Suburban East battle to Raiders

A big night of hoops in the metro with no fewer than 5 really good games on all fringes of the Kingdom.  So after some soul searching and gnashing of teeth, I decide to venture to Roseville for their big game in the Suburban East against upstart East Ridge.  I picked East Ridge as a section 4AAAA sleeper but 10-1 was more than I expected.  While the schedule has been soft, coming from 25 down vs Woodbury was an eye opener.  Tonight was another level of competition for the Raptors.  Nice to meet and chat with the dean of Minnesota Prep sports scribes, John Millea.  Much to my horror, the concession stand isn't open at halftime of the JV game and there's fear that I might have to dig into the fat reserves to survive the evening.  Thankfully the pizza arrives and the concession stand does open.  20 more ounces to add to the total.  Strangest item of the night was seeing the electronic signage pimping Northtown Mall when we're within shouting distance of Rosedale.  A large MIAC turnout with St. Olaf, Carleton, Bethel,St. Thomas and Gustavus all in the building.  Also an appearance by the outstanding Roseville Pep Band so that means...

Song of the Day
Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond (Pep Band Version)

Game Time
Brian Ishola on the offensive glass and Conrad Sexe inside for an 8-4 East Ridge lead just over 2 minutes in.  Then Roseville takes over with their defense.  Burich with 2 blocks on 1 possession. He scores on a putback and a reverse layup.  Mack Johnson for 3, Burich with another reverse and he rim runs for 1 of 2 free throws.  Then a turnover for a Ben Farmer layup and an East Ridge timeout.  Kobe Critchley off the bounce for 2, Lance Garnder for 3, Burich scores back to back hoops and runs out for 2 free throws on another Raptors turnover.  Its a 25-4 Raiders run over 7 minutes with East Ridge only getting 1 field goal (an offensive rebound and putback).  29-12 Roseville inside of 8 to play in the half.  The lead gets down to 13 before a putback and 2 steals for buckets force a pair of East Ridge timeouts.  39-18 Roseville at the 5:12 mark.  They keep that lead at 46-26 at the half.

The second half isn't any better.  Johnson with 5 quick points to start the half.  That's a 9-2 run in the 1st 1:18 to push the lead to 55-28.  The lead gets up to 31 as Critchley gets 3 easy buckets.  63-32 at 13:30.   A 9-0 East Ridge run with 5 in a row from Sid Tomes in the next 2 minutes does force a Roseville timeout.  But no danger.  Burich with a 3 point play, Logan Brown coast to coast and the lefty finish.  Add on a turnover for a Critchley layup and a Burich jumper and the Raiders have those 9 points back.  The rest is bench time.   Roseville cruises 84-58.

Post Game
For East Ridge, Sid Tomes was the only player in double figures with 13 points.  Brian Ishola and Conrad Sexe 9 each.  East Ridge with only 1 senior (Sexe) in the 9 man rotation and next 2 off the bench.  Some nice upside for this group.  They just weren't as Roseville's level on this night.  Turnovers a major concern.  Ishola was a guy I thought they could have used more inside as he was a factor on the post and offensive glass but didn't get much play there.  East Ridge falls to 10-2 and they have 3 tough home games with Cretin-Derham Hall on Thursday, Chanhassen (without Joey Witthus in a buzzer beater loss tonight vs Shakopee) on Saturday and Stillwater next Tuesday.

Roseville continues to roll.  The run and jump just too much for East Ridge to handle.  The win gives them early control of the Suburban East race at 6-0, 1 game ahead of East Ridge (11-1 overall).  Their week isn't any easier as they go to Woodbury on Friday and then an early morning train ride on Saturday for the Midwest Players Classic in The Czar's hometown of La Crosse.  I usually sleep on my way back to the Old Kingdom on that train so if they wake me up, the Czar's wrath will be in full force.  Jordan Burich another outstanding game with 26 points, 10 boards and 5 blocks.  If you're in the NSIC, why are you not all over this kid?  Kobe Critchley 12 of his 16 in the 2nd half.  Logan Brown 10 of his 13 in the 1st half.  Mack Johnson held to 10.  He's 15 points away from 1000 for his career.


  1. So out of curiosity, did the Roseville pep band stay the whole game? The damnedest thing I've ever seen at a particular District 196 school I am associated with- on the rare occasions that the pep band actually shows up, they play a couple songs during pre-game, don't play any time outs, play one song at the end of the half, and then leave at halftime. Apparently it happens at other schools around here too, but I've haven't seen it (talking about the the leave at halftime thing.)

    Is this just a Minnesota thing? (Yeah- I know this has nothing to do with basketball, but it is just so stunning to me, I had to ask, and you've seen a lot of games at a lot of different places. )

  2. Not sure if they did. Usually I see bands play the pregame, no timeouts and then again at half before they take off. Have seen a couple that hang around all the way to the end.


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