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Raiders adapting to new personnel
The identity of the Roseville Area High School boys basketball team over the past few seasons was tied to its guards. This year’s squad is seeing that identity change.
The Raiders’ frontcourt features three starters who go 6-foot-4, 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-7. With trio like that on the court, a team is going to change its approach.
“What’s the old adage? Adapt or die and that’s what we’ve got to do,” said Roseville head coach Ted Critchley. I love our front court - they’re big and they’re physical. We are trying to focus on getting the ball inside.”
Jesper Horsted is a name familiar to those who followed the RAHS football team’s fortunes this fall. He’s an all-state wide receiver who is athletic and has gone from being a force on the gridiron to being a force on the hardwood.
“Horsted is a great athlete,” said Critchley. “That’s probably the understatement of the year. You’ve got an all-state wide receiver who can run and jump and compete and be physical.”
Horsted leads the team in rebounding at more than 13 a game and is second in scoring at 14.5 points per game. He showed in Roseville’s victory over Mounds View last week how he can make an impact.
With less than 10 seconds left, Mounds View took a one-point lead on a layup. Instead of calling timeout, the Raiders pushed the ball up the court and eventually got it to Horsted down low. His first attempt at winning the game was blocked but he tracked down the loose ball and drained a short jumper as time expired.
“I’ll give our kids credit because we said if they score, and hopefully they don’t, our old adage is just go,” Critchley said. “They’ve got to scramble to locate, kids are desperate, they’re trying not to foul so we’re not going to call a timeout to try and set something up.”
Horsted also had the only dunk of the game as he picked off a pass at midcourt and went in for an uncontested two-handed flush.
Complimenting Horsted is Derek Magnuson, who averages 12 points and eight rebounds per game. Jake Geyen rounds out Roseville’s big three starters.
Off the bench, Lance Gardner is off to a nice start to the season as well. He is scoring 14 points per game and is up over six rebounds per contest.
There is plenty of talk about Roseville’s frontcourt, but that’s not to say there aren’t any guards making things happen, too. Kobe Critchley and Kyler Briggity are starting for Roseville and have been putting up some solid numbers.
Briggity leads the team in scoring at 15.2 points per game and Critchley is averaging nearly a double-double with 12.3 points and 9.8 assists per contest.
Roseville followed up the win at Mounds View with another exciting Suburban East Conference contest last Friday. The Raiders hosted White Bear Lake and went to overtime with the Bears before pulling out an 86-82 victory.
Gardner led Roseville with 26 points and was one of five Raiders in double figures. Magnuson and Critchley each added 14, Horsted scored a dozen and Mitch Poss added 10.
With the two wins, Roseville is among four teams at 2-0 in Suburban East Conference play. Ted Critchley expects quite a battle in the Suburban East this year.
“There’s no easy game this year,” said Critchley. “You look at the team that got last last year, Park, they’ve already won three or four games in the regular season. Hastings is much improved and there are a lot of teams that bring a lot of guys back.”
Cretin-Derham Hall, East Ridge and Woodbury are also 2-0 in the SEC.
Overall, Roseville is 4-2 with non-conference victories over St. Louis Park and Eastview and losses to St. Paul Johnson and Robbinsdale Armstrong.
This week, Roseville plays two more SEC games as it travels to Stillwater on Tuesday and Park-Cottage Grove on Friday.
Over the holiday break, the Raiders will be in St. Cloud playing in the Granite City Classic.
RAHS girls basketball
Roseville’s girls basketball team won last year’s Suburban East Conference championship and begins the defense of that title this week. The Raiders play their final two games before Christmas on Tuesday against Stillwater and on Friday against Park-Cottage Grove.
Roseville enters the week unbeaten (5-0) and none of the five victories have been particularly close. The Raiders opened the season with a 12-point win over Apple Valley and also own victories over St. Francis, Moorhead, Wayzata and North St. Paul. Against St. Francis and North St. Paul, Roseville held both opponents to 16 points.
Through five games, senior Maria Ascher and junior Monica Burich are battling neck-and-neck for the team scoring lead. Ascher holds a slight advantage with a points-per-game average of 17.6 while Burich sits at 17.2.
Ascher’s season high is 27 points, which she recorded against Wayzata. Burich’s high game so far is 25 points and that came against St. Francis.
Following Christmas, Roseville hosts an eight-team holiday tournament starting on Dec. 27. Participating in the tournament along with the Raiders are Andover, Burnsville, Cambridge-Isanti, Chanhassen, Lakeville South, St. Anthony Village and Spring Lake Park.
Brian Meyers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suburban East Conference boys basketball standings
|White Bear Lake||1-1||3-3||1|