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Carlson, Brown brothers lead East Ridge to first boys' basketball tourney

By NATE GOTLIEB, Special to the Star Tribune, 03/14/19, 9:15PM CDT


Junior Ben Carlson and Kendall and Courtney Brown combined for 51 points in the Raptors' 71-45 victory over Cretin-Derham Hall.

East Ridge's Ben Carlson goes up for two of his team-high 26 points against Cretin-Derham Hall Thursday night. The Raptors advanced to next week's State Tournament with a 71-45 victory over the Raiders. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine

Cretin-Derham Hall kept within six points of East Ridge in the first half of the Class 4A, Section 4 championship game Thursday by taking 45 seconds on some offensive possessions. Even a minute. Almost two minutes.

Early in the second half East Ridge used its own brand of patience to break away from the Raiders and earn its first appearance in the boys’ basketball state tournament.

The Raptors (27-2) used a series of quality offensive possessions to produce a 15-1 run, led by junior forward Ben Carlson. It helped them build a 20-plus-point lead en route to a 71-45 victory over the defending state champion Raiders at Hastings High School.

“It’s not the first time we’ve had to play against that style, and we’ve learned our lessons through the regular season,” East Ridge coach Bryce Tesdahl said.

“We stayed patient, we picked our spots, and our guys just overall stayed reserved and stayed together.”

Carlson scored six consecutive points during the run before senior forward Courtney Brown capped it with a dunk to make the score 40-22. Carlson finished with 22 second-half points and 26 overall, while Brown added 11.

“The second half we kind of opened it up,” Carlson said. “We got up and down a lot more, which is good. That’s the way we like to play.”

Sophomore guard Kendall Brown scored 11 second-half points, mostly on layups, and 15 for the game. Senior point guard Zach Zebrowski added 12, including eight in the second half.

The victory also avenges a loss to Cretin-Derham Hall in last year’s section championship.

“It’s really satisfying to know that our hard work pays off, ‘cause we haven’t stopped working since that point,” Courtney Brown said.

Freshman guard Tre Holloman led Cretin-Derham Hall (22-7) with 17 points, and junior guard Curtis Jones scored 13 for the Raiders.

Cretin-Derham Hall's Josiah Remus-Ford drives for a layup in the first half against East Ridge Thursday night. The Raiders fell to the Raptors 71-45. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine

First report

Junior forward Ben Carlson scored 26 points and brothers Kendall and Courtney Brown scored 15 and 10, respectively, as East Ridge defeated Cretin-Derham Hall 71-45 in the Class 4A, Section 4 finals Thursday at Hastings.

Carlson scored 22 points in the second half, including six consecutive at one point, as the Raptors (27-2) opened a 20-plus-point lead. East Ridge had led by just six at halftime as Cretin-Derham Hall (22-7) took its time on offense.

The win gives East Ridge its first state-tournament berth in boys' basketball.

Freshman guard Tre Holloman led Cretin-Derham Hall with 16 points.

Check back later for more on the game.

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