Men’s College Basketball: Raiders secure No. 1 seed for postseason

Josh Arnold

Not since Dec. 14 have the Central Lakes College Raiders been on the losing side of the scoreboard.

They won their 15th straight Saturday, Feb. 8, with a 109-87 Northern Division win over Vermilion in Brainerd.

The Raiders improved to 13-0 and clinched the No. 1 spot in the Northern Division. They also swept the season series with Vermilion as they defeated them 93-74 Wed, Jan 15.

Outside shooting from Josh Arnold and inside play of Tyree’on Johnson have been a tough combination for CLC most of the season. That was the case Saturday with Arnold tallying 23 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals. Johnson collected 14 points and 10 rebounds.

“We needed Josh to shoot well because as we go farther in postseason play a lot of teams will double-team our post guys and if they do that I need someone who is consistent shooting from the outside and Josh has been that,” said Raiders head coach Jim Russell.


It ended a tiring week as the Raiders played games Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and had bus trips Wednesday and Friday.

“Of course we are tired, but we want to be the No. 1 seed so we know that we need to take care of games like this with playoffs right around the corner,” Johnson said. “We are looking at that.”

CLC shot 60% from the field in the first half and 54% for the game and held Vermilion to 36 first-half points.

“As a coach you always want your guys to be prepared and that was probably the first thing on my mind,” Russell said. “We have pretty much clinched the No. 1 spot and now it is where we go from here. We have been beating teams pretty badly during league play so I want to know what kind of leaders I have and I take responsibility for us getting ready for every game.

“This game was about enjoying 40 minutes and seeing if we can get better. As we go along it gets tougher. I enjoy this team and I think they are playing really well together from players No.1 to No. 13.”

Beau Bailey scored 19 points and tallied four steals. It was his shot in the first half that completed a six-point run and gave the Raiders a 32-14 lead. Back-to-back dunks from Bailey and Johnson completed a 7-0 run and gave the Raiders a 50-36 halftime lead.

Johnson and Lionel Warner each scored 11-points in the first half. Warner’s return from a hand injury he sustained early in the season has created a lethal combination with Johnson.

“It is very important that Lionel is with us and games like this help him to continue to get in shape,” Johnson said. “We want our best roster when we head to the state tournament and hopefully to the national tournament.”


A 3-pointer from Arnold keyed an 8-point second-half run to put the Raiders up 64-46 at 16:05. The Ironmen couldn’t cut the deficit to under 10 and the Raiders pulled away for the 109-87 win.

“They (Vermilion) are a good athletic team and one of the big things is that when you are tired you don’t want to move the ball and we needed to do that,” Russell said. “Once we started moving the ball, our shooting started getting better and we also got some stops.”

Vermilion 36 51 -- 87
Central Lakes 50 59 -- 109

Tyrin Edmond 5, Taray Graves 21, Dalontray Nins 11, Devarius Davis 10, Devonne Tramble 15, Curtis Bell 23, Dachaun Davis 2. FG 31-74 (42%), FT 15-23 (65%). 3-point 10-32 (31%).


Zion Sanford 4, Josh Arnold 23, Kevin Holler 3, Javere Salter 2, Kameron Givens 11, Gavin Smith 4, Nigel Billingsley 10, Beau Bailey 19, Linoel Warner 13, Tyler Baribeau 3, Brandon Burggraff 3, Tyree’on Johnson 14. FG 40-74 (54 percent), FT 18-24 (75%). 3-point 11-29 (38%). Division: 13-0. Overall: 20-4. Next: hosts Itasca 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12.

Tyree'on Johnson

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