East Ridge 74, Eastview 67
At the beginning of this game, East Ridge head coach Bryce Tesdahl knew there would have to be second options to winning the Friday night game.
At the start, nothing was falling for the Raptors as baskets that East Ridge regularly makes weren't converting. This led to figuring out a different ways to win and the Raptors did just that earning the 74-67 win on Friday night concluding the holiday tournament hosted at East Ridge High School on Thursday and Friday.
"Sometimes the shots just don't fall," Tesdahl said. "We did a great job with figuring out other ways to create points by putting the ball in the paint instead of shooting perimeter shots."
It was a big night for Kendall Brown as he finished the night with 23 points including a couple memorable dunks on fast breaks.
Ben Carlson and Courtney Brown Jr. contributed on the night with 18 and 10 points respectively. Zach Zebrowski also had eight points to end the game.
"It's great to see everyone finding their shots and converting when they get opportunities on the court," Brown said. "This will only help us in the coming weeks."
This is the first time that East Ridge hosted a holiday tournament and Tesdahl was happy with the fan support and the level of play from all four teams. He's hoping this becomes an annual tradition at the Perch because it's a great way to play some top teams in a course of two days.
The players enjoy these tournaments because it keeps their mindsets in the rhythm of games instead of just practices for two weeks. Carlson and Brown agreed that it's nice to get some game time and prepare for the upcoming conference games in the next couple of weeks.
"It's great to have these tournaments at home because your family and the students come out to support the team," Carlson said. "It's a fun atmosphere and it's a great time."
East Ridge will have a little less than a week before the Raptors host Stillwater on Thursday, Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. to begin the conference season in the new year.
Breck 78, New Life Academy 53
There was one goal on New Life Academy's mind heading into the championship game at South St. Paul High School on Friday.
That goal was to minimize Breck's David Roddy and his point total.
It's easier said than done, but New Life's head coach Kory Kiekhoefer was proud of how the players fought until the end.
"We saw a lot of growth these last couple of days and it's great to see heading into the conference games next week," Kiekhoefer said.
Even though Roddy scored 34 points and led his team to a 78-53 win, the Eagles took a lot of positives from this Friday's game. There were three players that reached double digits in points and Kiekhoefer is starting to see the strengths of each player and incorporating it into their game plan.
In the first half of Friday's game, the ball went to Michael Reader in the paint and he helped the Eagles offense with 11 points. Then, the second half, it became the Kollin Kaemingk show as he started catching fire from behind the arc and scored a team-high 13 points.
"I wasn't in rhythm in the first half, but once I hit the first three in the second half I felt back to normal," Kaemingk said.
New Life will have a week until its next game at home against Trinity at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 4. Trinity is a conference opponent and those games will continue throughout the month as the tough part of the schedule is coming up quickly.
"We learned a lot about our team this week," Kaemingk said. "We just need to carry this into next week and into the second half of this season."
Farmington 61, Park 55
It was a back-and-forth game between Farmington and Park on Friday, but the Tigers came out with the 61-55 victory.
The Wolfpack had scoring coming from three particular players. Jeremiah Smith led the team with 16 points, while Charlie Gorres and Domenik Block each scored 13 and 12 points respectively.
This concludes the tournament at Tartan High School for Park as the Wolfpack prepares for the regular season again. They will start at Henry Sibley on Wednesday, Jan. 2 at 7 p.m.
East Ridge 94, Rosemount 39
It all Raptors from the beginning of the game. East Ridge ended the game on Thursday night with a 94-39 win over Rosemount in a tournament hosted at East Ridge High School.
The Raptors ended the first half with a 62-22 lead and outscored the Irish in the second half with a 32-17 score.
Kendall Blue led East Ridge with 23 points, while Zach Zebrowski finished the game with 20 points. Ben Carlson and Courtney Brown Jr. both finished in double digits with 12 and 10 points respectively.
East Ridge will have one more day of the tournament at the Perch and the Raptors will host Eastview on Friday, Dec. 28 at 7:45 p.m. before the weekend.
New Life Academy 73, Community of Peace 56
The Eagles held a 30-20 lead at the half and kept that lead until the end of the game. New Life Academy defeated Community of Peace with a final score of 73-56 on Thursday night.
Konner Ware led the Eagles with 24 points, while Michael Reader finished the night with 14 points. Jayce Thompson also ended the night with nine points.
New Life will play in the championship game of its Holiday Classic Tournament at South St. Paul High School on Friday, Dec. 28 at 3 p.m.
The Eagles will play Breck in the championship game.
Tartan 74, Park 55
Tartan took control of the game early in the first half and it led to a 74-55 loss for Park on Thursday night. This is the first game of the Wolfpack's tournament at Tartan High School.
Domenik Block led the Wolfpack with 21 points, while three other players finished with seven points.
Park will continue the tournament on Friday, Dec. 28 at 4:30 p.m. as the Wolfpack plays Farmington before the weekend.
Nova Classical 61, Math and Science Academy 27
Nova Classical took a 35-8 lead at the half and took control of the entire game as Math and Science Academy lost 61-27 on Thursday night. This was the first game of the tournament for the Dragons.
The Dragons will continue the tournament as they play Metro Schools College Prep on Friday, Dec. 28 at 3 p.m.