Basketball notes from around the east metro:
• Park of Cottage Grove’s 50-45 victory over Forest Lake on Jan. 16 broke a 32-game Suburban East Conference losing streak dating to Februrary 2013. Park led 37-24 early in the second half and held on as Forest Lake got as close as two points in the final two minutes. Sophomore forward Brandon Alt led the Wolfpack with 19 points. Park’s last Suburban East victory, a 55-54 squeaker over Hastings, ended a conference losing streak that had reached 68 games.
• East Ridge bounced back from its first two-game losing streak of the season in a big way, defeating undermanned West Salem (Wis.) 66-33 in the La Crosse (Wis.) Midwest Players Classic on Jan. 17. Two days later the Raptors used an impressive second-half rally to defeat Minnetonka 92-82 in the MLK Classic at Minneapolis Henry. They trailed 50-40 at halftime but scored the first 10 points of the second half and slowly pulled away. Sid Tomes, who has committed to Air Force, led East Ridge with 27 points.
As of Thursday, East Ridge was one game behind Suburban East leader Cretin-Derham Hall.
• How close is Tartan to being undefeated? The Titans’ two losses (before Friday’s game against South St. Paul) have both been on the road, by a single point. They lost to Mahtomedi 51-50 on Dec. 19 and Hastings 58-57 on Jan. 9. They can avenge one of those losses when they host Mahtomedi on Tuesday.
• Just past the midway point of the season, few conferences are as bunched at the top as the Metro East. Going into last week, Hill-Murray sat atop the league with a 5-0 record, with Hastings, Simley and Mahtomedi all within a game-and-a-half of first place.
• Forest Lake senior basketball player Jessica Erickson, who was severely injured when her pickup truck was sheared in two in an accident on Nov. 6, has begun rehabbing at Gillette Children’s Hospital in St. Paul. Erickson suffered extensive head and neck injuries in the crash. GoFundMe, a crowd-funding website, has raised more than $5,000 to help with medical costs.