Raiders return plenty of talent from 2015’s 20-win team

Girls basketball squad aiming high

The Roseville Area High School girls basketball team won 21 games a season ago and returns four starters and 15 letterwinners from that team. That kind of returning talent has the Raiders aiming high in 2016-17.

Among the team goals is a return to the top of the heap in the Suburban East Conference and securing a spot in the state tournament. Roseville has won or shared the SEC title in three of the past five seasons and hasn’t finished lower than fourth since head coach Jeff Crosby’s first season, when they took fifth.

As for the state tournament, Roseville’s last trip came in 2007, which was the last of three consecutive appearances. Park Center is the defending Section 5AAAA champion.

Roseville’s returning starters are seniors Kaia Porter, Jolisa Ross and Meleah Hansen and sophomore Kaylee Nelson. Porter is in her fifth year on varsity, third as a starter and second as a captain. She averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds and six assists per game last season.

Ross is a fourth-year varsity player, a second-year starter and averaged 10 points per game a year ago. She is planning on attending the North Dakota State College of Science next year.

Hansen provides Roseville with height as she stands six feet, one inch tall. A fourth-year varsity player and second-year starter, Hansen averaged five points and five a rebounds per game.

Freshman Jayda Johnson is another tall player who goes six feet. She played big minutes off the bench last season and Crosby expects her role to increase this year.

A new face to watch out for is senior Kira Johnson, a 5-foot-10 forward who brings a high basketball IQ, toughness, physical play and rebounding to the Raiders.

In addition to the success on the court, the Raiders also strive for excellence in the classroom and have found it recently. Over the past two seasons, Roseville has a team grade-point average above 3.8 and has been first or second in Class AAAA the last two seasons. The Raiders were the academic team champions in 2015 and the runners-up last season.

Roseville opens the season with a busy first week. The Raiders host Irondale on Nov. 29, Chanhassen on Dec. 1 and visit Blaine on Dec. 3. Other non-conference opponents on the schedule include Anoka (Dec. 22), Duluth East (Jan. 7), Rogers (Jan. 14) and Wayzata (Feb. 7). 

The Raiders are also once again hosting a holiday tournament, which this year takes place Dec. 28-30 and includes Andover, Apple Valley, Centennial, Lakeville South, Robbinsdale Cooper and Woodbury.

Roseville’s Suburban East Conference opener is Dec. 9 at Cretin-Derham Hall and its first conference home contest is Dec. 13 against Mounds View.

Speaking of the Suburban East Conference, White Bear Lake is the defending champion after finishing 15-1 last season. The Bears won the league by three games over co-runners-up East Ridge and Roseville. Crosby expects last year’s top three to also be the three best teams in the conference again this season.

 

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

 

2016-17 Roseville Area High School girls basketball schedule

Nov. 29 vs. Irondale 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 1 vs. Chanhassen 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 3 at Blaine 3 p.m.

Dec. 9 at Cretin-Derham Hall 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 13 vs. Mounds View 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 16 at Stillwater 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 22 at Anoka 7 p.m.

Dec. 28 Home tournament TBA

Dec. 29 Home tournament TBA

Dec. 30 Home tournament TBA

Jan. 5 vs. East Ridge 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 7 at Duluth East 2 p.m.

Jan. 12 vs. Forest Lake 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 14 at Rogers 3 p.m.

Jan. 17 vs. Park-Cottage Grove 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 20 at White Bear Lake 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 24 vs. Cretin-Derham Hall 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 27 at Mounds View 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 31 vs. Stillwater 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 3 at Woodbury 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 7 vs. Wayzata 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 10 at East Ridge 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 14 vs. Minnetonka 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 16 at Forest Lake 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 21 at Park-Cottage Grove 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 24 vs. White Bear Lake 7:15 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

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