Women’s College Basketball: Raiders fall, but still earn tourney bid

Central Lakes College's Haley Youngbauer takes the ball up the court Saturday, Feb. 22, against Rainy River at CLC. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

There were two roads for the Central Lakes College women’s basketball team to earn a spot in the Region 13B tournament next weekend.

The first was to defeat the Rainy River Voyagers Saturday, Feb. 22 in Brainerd to clinch a third-straight postseason berth. The second was a Northland victory over Lake Superior, which would give the final spot to the Raiders.

The first way didn’t work out as CLC fell to Rainy River 80-71. Northland, however, helped the Raiders with a 70-51 victory to send the Raiders into the region tournament where they’ll face Northland in the opening round Saturday, Feb. 29

Rainy River focused on Lillee Hardee, who scored 44 points in her last game. The strategy worked as she was 0-7 from behind the 3-point arc, but finished with 15 points and seven rebounds.

“It was a game of runs and it comes down to both teams playing five to six players,” CLC head coach Brian Voigt said. “The game of runs kind of mirrors our season in that we would go on a winning run and then a losing run. It was great before the postseason in that it was kind of a do-or-die game where we have to play well.”


CLC’s Maggi Fellerman collected 18 points and 16 rebounds. Haley Youngbaer scored 17 points and Kali Mammenga tallied 18. Paige Wallevand recorded 16 rebounds and 10 points.

“I thought that we played well today,” Fellerman said. “They were playing a box-in-one on Lilli (Hardee) which put more pressure on Paige (Wallevand) and myself to score, but I think we handled it well. We got our points down low as opposed to from the outside.”

The Raiders built a 17-9 first-quarter lead, finished off by a layup by Wallevand. The Voyagers responded with a 10-2 run and the two teams were tied at 19 at the end of the first quarter.

The run continued in the second quarter and a layup by the Voyager’s Shanughnessy Bennett gave Rainy River a 24-19 lead with 9:34 left. That lead grew to as large as 10, but two free throws by Hardee pulled the Raiders to 39-34.

In the fourth quarter, a basket from Wallevand pulled CLC to 69-67, but it wouldn’t get closer.

An 11-2 run from Rainy River made the final score 81-79. The Voyagers swept the season series as they defeated CLC 88-70 Jan. 19.

Rainy River lost just one division game and landed in the No. 2 spot behind No. 1 Northland for the Regional Tournament. Hibbing, whom the Raiders defeated Feb. 7 earned the No. 3 spot with CLC at No. 4.

“Northland’s coach does a great job and she knows our strengths and weaknesses,” Fellerman said. “I think we just all need to play together and believe that we can do this and play like this is our last game.”


Northland’s Carli Mekash and Janie Wunderlich caused the most problems for CLC the last time the two teams met.

“I think we match up well with all three teams in the tournament and I think that is the same with Northland,” Voigt said. “They like to slow things down. Both times we have played, the stats have been pretty even, but it is the same as other games in that we have to rebound and limit our turnovers. They crash the board and if we can limit that it should be a close game.”

For more photos, go to .

Rainy River 19 27 19 15 -- 80
Central Lakes 19 19 18 15 -- 71

Kolby Underwood 8, Shanughnessy Bennett 7, Amanda Estiverne 13, Arcadya Conway 21, Alyssa Herrera 31. FG 32-79 (41%), FT 9-16 (56%). 3-point 7-35 (20%).

Haley Youngbauer 17, Lillee Hardee 15, Paige Wallevand 10, Maggi Fellerman 18, Kali Mammenga 11. FG 24-71 (34%), FT 21-24 (88%). 3-point 2-19 (11%). Division: 7-7. Overall: 9-15. Next: vs Northland at Thief River Falls in Region 13B semi-final, 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb 29.


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