EAST RIDGE 65, ELK RIVER 48
The Minnesota 2021-22 high school girls basketball season is officially underway with opening night featuring three games. After last year’s virus plagued season, it was a return to normalcy. Fans, parents, coaches, scouts were all in the house. It has felt a little like Rip Van Winkle to me—-last year was blocked, or at least extremely difficult to do what I do. This year it looks like it is open. It is time to catch up.
The metro entry of the trio of games was a battle of Es (make that ERs): East Ridge & Elk River. One made state last year (Elk River), one was just on the outside looking in (East Ridge falling to Stillwater in overtime in the 4AAAA section final). That situation could be flipped this year with the #9 ranked Raptors riding sharp outside shooting to an opening night win. Right off the bat the Raptors connected on their first two 3 attempts. That opening salvo seemed to keep the Elks scrambling all night. But it was a push pull night. When Sidney Klauer scored the fourth different 3 for East Ridge the score stood at 18-6 with 11:39 left in the first half. That also forced the hosts to take their second time out. That TO refocused the Elks and they went on a 17-5 surge to tie the action at 23. Jenna Ritzer of the guests immediately put the Raptors back in front with….a 3. By half the visitors were up 31-25.
The first possession of the second half lasted 57 seconds with the Raptors delivering two free throws. With 12:39 left the margin topped 10. The margin increased to 20 (54-34) with 4:35 left in the contest.
The E is also for early. After only eight practice events (another E) the gate was open. E is also for Eve as in Thanksgiving Eve.
The “E” could also stand in for “Error” as a combined 56 turnovers showcased opening night jitters. The turnover de jour was passing with 9 East Ridge miscues, and Elk River coming in with a dozen. With 1:35 left East Ridge led by 21 points and then started subbing.
There were only three seniors combined on the roster tonight.
Britt Carlson is not on the roster for East Ridge this season. The 6-4 former center has signed with Washington State in volleyball. East Ridge finished second this year in the AAAA tournament. No one on the volleyball state roster is on the basketball roster. The volleyball team had five players 6-0 or taller including 6-2, 6-3 and 6-5 (Carlson was listed 6-5, 6-4 in the Washington State press release).
|EAST RIDGE||ELK RIVER|
|TOP SCORER||Grace Knupp 17||Two with 15|
|TOP 31||Grace Knupp 32||Two with 25|
TRENCH PLAYER: Grace Knupp, the East Ridge point guard with 17 points, 106.2 pp100, 32 in the 31 Club. Knupp had the most Raptor touches (22.3%), most dribble touches (73.0%) and set up her teammates the most with 13 attempts.