It was an exciting but unfortunate week for the East Ridge Raptors girls basketball team, which once again found itself suffering another round of unsuccessful matches last week.
After swallowing conference losses to White Bear Lake and intra-district rival Woodbury, the Raptors went on to host the Apple Valley Eagles on Saturday in a fruitless non-conference game that left the Raptors defeated.
East Ridge's seven game losing streak leaves the Raptors at an overall 7-14 standing and a 2-11 ranking in the Suburban East Conference.
The Raptors were ready to turn their season around when the competition against 10th-ranked White Bear Lake (15-6; 11-2 SEC) set off on Tuesday, Jan. 31. East Ridge dug deep to battle against fierce defense by the Bears in the last minutes of the first period, netting in four points before freshman Amanda Robinson shot in two free throws in the last forty seconds to tie the score 26-26 at the half.
East Ridge head coach Glen Wurm stated that the Raptors "executed offense well and played solid defensively in the first half," remarking that East Ridge was aware that the second half would be much more difficult than the first.
White Bear Lake opened the second half by scoring three points in the first two minutes to give them the lead once more over the Raptors. Though East Ridge made many valiant attempts to catch up and turn the game around in their favor, the Bears refused to give up their lead. By the last minute of the game, White Bear Lake was ahead by 15 points. East Ridge lost the game with a final score of 59-45.
Friday's game against Woodbury was a chance for the Raptors to beat their district rival for the second time this season. However, a strong second half helped Woodbury (6-14; 3-10 SEC) earn revenge.
The match started in East Ridge's favor when senior Katie Hagberg netted in a basket that set the Raptors ahead 2-0. Woodbury tied the game 4-4 at 12:51 after Woodbury junior Courtney Schiffler shot in a three-point basket. East Ridge came back just seconds later thanks to a basket made by junior Brianna Walker, but it would be the last time in the game that the Raptors would have the lead. Woodbury led once more at 6:23 before East Ridge came back to tie the score 10-10 at 2:59, but the Raptors couldn't hold on and the Royals took the game at 2:53 and wouldn't let go. As the buzzer rang on the first half, East Ridge trailed 19-15.
Much like Tuesday's match, the Raptors found themselves unable to play a strong enough game in the second half and struggled against aggressive Royals offense and defense. Woodbury started the scoring in the second half after junior Kristina White netted a three-point basket. East Ridge responded with a basket of their own, netted by senior Allison Berry, to bring the score 22-18 for Woodbury, but the Royals continued their assault and racked up a total of 37 points in the second half to East Ridge's 23. East Ridge lost the match, 56-38.
The Raptors then hosted the Eagles of Apple Valley (11-9) in a non-conference game on Saturday afternoon, leading the first half until 8:22 when Apple Valley tied the score 8-8. The Eagles overcame the Raptors seconds later with a 3-point basket to give them a lead that the Raptors couldn't get back.
At the end of the first half, the Eagles were ahead by nine points. By the middle of the second half, the Raptors trailed by seven in a 39-32 score with 8:15 left in the game. Walker scored two points for the Raptors at 6:29 and shot in a free throw at 6:28 to bring the score up to 41-35, but Apple Valley was able to break past Raptors defense in the last six minutes to score 12 points. Walker scored the last points of the game for East Ridge with 55 seconds left in the competition, and East Ridge was defeated 53-38. Walker led Saturday's game in scoring with 11 points.
The Raptors are set to host the Hastings Raiders (2-18; 0-13 SEC) on Friday, Feb. 9.