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Women's College Basketball: CLC recovers from lackluster loss to beat Ridgewater

The Central Lakes College Raiders received scoring from eight different players in a dominant 72-60 win over Ridgewater Saturday in Brainerd for the Winter Classic.

Central Lakes College’s Tanisha Beetso shoots a jump shot Saturday against Ridgewater in Brainerd for the Winter Classic. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery and Video
Central Lakes College’s Tanisha Beetso shoots a jump shot Saturday against Ridgewater in Brainerd for the Winter Classic. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery and Video

The Central Lakes College Raiders received scoring from eight different players in a dominant 72-60 win over Ridgewater Saturday in Brainerd for the Winter Classic.

Aleia Lupa led the Raiders with 20 points, and Sam Schimpp, Tanisha Beetso, and Naomi Lane all scored in double figures as the Raiders shot 38 percent from the floor.

With the win, the Raiders split their weekend tournament games after a disappointing loss to Minnesota West Friday. CLC finished the non-division portion of its schedule with an 8-4 record.

Beetso and Lupa were part of last year's team that struggled with depth issues all season, and traveled to one game with just five healthy players.

"Our big thing this year is numbers," Lupa said when asked about the difference between her first and second year. "It is nice having five or six players on the bench. We all trust each other and get along and we all bring different things to the team."

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Beetso also pointed out that those numbers have helped the Raiders in practice as they have been able to scrimmage against each other, something they weren't able to do last year.

 

"It helps to scrimmage against each other because we know what each other's strengths and weaknesses are," she said. "Running up and down really helps us define what we need to bring into the game."

CLC returned from Christmas break with its first game back Friday and neither head coach Randy Swanhorst nor his players were happy with a 70-57 loss to Minnesota West.

Defense was the Raiders' point of emphasis Saturday and they were successful, holding the Spartans to just 23 first-half points, and the Raiders led 36-23 at the half.

Beetso and Lupa were the main contributors to a third-quarter run that pushed the lead to 53-28. The Raiders led 64-38 in the fourth and Swanhorst was able to get playing time for all of his bench players as all 10 healthy players saw playing time.

"I think that trusting in each other and the teamwork that we had was the key today," said Beetso. "We know what we did wrong (Friday) night and we fixed it today. We were disciplined and patient on offense and defense."

Lupa pointed out that getting back to basics was key in Saturday's game as opposed to Friday's.

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"After our long break, we kind of struggled (Friday) night, but today our focus was defense and I think that is what our strong suit is," she said. "We are a pretty deep team but defense is our main focus."

CLC starts Northern Division play this Friday. Beetso and Lupa talked about their main goal being to make the state tournament and earn an opportunity to go the national tournament.

"We are on a roller coaster like every team can be," Swanhorst said. "(Friday) night we had a really poor performance by us, but I can't really explain how good I feel for Aleia, Tanisha, and Taylor (King) who has been injured so far this year. They are players who just battled and struggled last year with our depth.

"As I am watching film on other teams, I tell the girls that if we execute these things that are fixable we have the ability to compete with anyone."

 

Ridgewater 14 9 10 27 - 60

Central Lakes 24 12 22 14 - 72

 

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RIDGEWATER

Mariah Adams 4, Abby Oberg 22, Kendra Miller 5, Heidi Sellmann 13, Grace Sawyer 11, Morgan Swenson 5. FG 23-55 (42 percent), FT 9-14 (64 percent). 3-point 5-15 (33 percent).

 

CENTRAL LAKES

Katelyn Waytashek 2, Aleia Lupa 20, Amber Robben 4, Maddey Mellon 9, TSam Schimpp 12, Tanisha Beetso 13, Liz Anderson 1, Naomi Lane 11. FG 27-71 (38 percent), FT 9-14 (64 percent). 3-point 9-28 (32 percent). Overall: 8-4. Next: vs. Itasca at Grand Rapids 5:30 p.m. Friday.

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