East Ridge and Woodbury are chasing Cretin-Derham Hall in the Suburban East Conference standings, but with the postseason approaching, the Raptors and Royals can use Tuesday's meeting to measure themselves for play in the competitive Class 4A, Section 4 — which also includes the No. 1-4A Raiders.
The good news for East Ridge (15-5, 7-3) is that the Raptors have only lost twice in 2018. The bad news: those loses came against Woodbury (69-57 on Jan. 10) and Cretin-Derham Hall (85-63 on Jan. 30).
East Ridge has rebounded well from its loss to the Raiders. The Raptors are enjoying a three-game winning streak that includes a 64-59 win over No. 4-4A Eden Prairie on Feb. 2.
Courtney Brown (22.1 ppg) leads the Raptors offense and has shown the ability to put the team on his back, most recently with a 38-point effort in a 79-70 win over Wayzata. Sophomore Ben Carlson (17.6 ppg) has also been a solid offensive option, as he scored a game-high 23 points in the win over Eden Prairie.
Woodbury's season has been marked by three- or four-game winning streaks followed by one or two losses. In the midst of a three-game winning streak in early January, the Royals (12-7, 9-1) defeated East Ridge 69-57. If Woodbury can repeat that result on Tuesday, its current winning streak would match a season-high five games and give the team plenty of momentum heading into the final weeks of the regular season.
The Royals boast their own high-volume scoring threat in Davidson commit Michael Jones, who is averaging 28.1 ppg and scored a game-high 33 points in the last meeting with the Raptors. Another monster game from Jones could be exactly what Woodbury needs to avoid a skid with only weeks remaining in the regular season.