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Men’s College Basketball: Despite slow start Raiders still tally 28-point win

The Central Lakes College Raiders hosted Fond du Lac.

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Central Lakes College's Evan Hoy, left, and Fond du Lac's Tahj Jenkins go after the ball Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, at Central Lake College in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch
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BRAINERD — The Central Lakes College Raiders took to the court for the first time since the Christmas break facing a Fond du Lac team with just six available players.

It seemed like a good formula for a win and the Raiders battled through early sluggishness in the first half before picking up the defense in the second half for a

116-88 win Wednesday, Jan. 5.

Quamar Gresham led the Raiders with 25 points with Derek Aeilts close behind with 22 and Jalen Dearrrin with 21 as CLC improved to 9-4 overall.

“We made some adjustments in the second half to slow them down,” Raiders head coach Jim Russell said. “They could score and have some good athletes. That is an upcoming program and you have to give them credit. This is the first time we were back together, what with COVID and other stuff going on. We are going through a lot of adversity right now, but we still get a chance to play hard and I asked my guys to share the ball and we did that. I wish we would have played better defense, but they made some shots.”

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Fond du Lac’s Demetrius Torrence had a hot-shooting night to finish with 25 points while teammate Jehoiada Goins was tough in the post area totaling 29 points for the undermanned Thunder.

CLC’s Zaa Buffalo pulled down 10 rebounds and dished out five assists. As a team, the Raiders collected 30 assists and along with a three-quarter trap pushed a 15-point halftime lead to a 78-55 advantage at the 14:59 mark on a basket from Gresham. The Raiders finished a 10-point run with two free throws from Josh Lewis to extend their lead to 85-55. CLC extended that to its largest lead at 90-57 on a basket from Traveon Jones.

“At the beginning of the year there were a couple of balls flying around the gym and guys not ready for passes, but as time went on and we started to progress and know each other and our tendencies on the court it has melded together pretty well,” Buffalo said.

Russell praised Buffalo and the rest of the Raiders on their basketball IQ and the ability to find the open man for easy buckets.

“They are coming together well on sharing the ball and Zaa leads that,” Russell said. “I am sure he is one of the top assist leaders and at the position he plays it is not a guard position and that is really good stuff.”.

The Raiders finished with 116 points and a comfortable win, but Russell credited Fond du Lac with a solid performance from Torrence and Goins. Buffalo also said the Raiders needed to fight through complacency knowing they were playing a team with just six players.

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“It’s easier to slack off when you don’t think the whole team is going to compete because they only have six guys, but I think you have to realize they just want to compete all that much more because they have six guys and they are going to fight no matter what,” he said.

Fond du Lac 44 44 - 88
Central Lakes 59 57 - 116

FOND DU LAC
Ian Green 13, , Demetrius Torrence 25, Jesus Delapaz 3, Kaden Hanson 5, Tahj Jenkins 13, Jehoiada Goins 29. FG 34-74 (46 percent), FT 13-20 (65 percent). 3-point 7-12 (58 percent).

CENTRAL LAKES
Hunter Nissen 5, Jalen Dearring 21, Josh Lewis 4, Quamar Gresham 25, raveon Jones 9, Evan Hoy 5, Zaa Buffalo 15, Derek Aeilts 22, David Felix 10. FG 49-96 (51 percent), FT 9-13 (69 percent). 3-point 9-17 (53 percent). Division: 1-0. Overall: 9-4. Next: hosts Hibbing 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8.

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Central Lakes College's Josh Lewis goes up for a basket against Fond du Lac Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, at Central Lake College in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Related Topics: BASKETBALLLOCAL SPORTS
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