Three drivers stayed perfect in the young season and a former track champion returned to the winners stand after being away from driving for a few years. All that added up to a Saturday night of excitement in Week Two at North Central Speedway. Brendon Yamry, Dave Read and Mark Johnson won for the second consecutive time, while Troy Jordan returned in a Modified car for a feature win. Yamry finished in front of Trista Pankratz and Markia Smith in the Sport Compact feature.
Familiar faces dominated the winner's podium at the season opener for North Central Speedway Saturday. Mark Johnson, Dave Read, Justin Jones, and Danny Vang won their features in the first set of races under the umbrella of the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA). Read was the winner in the Super Stock feature event, finishing in front of Mike Frolik and Eric Martini. Read started from the front row and was a leader for the entire 20-lap event. "Any race that you win is a good one," Read said. "It did have a different feel in the air tonight missing a few guys.
It was a busy 2014 offseason for North Central Speedway owner Cliff Sasker and NCS general manager KT Torbert. Early in the offseason it was announced that Sasker had purchased Princeton Speedway. Then the big bombshell came in January when it was announced the two speedways would be moving away from Wissota as a sanctioning body.
A successful regular season came to a scintillating conclusion as the Central Lakes College Raiders dominated in every facet of the game in a 112-57 win over the Hibbing Cardinals on Saturday. Jake Dryer came off of the bench to lead Central Lakes with 16 points, and was followed by Radamus Jones with 15. The Raiders received scoring from 13 players, and all 15 players received playing time. Vermilion also won its game Saturday which means the Raiders and Ironmen finished with division records of 13-1, losing only to each other. By virtue of a coin flip, Vermilion got the No.
In the final game of head coach Cassie Carey's first season, the Central Lakes College Raiders went up against Hibbing on Saturday afternoon. The Hibbing Cardinals are a deep team and in second place in the Northern Division and headed to the postseason. After trailing by eight at the half, the Cardinals imposed their will in the second half and came back to defeat CLC 74-68. MacKenzie Holst scored 25 points, grabbed six rebounds, and dished out two assists in 40 minutes for the Raiders.
The Horne section proved to be the undoing of the Central Lakes College Raiders on Saturday as Vermilion's tandem of Lola and Lela Horne combined for 37 points in a 73-62 win for the Ironmen in a Northern Division matchup. Lola Horne led all scorers with 21 points, including five from behind the arc. Lela Horne finished with 17 points, but also collected 16 points and recorded 11 steals. The Raiders lost for the fifth straight time and continued to struggle in the second half after pulling even at 31 heading into the half.
Saturday was a day of missed opportunities for the Central Lakes College Raiders. They missed an opportunity to put a stranglehold on the Northern Division and they missed an opportunity to get head coach Jim Russell his 350th win at CLC after dropping a sometimes ragged 78-71 contest to Vermilion. The Raiders saw their 16-game winning streak snapped and also allowed the Ironmen to tie them for first place in the division. Radamus Jones led the way for CLC with 17 points, and Davaghndre Jones collected 16 points, while N'Gai Dixon finished with 10. The Raiders, however, shot just 41 percen
The Central Lakes College Raiders have had a strong start to the 2014-2015 season, but Saturday's 105-21 Northern Division win over Itasca may have been their most impressive one yet. Davaghndre Jones scored 21 points to lead the Raiders. Chris Ayers was next with 12, and Radamus Jones and Alex Koch each finished with 11 to lead CLC to its ninth straight win. It was also the fourth time this season the Raiders have topped the 100-point mark. Several things make this Raiders team stand out from recent teams. The first is their depth as 13 different players scored in Saturday's game.
Early in the first half of their Northern Division matchup against Itasca, the Central Lakes College Raiders were on the wrong side of an 18-4 score. With a bench consisting of only one player, the Raiders didn't have a lot of options to shake things up. CLC head coach Cassie Carey decided to let things play out and did not call a timeout. That paid off as the Raiders were able to right the ship and get back in the game. A basket by Angela Mosbeck cut the lead to 10, and by halftime CLC was on the right side of a 29-27 score. "I keep saying it, but the girls were very resilient today.
A strong day on vault and a good one on floor couldn't help the Brainerd Warriors compete with Melrose during Saturday's Holiday Invite at Brainerd High School. Mady Brinkman of Melrose won the balance beam with a 9.5 leading to a first-place all-around score of 37.05.