RAHS girls basketball team still adjusting

The Roseville Area High School girls basketball team improved to 9-4 with a 48-47, non-conference victory over Rogers on Jan. 14. Raiders head coach Jeff Crosby said he is pleased with his team's record but not with the way some of the losses have transpired.

Roseville has blown leads in a couple of the losses and gotten into foul trouble in another.

"If you lose, you want to lose the right way," Crosby said. "We're getting there. We have a bunch of kids in new roles."

There is only one senior on the roster this season and the seniors that graduated off last year's section finalist team were key contributors. Monica Burich, who is a member of the University of Colorado women's basketball team, was an all-state player; Kayla Nelson helped spread out opposing defenses with her three-point shooting; and Sydni Dykes was a stalwart on defense who took upwards of 70 charges in her prep career.

This year's team is led scoring-wise by junior Kaia Porter, who is averaging 13 points per game. She went off for a season-high 23 in the victory over Rogers. She is one of those players adjusting to a new, more-prominent role.

"She was a little more relaxed tonight," Crosby said of Porter. "She's been pressing sometimes."

Porter reached the 20-point mark one other time this season. She scored 20 in a loss to Mounds View as the rest of the Raiders' roster combined for only 21 points. Roseville led the Mustangs by eight points and were outscored by 15 over the final 10 minutes.

Jolisa Ross is also averaging in double figures with 10.2 points per game.

The one thing about Roseville's record that might bother Crosby a bit is the number of Suburban East Conference losses they have already suffered. The Raiders went unbeaten in SEC play last year and lost just three league games combined in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. They won or shared the SEC title in all three of those years.

Roseville doesn't have much room for error the rest of the way if it wants to be any kind of factor in the Suburban East title chase. White Bear Lake has been the Raiders' main competition in the SEC in recent years and that hasn't changed this year. The Bears were unbeaten in league play as of Jan. 14 and led Roseville by two games.

There are also a couple of other teams with their sights set on the conference crown. Both East Ridge and Park-Cottage had only one conference loss each.

Roseville has a big chance this week to insert itself back in the conference race. The Raiders travel to Park on Tuesday and host White Bear Lake on Friday. The White Bear game concludes the first half of conference play.

Concordia Academy

The Beacons got off to a slow start by losing five of their first six games but are trying to turn things around. They rattled off a three-game winning streak starting with the second game of their holiday tournament.

Concordia Academy beat Barnesville to take third place in the Moorhead tournament and then won its next two games. A loss to St. Croix Lutheran on Jan. 12 snapped the three-game winning streak.

On the schedule this week for the Beacons are a visit from St. Anthony Village on Tuesday and a trip to Columbia Heights on Friday.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

Suburban East Conference girls basketball standings (Through Jan. 14)
  Conf. Overall

Games behind

White Bear Lake 5-0 9-4 -
East Ridge 4-1 9-3 1
Park-Cottage Grove 4-1 9-5 1
Roseville 3-2 9-4 2
Cretin-Derham Hall 3-3 7-6 2 1/2
Mounds View 3-3 7-6 2 1/2
Woodbury 2-3 7-6 3
Forest Lake 0-5 3-11 5
Stillwater 0-6 5-7 5 1/2


Tri-Metro Conference girls basketball standings (Through Jan. 14) East Division
  Conf. Overall

Games behind

St. Croix Lutheran 3-0 8-3 -
St. Agnes 1-2 10-2 2
Concordia Academy 1-2 4-6 2
Visitation 1-2 4-7 2
St. Anthony Village 0-4 2-12 3 1/2


Tri-Metro Conference girls basketball standings (Through Jan. 14) West Division
  Conf. Overall

Games behind

Holy Angels 3-0 9-3 -
DeLaSalle 3-0 9-4 -
Fridley 2-2 6-5 1 1/2
Columbia Heights 2-2 6-6 1 1/2
Brooklyn Center 0-2 0-11 2 1/2




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