East Ridge’s Seth Green had his way down low against Cretin-Derham Hall, battling his way to a game-high 24 points.
It’s the two points that don’t show up by his name in the scorebook that he’d like to have back.
With the clock winding down, Green caught an inbounds pass and drove in for an easy layup.
On Cretin’s basket.
Green’s layup, which came with about 20 seconds left, gave Cretin a one-point lead — and the momentum — in its 70-65 victory over East Ridge.
With the victory, the Raiders will head back to the Class 2A, Section 3 championship game to take on Apple Valley.
“That will not define who Seth Green is. He’s a great player, a good kid, and I feel bad for him. He was going so hard and just feel for him at this time,” Cretin-Derham Hall coach Jerry Kline said.
A junior and standout quarterback on his school's football team, Green made a verbal commitment in October to the University of Oregon, the national runner-up in the 2014 college football season.
Green’s basket came shortly after Cretin’s Joe Rosga nailed a three-pointer and hit another shot to cut the East Ridge lead to one.
“I just didn’t want to lose so I think that really changed the momentum for us. It got us on a little roll,” Rosga said.
East Ridge looked poised for for a victory after leading most of the first half and then taking a lead in the back-and-forth second.
Green spent a majority of the game playing like the best player on the court. Along with Sid Tomes, the duo combined for nearly 70 percent of the Raptors’ points.
“Our kids fought hard. Thought we stuck to the game plan. It just didn’t go our way,” East Ridge coach Paul Virgin said.
After Green’s layup, the Raiders locked down defensively, getting the stops they needed to advance to the championship game.
“It wasn’t our best game. Some of the guys stepped up when some of the guys didn’t,” Kline said. “We’ve been preaching all year — it’s not going to be just 5-on-5. You need your bench and our guys stepped up and helped us to this victory today.”
Apple Valley 65, Rosemount 39:
Despite boasting a roster with a potential NBA first-round pick, Apple Valley fell in the 4A, Section 3 championship game last season.
Tyus Jones has graduated, but the Eagles looked just fine without him in returning to the section championship with their 65-39 victory over Rosemount on Saturday.
Jones’ younger brother, Tre, helped lead the charge for the Eagles, recording 13 points and shutting down Rosemount leading scorer Logan Halvorson, who scored only four points, all in the second half.
“He’s a very good scorer. I helped … the amount I could so he wouldn’t get a lot of easy looks,” Jones said.
Apple Valley coach Zach Goring said Rosemount had given his team problems in the past with its ability to shoot the three-pointer. Saturday, the Eagles’ defense took that away, holding the Irish to 4-for-20 behind the arc and 24.6 percent overall.
It was a game dominated by Apple Valley, even though the score didn’t necessarily reflect it early. But by half, Apple Valley had pushed its lead to 12 points.
“Valley’s a great team. We understood what we were up against, so we had to come out and play a nearly perfect game to beat them, and we didn’t get it done,” Rosemount coach Keenan Shelton said.
Betsy Helfand is a University of Minnesota student reporter on assignment for the Star Tribune.