Park 79, Woodbury 67
It was an offensive half that coaches dream about in their career for Park and head coach Mike Weah.
The Wolfpack was untouchable in the first half of Friday's game against Woodbury as various player were hitting 3-pointers consistently. Specifically, Domenik Block as he was making baskets almost five or six feet behind the 3-point line.
"These are shots that players make once in a while and Domenik was making three or four of them in a row," Weah said. "He was on a hot streak and helped us get a lead at the half."
The Royals didn't back down from the challenge as they kept producing their offense with the help of McK Robertson and Bradley Cimperman. Woodbury was able to keep the score close with Park leading 46-40 at the half.
In the second half, it was once again another battle between conference and city rivals. Milton Carnes emerged in the second half with some key shots and 3-pointers to allow Park to win the second half and eventually win the game 79-67.
"I was proud of how our players kept battling and keeping the pressure on Park all game long," said Woodbury's head coach Kent Getzlaff. "It was a hard loss, but we also learned a lot from this game."
Park and Woodbury had a handful of players that reached double digits in points. On the Wolfpack side, Block led the team with 32 points. Carnes and Charlie Gorres also had strong nights with 22 and 12 points respectively.
The Royals had Cimperman lead the team with 21 points, but Robertson was right behind him with 18 points.
The biggest thing Woodbury took away from the night is that the Suburban East Conference is one of the toughest conferences in the state. Therefore, players need to be ready for anything and everything each night they play.
Woodbury has been on a hot streak lately in the second half of conference play. The Royals beat Stillwater and Roseville a couple weeks ago and just recently lost to Farmington last weekend.
They came back this past Tuesday to win, on the road, at Forest Lake in double overtime. Getzlaff said that the win on Tuesday was a big confidence boost for the team.
Robertson has been a big leader for the Royals as he was on a streak from the previous Park game on Jan. 4 to the Forest Lake game on Feb. 5. During that period, he shot 56 percent from the 3-point line.
"I couldn't be more proud of his leadership on and off the court," Getzlaff said. "It's fun to watch him play each game and leave everything out on the court."
As for Park, this win snapped a three-game losing streak to start off the second half of the season. Weah said he's not worried though because he knows that the players are just starting to emerge and have a lot left to show in the second half.
The focus will be on defense for the next few weeks as they prepare for the section tournament. Weah said that if the Wolfpack can stop more possessions, he's confident this team can produce a large amount of points to win some games closing out the regular season.
"We are getting down to the last month or so of the season and I want these players to soak in every moment with each teammate," Weah said. "This season has just flown by and I just don't want it to end."
Park has rescheduled its game against Brooklyn Center to Monday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. as the weather postponed the game last Tuesday.
Woodbury will be heading to East Ridge on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. as the Royals compete in one last in-town rivalry for the season.
East Ridge 68, Stillwater 47
East Ridge showed off its defense on Friday night as the Raptors limited Stillwater to 13 points in the first half and earned the 68-47 victory.
It was an even performance by a handful of players for East Ridge. Courtney Brown Jr. led the Raptors with 19 points. Zach Zebrowski and Ben Carlson each scored 13 points, while Kendall Brown finished with 11 points.
East Ridge will prepare for an in-town rivalry game on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. as the Raptors host Woodbury for the final matchup of the season.
East Ridge 105, Wayzata 100 (2OT)
After winning on Friday against No. 9 Edina, the No. 4-ranked East Ridge hosted yet another top 10 opponent for a non-conference game on Wednesday.
It was a typical top 10 boys basketball game as No. 7 Wayzata tried to give the Raptors their first loss since Dec. 18. East Ridge wasn't going to give up too easily as the two teams went neck-and-neck for the first two halves.
This forced an overtime game, but at the end of one overtime the score remained tied. Therefore, there was a second overtime and East Ridge made sure to dominant the second overtime and earn the win against the Trojans. The Raptors battled every minute and won the game 105-100 and extended their winning streak to 13 games.
The Raptors and Trojans were going back-and-forth the majority of the first half, but East Ridge ended up with a 34-30 lead heading into the half. It was a similar second half, but Wayzata outscored East Ridge 50-46 to tie the score up at 90-90 at the end of two halves.
In the first overtime, there wasn't a lot of scoring as each team scored six points. The score remained tied though at 96-96, which allowed for a second overtime.
The second overtime consisted of much more scoring, but East Ridge outscored Wayzata 19-14 to grab the 105-100 win on Wednesday night.
The starting five for East Ridge were the only scorers for the Raptors on Wednesday, but all five had strong production all-around.
Ben Carlson led the team with 31 points, while Kendall Brown was right behind him with 26 points.
Courtney Brown Jr. had a strong night with 17 points and Zach Zebrowski finished the game with 16 points. Patrick Lynott also scored in double digits with 15 points.
East Ridge will head back to its conference season as they complete the second half of conference games. The Raptors will travel to Stillwater on Friday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. to try and extend the winning streak to 14 games.
New Life Academy 80, PACT Charter 38
New Life Academy had to reschedule this game from Tuesday to Wednesday because of the snowy weather. It didn't matter for the Eagles as they dominated from the first possession.
New Life was hitting every basket and ended up winning the game with an 80-36 final score over PACT Charter.
Michael Reader led the Eagles with 22 points, while Konner Ware was right behind him with 17 points.
Colin Quirk also scored in double digits with 12 points. Kollin Kaemingk and Joey Buscko each finished the game with eight points as well.
New Life was supposed to host St. Croix Prep on Thursday, Feb. 7, but the snow once again pushed back that game. Now, the Eagles will host St. Croix Prep on Monday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Woodbury 71, Forest Lake 67 (2OT)
After a hard loss to Farmington on Saturday, Woodbury wanted to bounce back with a big conference win. It took some extra time and a fight with every minute of the game, but the Royals came out with a 71-67 win in double overtime over Forest Lake.
It was a neck-and-neck first half as the two teams made shot after shot, but Woodbury came out with a 34-31 lead at the half. Forest Lake came back in the second half and won the second half with a 27-24 final.
That meant the two teams were tied at 58-58 at the end of two halves and an overtime was about to begin. In the first overtime, there wasn't a lot of scoring between the two teams as each team scored four points.
At the end of overtime, the score remained tied at 62-62 and a second overtime had to happen. Woodbury made sure to take over the second overtime with a 9-5 scoring and won the game 71-67.
The Royals had some strong performances by a handful of players on Tuesday night. McK Robertson led the team with 22 points.
Parker McMorrow ended the night with 14 points, while Bradley Cimperman was right behind him with 11 points. Adam Mazur also finished the night with with eight points.
The Royals had a long bus ride home in the snow and ice, but the made the ride home a little sweeter. Woodbury will look to continue this winning streak on Friday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. as the Royals host crosstown rival Park.
The Royals lost to the Wolfpack earlier this season with an 84-60 final score, but are looking to even out the series on Friday night.