Off to Woodbury for a huge matchup in the Suburban East. Its the Royals taking on Roseville and the stakes are high. Both teams come in 19-4 overall, 13-2 in the conference so the league title is at stake. Not only that but the winner likely takes the top seed in section 4AAAA and likely avoids Tartan in the semifinals. Very good crowd on hand considering a weeknight and Roseville girls at the state hockey tournament.
Logan Brown starts off with a pullup and a bomb for a 5-1 Roseville lead at the 16:10 mark. Then Woodbury explodes. Renard Suggs with a layup and assist for another. Rickey Suggs on the offensive glass and he gets an assist on the break. 9-0 run forces a Roseville timeout. 13:30 1st half and Woodbury leads 10-5. But that timeout does nothing for the run. Rickey Suggs drives for 2, Renard Suggs with back to back bombs and another Woodbury layup for 10 more in a row. Roseville needs another timeout and then get a Brown 3 to break the run. That's followed by Renard Suggs with a 3 and then in transition on a turnover, why not for another 3! 26-8 Woodbury leads. The run is 25-3 over 6:40.
Roseville would make their own run. Brown banks in another 3, Kobe Critchley for 3, Brown hot as he makes another 3. Then a quick T on Roseville coach Ted Critchley for arguing the 2nd foul on Mack Johnson. Its a shooting foul so Woodbury will have 4 FTs and the ball. But they miss all 4 freebies and don't score on the possession. Mack Johnson buries a 3 and Brown pulls up and converts a turnover. After a Woodbury charge, Brown makes 2 FTs to cut the lead to 2 and then drives for 2 more to end a 22-4 Roseville run just before the half. Interesting that Woodbury chose not to take a timeout during the run. 30 all with 1:35 left in the first half.
The runs don't end there. Woodbury crosses over halftime with a 13-4 run. Ryan Fritze with a drive for 2 and a 3 point play. Renard Suggs with another triple during that spurt. 43-34 Woodbury with 16:15 left. Then the 3s start flying. Critchley for 3, Connor McKeen counters that for 3. Then Brown nails a 3 to start an 11-0 Roseville run. Jordan Burich cutting for a layup and then getting a steal that looks like a sure 2 for Brown but Rickey Suggs tracks it down and swats it away. Burich very active as he converts a putback for a 3 point play and Brown nails another 3 after a Woodbury turnover. 48-46 Roseville back in front with 13:05 to play.
Woodbury responds with 7 of the next 9 as Renard Suggs goes to the reverse layup. McKeen on the offensive glass and then post Ben Rexroth running the floor for the 3 point play. 53-50 Woodbury with 11:06 left. Mack Johnson for 3 to tie the game. Then a dicey jump ball call and a minor ball slam becomes a quick T on Woodbury. Mack Johnson makes the technical free throws but then he'll sit with 8:38 left as he picks up his 4th foul. Rickey Suggs with back to back hoops to tie the game at 57 but then he fouls Critchley on an NBA 3 and he has to sit with 4 fouls and 7:54 left. Brown with another bomb and Critchley gives back the fouls on a 3 as he fouls Renard Suggs for 2 of 3 free throws. 62-61 Roseville leading as Woodbury uses their 1st timeout of the night with 6:29 left. Breathe.
Mack Johnson returns at the 4:51 mark and immediately fouls on the inbounds and he's done with 5 fouls and 4:50 to play. Fritze runs his way to a layup before Emeche Wells buries a 3 with 3:35 left for a 69-65 Roseville lead. Down the stretch we go as Roseville gets up in the air to pass (somewhere Bill Walton is going nuts). Rickey Suggs converts a putback after that and Woodbury is down 70-67 with 1:21 left. Here comes the press. Roseville has ball tipped away and it looks like a sure 10 second count but nobody can hear anything and somehow Roseville gets a timeout with 1:06 left to avoid the 10 count. Wow. Brown to the basket and scores with 57 seconds left countered by 2 McKeen free throws. Roseville misses a front end with 44.5 to play
Woodbury comes back with a chance to tie but Renard Suggs has his 3 off the mark with 32 seconds left. Wells with 1 of 2 free throws and Renard Suggs with 2 FTs with 22 seconds left. Roseville ball up 73-71, Brown fouled before the ball is inbounded and steps up and makes both ends of the 1 and 1, CLUTCH! Rickey Suggs with a putback with 10.3 left but Brown no doubt about his 2 FTs with 8.2 left for a 77-73 lead. Renard Suggs throws in another 3 at the horn but it doesn't matter. Roseville wins a thriller 77-76.
For Woodbury, Renard Suggs with another big game against the Raiders as he finishes with 28 points and 6 3s. Connor McKeen with 17, Rickey Suggs with 14, Ryan Fritze with 10, Ben Rexroth with 7 and that's all the scoring. This makes the debate for the 2 seed with Tartan in 4AAAA very interesting as both are now even in the loss column (Titans had their entire staff watching tonight). Tartan has a conference title, Woodbury doesn't but you have a fair case for saying the Suburban East is a tougher league.
For Roseville, Logan Brown comes up absolutely gigantic playing the game of his life when needed. He finishes with 7 3s and 37 points. He scores 6 of those in the last minute to put the game away including 4 of 4 FTs. Mack Johnson held to 12 points and was in foul trouble all night. Raiders come from 18 down in the 1st half and 9 down with 15:45 to play. To lock up the league, they have to survive a tough trip to White Bear Lake on Tuesday. They won the 1st meeting by 12 in late January.