Women’s College Basketball: Raiders lose in the semifinals to Riverland

Central Lakes vs Riverland at Anoka-Ramsey in the Region 13A Tournament

Jaime Johnson

ANOKA — For the first time in three years the Central Lakes College Raiders participated in the postseason.

The Raiders, co-champions of the Northern Division entered the Region 13A tournament as the No. 2 seed, facing the Riverland Blue Devils, the No. 3 seed from the Southern Division Saturday, Feb. 25.

The Raiders trailed by just one point at the half, but came up short in the second half with the Blue Devils winning 71-62 to advance.

Jaime Johnson led the Raiders with 20 points. Alyssa Torgerson and Samantha Quigley each added 14 points as CLC finished the season with a record of 14-8 in Raider head coach Krystal Brodeen’s first year.

The scoreboard showed a nine-point loss with players and coaches having tears in their eyes after the game. A look at two dates showed the impact this team had in getting Raider women’s basketball going again after a two-year absence.


The first date to look at was Saturday, Nov. 12, when the Raiders traveled to Anoka Ramsey to face the Rams and were blown out 76-33.

“When we got into the locker room (after the playoff loss to Riverland), we didn’t know what to say,” Brodeen said. “But quickly it swung positively and we realized that we weren’t supposed to be here in our first year. In our first game of the year, we were here and got blown out by 40. And we all acknowledged that we are a completely different team than that one. At the end, we were happy with the way the season turned out but the end feeling is still hard.”

The second date to look at was Saturday, Dec. 17. The Raiders hosted Riverland in the CLC Winter Classic and fell to the Blue Devils 87-47. At that time, Brodeen noted that the Raider players were having difficulty finding their identity as most of the players were not the primary scorers with their high school teams.

Soon after that the team’s focus changed to a pressure defense style to create offense and it worked as CLC went 11-1 the rest of the regular season, helped by the addition of Quigley after Christmas.

In the first quarter of the game Saturday, the Raiders opened with pressure defense and built a 9-2 lead over the Blue Devils. Riverland went on a run to lead 20-17 at the end of the first quarter.

The Raiders went on an early run in the second quarter with a 3-pointer from Johnson to make the score 29-23, but fouls started to become a problem for CLC as both Torgerson and Kalli Papenfuss picked up their third fouls before halftime.

The Raiders trailed 34-33 at the half. Along with the fouls, turnovers were the other big issue in the first half with the Raiders giving up the ball 15 times.

“It was so frustrating because we teach the girls to play hard and play aggressive and then to have so many calls to me made off-ball and away from the shot took the wind out of our sails when they know that they are trying hard and getting penalized for that,” Brodeen said.


Both Torgerson and Papenfuss picked up their fourth foul in the third quarter and Riverland started to pull away to a 50-39 lead midway through the quarter. The Raiders responded as Johnson and Quigley each hit 3-pointers to shrink the lead to six points at the end of third quarter.

The Raiders lost their point guard early in the fourth quarter with Papenfuss picking up her fifth foul. A basket from Torgerson made it 56-51, but it was as close as CLC was able to get in the 71-62 loss.

Brodeen wasn’t the only one who was frustrated with the fouls as it was Riverland’s coach Andrew Kaiser who earned a technical foul for complaining about a foul call in the fourth quarter. After the game he praised the Raiders for their season.

“This was pretty much what the program was like when I took over at Riverland,” Kaiser said. “They had a coach who was there for four years but only fielded a team in one of those years. You need to get the right coach who is willing to put in the work. I think they are on the right track if they get all those girls to buy in. They got Quigley to come in after the first semester which was the main difference from when we played them the first time to this time. They are a good team and with our foul trouble and injuries we were fortunate to come out on top. “

Papenfuss was emotional on the bench after fouling out and Brodeen and her coaches had red eyes as they sat in the hallway after the game.

“We said in the locker room that we appreciated our sophomores and especially Megan Lanhart (who was on the last Raider playoff team in 2020) who came back after several years and was really emotional,” Brodeen said. “And then Sam (Quigley), Jacey (Rydberg) and Jaime (Johnson) too, but now Jaime is thinking, “I’ve got another year of eligibility left,” and you can tell with these freshman that they know they need to work even harder for next year with what need from the bench and peaking at the right time and I hope this feeling stays with them in a good way.”

Torgerson, who will be one of the Raiders key returning players next season, also talked about her focus for next season.

“I feel like as a team from when we first started in this gym and to get back and play for regionals it was pretty cool to be a part of,” Torgerson said. “For next year I feel like I need to get in the gym with my teammates and get stronger. We are already a close group and we look forward to building on that.”


Riverland 20 14 20 17 — 71

Central Lakes 17 16 15 14 — 62


Cayli Miles 10, Kenai Holien 10, Reana Schmitt 19, Erika Thurnau 3, Laura Granada 24, Savannah Longhoma 3, Macie Werdel 2. FG 25-61 (41%), FT 10-15 (67%). 3-point 11-35 (31%).


Jaime Johnson 20, Kalli Papenfuss 5, Alyssa Torgerson 14, Samantha Quigley 14, Jacey Rydberg 8, Megan Lanhart 1. FG 20-54 (37%), FT 14-26 (54%). 3-point 8-25 (32%). Overall: 14-8.

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