Boys basketball: East Ridge overpowers Ponies in section quarterfinals

WOODBURY — Top-seeded East Ridge jumped out to a 19-point halftime lead and didn’t look back while handing the Stillwater boys’ basketball team an 85-56 setback in the Section 4AAAA quarterfinals on Wednesday, March 8.

It marked the 10th win in a row for the Raptors (22-5), who advance to face fourth-seeded Cretin-Derham Hall (19-8) in the semifinals on Saturday, March 11 at Hastings. The other semifinal will feature No. 2 Woodbury (20-7) vs. No. 3 Tartan (23-3). The finals are slated for Thursday, March 16, also at Hastings High School.

Stillwater (3-24), which lost to the Raptors by 13 and 18 points during the regular season, scored 39 of its points from long range. Lucas Braun, who led the Ponies with 17 points, and Josh Lorenson each drained four of the team’s 13 3-pointers.

“It was tough to get paint points,” Ponies coach Brady Hannigan said. “Even our guards struggled getting into the paint.”

The Ponies attempted just two free throws in the entire game.

Lorenson finished with 12 points for Stillwater while Manny Jingco was held to 10, which is about half his season average.

“They pretty much tagged Manny,” Hannigan said. “They played him really tough and showed a lot of help on him.”

East Ridge sophomore Courtney Brown, Jr., finished with four dunks and led all scorers with 21 points. Marcus Haskins added 19 points and Nick Christenson chipped in with 16 for the Raptors, who jumped out to a 12-3 to start the game.

“Brown is a man among boys,” Hannigan said.

The Raptors eventually built a 38-19 halftime lead and Stillwater never seriously threatened. The Ponies connected on nine 3-pointers after the intermission, accounting for 27 of their 37 second-half points.

Stillwater will graduate four seniors from a team that endured a challenging season, including losses in their last 18 games.

“This was a difficult season for everybody, but it was the last one for our seniors which is even harder,” Hannigan said of Braun, Joe Haggard, Fisher Jakupciak and Garrett Corcoran. “They were a group of guys that fought and battled and we hopefully can take a lot of life lessons out of this, if anything, that’s what sports are for.”

Stillwater 19 37 — 56

East Ridge 38 47 — 85

Stillwater (pts): Lucas Braun 17, Josh Lorenson 12, Fisher Jakupciak 3, Joe Haggard 2, Manny Jingco 10, Garrett Corcoran 3, Matthew Valsvik 3 and Evan Parker 6.

East Ridge: Marcus Haskins 19, TJ Kelly 2, Nick Christenson 16, Courtney Brown Jr. 21, Zach Bennett 9, Michael Remke 7, Ben Franks 5, Jack Milbauer 2 and Brady Kunz 4.

3-pointers: St (13): Braun 4, Lorenson 4, Jakupciak, Corcoran, Parker 2 and Valsvik; ER (5): Haskins, Christenson 3 and Bennett.

Free throws: St, 1-2; ER, 6-7.

Fouls: St, 11; ER, 6.

Fouled out: None.

White Bear Lake 71, Stillwater 56

At Oak Park Heights, Manny Jingco delivered 20 points, but was among four Ponies relegated to the bench because of foul trouble for portions of the first half as White Bear Lake took control and pulled away for a 71-56 Suburban East Conference boys’ basketball victory on Friday, March 3 at Stillwater Area High School.

Lucas Braun, Josh Lorenson and Trenton Attwood also collected two fouls in the opening half, contributing to White Bear Lake expanding its lead to 42-25 at halftime. The Bears also took advantage while hitting 11 of 13 free throws in the first half and 14 of 16 for the game.

“They got to the line a lot and put some guys in foul trouble,” Ponies coach Brady Hannigan said.

The Ponies climbed within nine points early in the second half, but White Bear Lake did not wilt. Jeremy Beckler led all scorers with 23 points and Carter Ehlers followed with 13 for the Bears, who also received 10 points from Sam Schwartz.

Stillwater (1-15 SEC, 3-23) finished the regular season tied with Park (1-15, 7-19) for eighth place in the SEC standings. East Ridge (14-2, 21-5) and Woodbury (14-2, 19-7) shared the conference championship, with Cretin-Derham Hall one game back at 13-3 (19-7).

White Bear Lake 42 29 — 71

Stillwater 25 31 — 56

White Bear Lake (pts): Jack Danenberg 2, Carter Ehlers 13, Sam Schwartz 10, Steven Kleist 8, Blake Charles 9, Austin Schochet 3, Mathias Beck 3 and Jeremy Beckler 23.

Stillwater: Lucas Braun 8, Fisher Jakupciak 5, Joe Haggard 8, Nate Shikenjanski 4, Manny Jingco 20, Garrett Corcoran 3, Matt Moore 3, Matthew Valsvik 2 and Trenton Attwood 3.

3-pointers: WBL (5): Ehlers 2, Schwartz, Schochet and Beck; St (7): Braun, Jingco 3, Corcoran, Jakupciak and Moore.

Free throws: WBL, 14-16; St, 9-11.

Fouls: WBL, 9; St, 13.

Fouled out: None.