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Men’s College Basketball: Raiders record needed win

The Central Lakes College Raiders hosted Minnesota State Saturday, Dec. 10.

Anthony Burch
Anthony Burch
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BRAINERD — The beginning of the 2022-2023 season has been a challenging one for the Central Lakes College Raiders.

With just three players returning from last year’s team, the season began with the Raiders going 2-4 against Southern Division teams.

A 74-59 loss Friday, Dec. 9, to St. Cloud Technical and Community College was a frustrating start to a six-game homestand and the Raiders were in need of a victory Saturday afternoon.

In a game that came down to an errant last-second shot, the Raiders defeated Minnesota State Fergus Falls 68-66 Saturday, Dec. 10.

Anthony (AJ) Burch led CLC with 21 points and was 7-of-8 from 3-point range, including four from behind the arc in the second half. Michael Scott scored 13 points and David Felix added 11. The Raiders shot 37% for the game and improved their record to 3-5, while the Spartans fell to 5-4.

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The two teams will face each other again Friday, Dec. 16 in Brainerd.

“We shared the scoring load and a lot of guys played their role well,” CLC head coach Jim Russell said. “That team (Fergus Falls) I believe, averages in the 90’s so to hold them to where we did and for us to win as close as we did, it’s a good feeling.”

As the point guard for CLC, much is expected of Burch and he came through Saturday, including a key 3-pointer that put the Raiders up 66-54 with just over five minutes left in the second half. Burch was looking for the 3-ball and it was going his way.

“My normal approach to the game is to look for my shots and get my teammates involved,” Burch said. “Today, those were the shots that were open for me and they were going away and I was ready to shoot and make them in the flow of the game.”

Russell added: “Our expectations of AJ are pretty much what he did today. Lately, we are just learning about trusting each other and he has got a lot of responsibilities as a point guard. Today, was more like let the others do the little things and you just get yourself ready to shoot and I think he did that and he did it when we needed it.”

The Raiders struggled to get their shots to fall early as Fergus Falls jumped out to a 9-2 lead before a basket from David Felix cut the lead to 9-4 at 13:53.

Fergus Falls Yonis Mohaumd and Akok Aguer gave CLC trouble from behind the 3-point line as they hit 8-of-15 shots. The Spartans built a 25-22 lead but the Raiders stopped the run with a basket from Carson Jones and free throws from Langston Binns. A 3-pointer from Jones tied the game at 27 and from there CLC went on a 10-3 run to take a 37-30 lead to the half.

The Spartans fought back after falling behind by 12 points in the second half, Fergus Falls went on a nine-point run to make the score 56-53.

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A 3-pointer from Burch put the Raiders up 60-53 and another one appeared to seal the game with CLC. The Spartans had one more run and a 3-pointer from Mohamud made it 68-66 with 59.4 seconds left.

The Spartans had possession of the ball with 27 seconds left to tie the game or take the lead and Mohamud got a shot off from the baseline but it was off the mark. After a Raiders’ missed free throw, Fergus Falls had one more opportunity with 2.1 seconds left A Spartan shot came after the buzzer sounded and was off the rim and the Raiders celebrated a victory.

“We are feeling good. This is something that we really needed,” Burch said. “There have been a lot of ups and downs this season and we needed something to get us up. We have some younger guys who are learning to play the college game so we needed this really bad.”

The Raiders will get four more opportunities on their home court before division play begins Jan. 6.

“The first question that always comes up when you are struggling or not playing as well as you would like is if your effort is good,” Russell said. “I think as long as I have been here the effort will always be good. My job as a head coach is to take responsibility and make sure we do what we need to do and today we did that.

“For this team, it is all about chemistry and learning about each other and to trust each other. TJ Kornbaum hasn’t played in two years and Carsson Jones and David Felix were role players last year. Most of the guys don’t know me and how I coach and what my expectations are. At the end of the day, I love this group. They work hard and I think the talent is there if we continue to learn.”

Minnesota State 30 36 -- 66

Central Lakes 37 31 -- 68

MINNESOTA STATE

Mikele Kambalo 2, Akok Aguer 18, Yonis Mohamud 21, Marqual Turner 3, Matt Gooselaw 6, Foday Sheriff 7, Krosby Aasness 3, Alex Dawson 6. FG 26-63 (41 percent), FT 3-6 (50 percent). 3-point 11-30 (37 percent).

CENTRAL LAKES

Carrson Jones 8, Anthony Burch 21, Langston Binns 4, TJ Kornbaum 4, Davion Jackson 2, Broden Fleisher 5, David Felix 11, Michael Scott 13. FG 25-67 (37 percent), FT 7-10 (70 percent). 3-point 11-28 (39 percent). Overall: 3-5. Next: hosts Minnesota State Fergus Falls 8pm Dec. 16.

Related Topics: LOCAL SPORTSCENTRAL LAKES COLLEGECOLLEGE BASKETBALLMEN'S BASKETBALL
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