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Men's College Basketball: Raiders win for fifth time in 6 games

The non-conference part of the schedule ended for the Central Lakes College Raiders on the final day of the CLC Winter Classic Saturday. Behind 30 points from Keonte' Jenkins, the Raiders finished the first half of the season with momentum in a 1...

Central Lakes College’s Keonte’ Jenkins drives to the basket Saturday against Dakota College. Kelly Humphrey/Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery and Video
Central Lakes College’s Keonte’ Jenkins drives to the basket Saturday against Dakota College. Kelly Humphrey/Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery and Video

The non-conference part of the schedule ended for the Central Lakes College Raiders on the final day of the CLC Winter Classic Saturday.

Behind 30 points from Keonte' Jenkins, the Raiders finished the first half of the season with momentum in a 104-91 win over Division II Dakota College of Bottineau of North Dakota. The victory gave the Raiders five wins in their last six games.

Thomas Kornbaum had another strong game inside with 18 points, and Shawn McGee ran the offense while scoring 16 points.

The point guard position has been a key driver in the Raiders reaching the semifinals of the state tournament the last two years, and McGee accepts that role.

"I wear it as a badge of honor," McGee said. "Coach Russell believes in me and the team believes in me and I try and put it out there for my guys."

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Russell has seen improved play from McGee as the non-conference schedule has progressed, but also likes what the team is doing collectively.

"With Shawn being a sophomore, he understands this and he took control at the end of the game," Russell said. "But it is nice to know that we can do it as a committee and he knows that, and we feel good about playing the game together.

After scoring 114 points in Friday's game, the Raiders came out firing again Saturday as they played at a high tempo in building a 28-10 lead, capped off by a three from Darrelle Bacon.

CLC increased the lead to 19 points on a 3-pointer from Osirus Washington that made it 37-13. The teams played even for the rest of the half and the Raiders led 53-35 at the break.

Dakota's Terell Alfred wasn't going to let the Jacks go away quiet, and he scored 18 of his 33 points in the second half to lead his team to within 85-76. That's when Jenkins took over for the Raiders as he scored nine points in the final five minutes, including a three, as the shot clock expired and put the Raiders back up by 11on their way to the win.

"We are improving each day and working toward that championship game, but it is one game at a time," said McGee.

With the Jacks attempting to come back in the second half, the Raiders faced full-court pressure which they struggled with at times, but as a team only accumulated 13 turnovers for the game compared to Dakota's 29.

"We grew up a lot tonight and that is what you hope for in the pre-season," Russell said. "Guys are starting to understand their role and I think we have a lot to give."

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The Northern Division season starts Friday as CLC hosts Itasca.

"I think we are coming together as a team and we took huge steps this weekend," Russell said. "We talked about being on the same court together and to score as many points as we have says a lot, but overall we are playing better on offense and defense."

Dakota College 35 56-91

Central Lakes 53 51-104

DAKOTA COLLEGE

Deylon Hunt 8, Joshua Smith 9, Abdul-Hakim Fofana 20, Tommy Collins 12, Youssouf Traore 2, Terell Alfred 33, Guillermo Rodriguez 2, Cedric Crutchfield 5. FG 26-55 (47 percent), FT 27-35 (77 percent). 3-point 12-19 (63 percent).

CENTRAL LAKES

Shawn McGee 16, Keonte' Jenkins 30, Osirus Washington 6, Jacob Russell 5, Darrelle Bacon 5, Thomas Kornbaum 18, Shyheem Murray 3, Timothy Boyd 9, Nick Wiesmann 1, Lamontrell Fuller 11. FG 34-71 (48 percent), FT 25-30 (83 percent). 3-point 11-30 (37 percent). Overall: 8-4. Next: host Itasca 7:45 p.m. Friday.

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