Men's College Basketball: CLC puts exclamation point on 23-4 regular season

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.

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. 1 seed out of the North. The Raiders are seeded No. 2 and will play Minnesota West at 2 p.m. Friday at Anoka-Ramsey Community College in the MCAC/Region 13 tournament.

On Jan. 24, the Raiders won at Hibbing 75-62. The Cardinals had success in slowing that game down, and CLC coach Jim Russell and the Raiders were committed to not letting that happen in Saturday's game.

"They did get us into a half-court game at their place," said Russell. "We made some adjustments and weren't going to let that happen in this game. We were picking up full court and we were going to run and jump."


The up-tempo plan worked to precision as the Raiders jumped out to 24-13 lead capped off by a runner from Jones. They increased that lead to 43-19 with three minutes left in the first on a long 3-ball from Alex Koch.

In the second half, Russell got the opportunity to unload his bench. CLC's leading scorer was Jake Dryer, who came off the bench to score 16 points in 13 minutes.

Virtually all of the statistical categories were in the Raiders favor. They led in points off of turnovers (38-7), in total rebounds (43-37) and in 3-point shooting (33-18). They also received 59 points from their bench, compared to eight for the Cardinals.

It was the fourth straight win for the Raiders since Vermilion's victory at CLC two weeks ago. Neither Vermilion nor CLC has flinched since their meeting, as both teams have won all of their games since.

"It was a nice game," said CLC point guard Darsean Woodson who scored 12 points and dished out seven assists, along with swiping three steals. "We just wanted to come out to win in this last game of the season, and go into the state tournament on a positive note."

"I am really proud of our team. After that Vermilion game everyone stepped up and worked hard. We didn't want to lose again."

"This is a great team character-wise," Russell said. "From player one to 15 everyone has a great work ethic. Our players do a great job of sharing the ball. All you have to do is look at Darsean."

Early in the season, the Raiders got a signature win at Vermilion. With a chance two Saturday's ago to win and put the Ironmen two full games behind, the Raiders missed on that opportunity. That game could have sent the Raiders into a losing spiral, but it has done just the opposite.


"That game woke us up, and we went back to the grind and focused on the little things," said Russell. "Most importantly was our energy and competing and that's what we have been stressing. It helped us get back to the old ways of what got us here."

It was also the last home game for two sophomores.

"Alex (Koch) has been with us the last two years and what a great gentleman he is," Russell said. "He has grown up a lot this year and it is about playing a complete game. This year he is third on the team in rebounds.

"DJ (Davaghndre Jones) transferred from Rochester and he has been a great captain. When you talk about DJ and Alex I think any coach would take them."

Now it's on to Anoka and the hope of winning the state/region tournament and heading on to Rochester, N.Y., for the national tournament.

"I think everyone is ready and we have to show up come next week," said Woodson.

Hibbing 28 29 - 57

Central Lakes 52 60 - 112



Darsean Woodson 12, Radamus Jones 15, Trey Heinsius 9, TrayVon Lackey 10, Jake Dryer 16, N'Gai Dixon 11, Kessler Geschwill 5, Davaghndre Jones 6, Alex Koch 9, Chris Ayers 4, Jayelyn Price 2, Austin Smith 6, Deshaun Patterson 7. FG 40-81 (49 percent), FT 21-23 (91 percent). 3-point 11-30 (37 percent). Division: 13-1. Overall: 23-4. Next: No. 2 CLC vs No. 3 Minnesota West at the MCAC State and Region 13 Tournament at Anoka, 2 p.m. Friday.


Beau Howard 13, Markis Watkins 2, Antonio Carr 2, Mohamoud Abdillahi 2, Denzel Jones 6, Anthony Fisher 27, Noah Davis 5. FG 22-68 (32 percent), FT 7-9 (78 percent). 3-point 6-24 (25 percent).

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