New Life Academy won't rest on its laurels after achieving its winningest regular season under boys' basketball head coach Doug Linton. A win Tuesday, Feb. 28, over Providence Academy 79-51 concluded a 23-3 regular season for the Eagles. It marked a program-high 23 regular season wins, one better than last year's 22-5 campaign. "It was pretty nice to see them get 23 wins this year," Linton said. "Hopefully, there will be a few more."
Carly Hager led New Life Academy with 17 points in a 56-39 win against St. Paul Academy to end the regular season. NLA also had Bethany Brocker in double figures with 15 points Saturday, Feb. 25, as the Eagles secured a No. 9 seed for the Class 2A, Section 4 tournament. The Eagles (11-15, 6-7 Minnesota Christian Athletic Association) are scheduled to open the 18-team tournament on the road at Trinity School at River Ridge (12-14, 5-8 MCAA) at 7 p.m. Thursday. Whoever wins will visit top-seeded Minnehaha Academy at 7 p.m. Saturday.
East Ridge kept gaining steam for a strong postseason with a 36-25 win against Chaska-Chanhassen. Despite a deadlock of seven individual match wins between the two teams, the Raptors found a way past the Stormhawks Thursday, Feb. 9. It came down to bonus points. "We fought and found ways to score bonus points and save bonus points," East Ridge coach Matt Everson said.
Not even a typically hostile environment can slow down New Life Academy in its unbeaten conference start. The Eagles made the trip west of the metro to Lester Prairie and beat Lester Prairie-Holy Trinity 62-36 on Jan. 17. The Bulldogs typically give road teams a hard time. “Historically it has been a tough place to play,” Eagles coach Doug Linton said. “It’s a long road trip, and you do on Tuesday night, the middle of your week. It’s never easy.”
Goaltender Anna Julius picked up her first career varsity girls’ hockey win as Woodbury downed Rochester Mayo 5-2. Julius stopped 19 shots in net for the Royals as her team rebounded from an early first-period score by the Spartans on Thursday. Julius finished with a .905 save percentage. “It’s really nice to see the girls get a win for the effort that they’ve been putting in and how much they’ve improved,” Royals coach Chris Lepper said.
Led by Kyle Kaemingk’s game-high 23 points, New Life Academy stayed tied for the top spot in the Minnesota Christian Athletic Association. Kaemingk led the Eagles to a 60-56 road win Thursday, Jan. 12, at Southwest Christian in Chaska. Both the Stars and Eagles came in vying for a first-place spot in the conference. “It was one of those games where it seemed like we could never quite put them away,” Eagles coach Doug Linton said.
win total for team wrestling duels for the season in one day. “Earlier in the season, we were very inexperienced, so we’re starting to see the fruits of our labor take off,” Raptors coach Matt Everson said. “These kids are learning positions and what to do in different situations where they find themselves in and we worked on, which is great.”
While Woodbury has yet to find the net in the new year, the Royals will get rematches with a couple of opponents that squeaked by the Royals earlier this winter. Woodbury (1-14), 0-9 Suburban East Conference) gave SEC front-runner Mounds View (11-4, 8-1) a scare on Dec. 3 when the Royals scored late in a 2-1 loss. The Royals will get another shot at the Mustangs on Saturday at the Schwan Super Rink. “Every game, we’re getting stronger in certain areas that we need to,” Royals coach Chris Lepper said. “We’re starting to make strides towards to where we want to be.”
Rachel Hakes stepped up for Woodbury in a crucial Suburban East Conference road win over Mounds View to keep things in even in the win-loss column. Hakes led the Royals with 23 points as her team beat the Mustangs 62-41 on Friday. The Royals took control of a 29-24 game with a 33-17 second half. “We played loose and had balanced scoring from multiple players,” Royals coach Megan Kirchenwitz said. “We were able to adjust and to both man and zone and execute our offensive looks.”
Carson Lesher, Hunter Lyden, Roman Rogotzke and Marco Cavallaro all won individual titles for East Ridge at the Hopkins Paul Bengtson Tournament on Saturday. It helped the Raptors take fifth as a team in the 12-team tournament with 112.5 points. Lakeville South won the tourney with 193 points. Lesher won the 170-pound title in an 8-6 decision over Phil Skeps of St. Thomas Academy. The Raptors senior improved to 17-3 overall with the wins at Hopkins. He beat Irving Sereno of North St. Paul in a fall at 1:01 to advance to the championship.