The Raptors cut a 12-point second-half deficit down to five points with 36 seconds remaining, but could come no closer. It was also East Ridge's first game without sophomore center and leading scorer Kate Burns, who will miss the rest of the season with a fractured bone in her foot. Burns has battled through the injury all season before the pain got to great to continue.
Woodbury's Royals broke a five-game losing streak in dramatic fashion Friday night, outlasting visiting No.10 Roseville in a 61-55 double-overtime win. Star senior point guard Rachel Hakes made 7 of 8 free throws and sophomore guard Carley West scored five points in the second overtime to lift the Royals to the victory. Woodbury (10-10, 6-5) came into Friday's game with five straight losses, including tough three-point defeats at Edina and Forest Lake, and a two-point loss on the road at Hudson.
WOODBURY — Junior forward Erin Glancey put in two goals to lead East Ridge to a 3-1 win over Park at Bielenberg Arena Saturday evening in the regular-season finale for both teams. After a 1-1 tie in the first period, East Ridge took a 2-1 lead into the final minute, then scored the clinching goal on an empty net tally. It was the fourth straight win for the Raptors and sends the team into the section playoffs on a high note. Both teams came in skating well. While East Ridge had won three straight, Park had won four of its last five.
COTTAGE GROVE — Park's Mandy Hafner and Brenna Sommerland finished 1-2 in the all-around to lead the Wolfpack to a dual meet win over visiting Woodbury Friday. Park won the competition, 136.5 to 126.775 for the Royals. Hafner edged Sommerland for the all-around title, 35.725 to 35.425. Ella Endrizzi of Woodbury was third in the all-around with a score of 32.650. Sydne Blahnik of Park was fourth with a 31.550, followed by Woodbury's Emma Golden (31.225) and Michelle Kittelson (29.650).
Whatever tonic head coach Kory Kiekhoefer was selling at halftime, he should bottle it and patent it. After a listless effort in the first half and staring at a 38-26 halftime deficit, New Life Academy's Eagles stormed back to win a 68-60 thriller in overtime Thursday, Feb. 1.
Cretin-Derham Hall came into the game at East Ridge ranked No.1 in the state and looked the part Tuesday evening, Jan. 30. Led by University of Minnesota-bound center Daniel Oturu, the Raiders overwhelmed a good Raptors effort, winning 85-63. Cretin improved to 15-1 on the season and a perfect 9-0 in the Suburban East Conference. What Oturu didn't throw down, Cretin teammates Sy Chatman, Jaeden King and Ryan Larson did, combining for 48 points to Oturu's game-high 25.
On a day where Park's wrestlers wouldn't be denied, the Wolfpack won three straight matches including dramatic last-match victories over rivals Woodbury and East Ridge in a four-team meet Thursday, Jan. 25, at Cottage Grove. Park got past St. Paul Central 48-36 in round one, defeated Woodbury 43-36 in the second round and then edged East Ridge 41-36 in a third-round thriller. In the other duals, East Ridge easily topped Woodbury 54-21 and St. Paul Central 65-12. Woodbury rolled against St. Paul Central, winning 69-12.