Women's College Basketball: Raiders' season ends with loss to Hibbing
In the final game of head coach Cassie Carey's first season, the Central Lakes College Raiders went up against Hibbing on Saturday afternoon. The Hibbing Cardinals are a deep team and in second place in the Northern Division and headed to the pos...
In the final game of head coach Cassie Carey's first season, the Central Lakes College Raiders went up against Hibbing on Saturday afternoon.
The Hibbing Cardinals are a deep team and in second place in the Northern Division and headed to the postseason. After trailing by eight at the half, the Cardinals imposed their will in the second half and came back to defeat CLC 74-68.
MacKenzie Holst scored 25 points, grabbed six rebounds, and dished out two assists in 40 minutes for the Raiders. CLC's Kelly Pearson finished with 18 points and three assists in 34 minutes.
CLC closed out the season with a 4-10 Northern Division record and an overall mark of 6-19. While Saturday's result was not what the Raiders wanted in their final game, it was a prime example of the way they have played as a team for Carey and for each other.
"There is a fatigue factor when you are playing against a deep team and they were playing eight to nine players," Carey said. "When you are fatigued, you make less free throws and you are less effective on defense, and you turn the ball over."
In the first half, CLC shot 51 percent from the field in building a 44-36 lead. The Raiders also went 4-6 from behind the 3-point line, and also played solid defense.
The first five minutes of the second half have typically been a time of struggle for the Raiders. After five minutes of the second half, the Raiders still led 50-45. However, Hibbing tied the game at 50 before Jenny Skoog scored a lay-up and hit her foul shot to put the Raiders back up 54-50.
The Cardinals wouldn't be stopped as they stepped up their defense, forcing turnovers to take a 70-68 lead with just over a minute left. The Raiders had several chances to cut the lead, but were unable to pull out a win.
"This was a good Hibbing team. They are No. 2 in the conference and I give them a lot of respect," Carey said. "They have some great athletes and really spread the ball around. This is good motivation for us as we have been in our games against the top teams in our league."
All six CLC players are eligible to return next season. Through all of the struggles this season the team has stuck together and competed.
"With most, if not all, of our girls coming back we are going to be a force to be reckoned with," Carey said. "With the girls working hard I know we can get in better shape."
"I can't imagine what a player like MacKenzie Holst will do when she gets a 5- to 10-minute break and is only playing 30 minutes. Even Kelly Pearson, as a pure athlete, if we can get her a little more breathing time she can go after it defensively."
It could be a strange upcoming week for Pearson. She also played on the CLC volleyball team and has been competing since the early part of September.
"I am going to be happy for a break but I will probably get bored," Pearson said. "I will probably come and play volleyball and also shoot to prepare for next year."
Carey loves the direction her team is heading.
"You feel like things are coming to fruition and we are playing great basketball," she said. "I thought in the first half we were in control of the tempo, but when you get tired your shots don't go down and the list goes on.
"I think it will be great momentum going into the new season. I wouldn't have done things any differently. I love these six players and we are like a family and enjoy each other. We are looking forward to building that."
Pearson is also excited for next season.
"Coach has a really good thing going and I think she is the right person to rebuild the program," Pearson said. "She and Alvin (Carey) are really committed and passionate, and it has been fun playing for them."
Hibbing 36 38 - 74
Central Lakes 44 24 - 68
MacKenzie Holst 25, Kiana Edwards 5, Kelly Pearson 18, Jenny Skoog 9, Bethany Cressman 9, Angela Mosbeck 2. FG 24-62 (39 percent), FT 14-25 (56 percent). 3-point 6-18 (33 percent). Division: 4-10. Overall: 6-19.
Christina Wickingson 16, Megan Vidas 12, Callie Knudson 3, Melissa Weisbrick 15, Gabby Marano 2, Sarah Stolp 9, Amber Zapata 17. FG 24-56 (43 percent), FT 23-33 (70 percent). 3-point 3-12 (25 percent).