Men's College Basketball: Inside-outside game powers CLC past Ridgewater

Successful basketball teams generally have a good inside-outside game and the Central Lakes College Raiders look like they are on a path toward success.

JaQuavius Hays
JaQuavius Hays

Successful basketball teams generally have a good inside-outside game and the Central Lakes College Raiders look like they are on a path toward success.

In defeating the Ridgewater Warriors 90-79 in a non-division game Saturday, Dec. 8, the Raiders received great play from point guard Chris Buckley and from forward JaQuavius Hays.

Buckley's 31 points led the Raiders in a win over Minnesota West Friday, Dec. 7, and on Saturday he finished with 24 to lead the Raiders again in scoring. Hays was next with 22 points and he secured 10 rebounds. Al-Jureau Ray also scored 21 points, including a crowd-pleasing windmill dunk late in the contest.

The Raiders sit 5-2 and coach Jim Russell is encouraged about the balance of this team.

"It is great to have that combination of inside threat and outside threat and that is what we have right now with Chris and Jaq and we are just balancing things out," Russell said.


"AJ came out tonight and played really well, and Brandon Burggraff got a chance to start tonight and held his ground, and that is what we are looking for. We can score and now we just have to make that commitment to keep getting better on defense."

The Raiders started out of the gate fast as they built a 7-0 lead and a 22-14 edge midway through the first half. The Warriors' Niko Oliver and Sam Olson, who finished with 21 and 20 points, respectively, started to get Ridgewater back in the game and it tied CLC 24-24 with 7:24 left in the half.

Hays also had to go to the bench with foul trouble in the first, but the Raiders responded to lead 41-38 at the half.

"Coach let us know that they were a good team, and we really wanted to come out and show them that we are the better team and we can dominate on our home court and we wanted to show our fans that," Buckley said.

CLC shot 46 percent from the field in the first half, but struggled from 3-point range as it hit on just two of 13 shots. With Hays leading the way, the Raiders won the battle in the paint by a 24-10 margin.

"Jac is a very good player and when he is playing big minutes we are going to need him for the season," Buckley said. "He is not one-dimensional. He can defend, block, and score and we need that from him."

With Hays back on the court to start the second half, the Raiders built a 54-49 lead, only to see Ridgewater tie it at 56 at the 13:50 mark. Led by Hays' 16 second-half points and eight rebounds, the Raiders built a 65-59 lead at the 10:01 mark and the Warriors didn't get any closer. CLC pushed the lead to 83-68 with 3:24 left in the second half and went on to the win.

"I think Ridgewater is a very good team and they have all the pieces to the puzzle," Russell said. "They have the shooters and ball handlers with ability, and they have a horse inside. I think they will only get better and it was a good measuring stick for us, and to take care of things at home."


Buckley, who led the team in scoring in both weekend games, praised his team's effort.

"The guys stepped up on defense and we have been working hard all week in practice on the defensive end and to stand out ground on defense," Buckley said. "It was a big win for the team tonight."

Ridgewater 38 41 - 79

Central Lakes 41 49 - 90


Jadaunte Sutton 7, Daviante Ostrander 10, Niko Oliver 21, Rodney Lubin 5, Sam Olson 20, Parker Schwinghammer 3, Travis Visser 13. FG 29-76 (38 percent), FT 10-17 (59 percent). 3-point 11-35 (31 percent). Overall 6-4.


Chris Buckley 24, Josh Arnold 7, Malik Kelly 3, Gavin Smith 5, JaQuavius Hays 22, Kelvin Harris 2, Al-Jureau Ray 21, Avis Gilbert 4, Brandon Burggraff 2. FG 32-66 (49 percent), FT 18-23 (78 percent). 3-point 8-23 (35 percent). Overall: 5-2. Next: vs Lake Superior at Duluth 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec 14.

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