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Women's College Basketball: CLC coach enthused about third season

Central Lakes College head coach Cassie Carey enters her third year at the helm of the Raiders' women's basketball team excited about the potential of the team she's putting on the floor this season.

Cassie Carey
Cassie Carey

Central Lakes College head coach Cassie Carey enters her third year at the helm of the Raiders' women's basketball team excited about the potential of the team she's putting on the floor this season.

Last year, the Raiders were improved in their second year under Carey, finishing 11-13 overall and 6-8 and in fifth place in the Northern Division of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference. The top four teams in the division earn a spot in the state tournament.

"I am really excited to have the group of players that we have," said Carey. "We have some nice kids that are doing well in the classroom and keeping their priorities straight and they are fun kids to be around which is half the battle when you are dealing with team dynamics. This is what it is all about to have this extended family."

Carey also has three players returning Cheyanne Johnson, Kaitlin Spar and Amber Peterman. Spar finished in the top 10 in the division last year averaging 15 points a game. Johnson was a player of the week early in the 2015-16 season. Spar and Johnson were also both in the top 10 in free throw percentage last year.

"We have three players back and they are focused and getting along really well," Carey said. "Sometimes half the battle is trying to make sure that you have that team emphasis and working together and getting along.

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"These kids are great. I have asked a lot of them early this season as I am getting ready to go on maternity leave. I am also really excited that they have decided to make their grades a priority so they are doing grade checks with one another and their teachers."

Carey's goal was to have a roster of 15 players. She will start the season with eight players with five freshmen joining the team.

"We had about 15 early that had committed and it was kind of a bummer that it didn't work out to have that many. That was the ultimate goal," she said. "Being able to scout a team, it makes it easier when you are learning tendencies of your players to have the smaller roster. There is a component of having a small team in that it is easier to build that relationship with a small team and it adds a nice piece to the puzzle."

It will be a busy early season for the Carey family as Cassie and her husband, CLC assistant coach Alvin Carey, are expecting their second child in early November. Former Crosby-Ironton girls basketball coach Randy Swanhorst has joined the Raiders' staff this year. He will coach the team during Carey's absence.

"I am very grateful that Randy accepted the position and that he is willing to take this on and what great timing with it," Carey said. "He is so passionate for the game and he is great with the kids. I am excited to have him as an additional team member."

Carey has been able to spend a considerable amount of time with the team in the preseason and she's excited about the team's knowledge of the game.

"Every single player on this team knows how to play the game and they know the terminology," she said. "They come from a winning high school team and they get the concept of hard work and being on time, things that are sometimes the intangibles that you don't want to spend a lot of time coaching and they get it. They are very self-accountable."

Raiders roster

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No., name, position, year, hometown

1-Cheyanne Johnson, G, So., Barnum

3-Aleia Lupa, G, Fr, Maple, Wis.

5-Alexus Caldwell, G, Fr, Milwaukee

11-Kaitlin Spar, F, So, Staples

12-Taylor King, G, Fr, Richfield

22-Amber Petermann, F, So, Detroit Lakes

23-Tanisha Beetso, G, Fr, Farmington

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30-Brooke Miller, F, Fr, Aitkin

Raiders schedule

Fri. 11-11, at MN State Fergus Falls 6 p.m.

Fri. 11-18, United Tribes TC 5 p.m.

Sat. 11-19, Bismarck State College noon

Wed. 11-23, at St. Cloud Technical 6 p.m.

Wed. 11-30, University of Wisconsin-Superior JV 6 p.m.

Fri. 12-2, Riverland CC 5:45 p.m.

Sat. 12-3, Anoka-Ramsey CC 1 p.m.

Fri. 12-9, at Ridgewater College 5:45 p.m.

Sat. 12-10, at Minnesota West 1 p.m.

Fri. 12-16, CLC Winter Invitational 6 p.m.

Sat. 12-17, CLC Winter Invitational 4 p.m.

Fri. 1-6, CLC Winter Classic 6 p.m.

Sat. 1-7, CLC Winter Classic 4 p.m.

* Fri. 1-13, Itasca CC 5:45 p.m.

* Sat. 1-14, at Fond du Lac Tribal CC 1 p.m.

* Wed. 1-18, Vermilion CC 5:45 p.m.

* Sat. 1-21, Mesabi Range 1 p.m.

* Fri. 1-27, at Rainy River CC 5:45 p.m.

* Sat. 1-28, at Hibbing CC 1 p.m.

* Wed. 2-1, Northland 5:45 p.m.

* Sat. 2-4, at Vermilion 1 p.m.

* Wed. 2-8, at Mesabi Range 5:45 p.m.

* Sat. 2-11, Rainy River 1 p.m.

* Fri. 2-17, at Itasca 5:45 p.m.

* Sat. 2-18, at Northland 1 p.m.

* Wed. 2-22, Fond du Lac 5:45 p.m.

* Sat. 2-25, Hibbing 1 p.m.

Fri. 3-3, MCAC - Region 13 at Anoka

Sat. 3-4, MCAC - Region 13 at Anoka

Sun. 3-5, MCAC - Region 13 at Anoka

* Northern Division: CLC, Fond du Lac, Hibbing, Itasca, Mesabi Range, Northland, Rainy River, Vermilion

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