Three weeks can be a long time.
On Jan. 11, the Raiders traveled to Rainy River for their Northern Division opener, and were sent back home with an 86-70 loss.
On Saturday, the Voyagers traveled to Central Lakes with a 6-1 record and were sent back home on the wrong end of a 63-56 outcome.
Lindsay Monson finished with 19 points, while Ashley Arneson provided outside punch with 12 points. Jalynn Lamb scored 10 points as the Raiders won for the sixth time in seven games and upped their division record to 6-2.
“When we played them up there, they were pretty physical and we weren’t used to that,” said Raiders head coach Dennis Eastman. “I think what helps us a lot is that we play our alumni game on Mondays and we play with the guys on Thursday and scrimmaged.
“The guys are playing basketball and don’t want to get embarrassed so they are bumping and I think the girls have used that physical play to a positive.”
Along with her 19 points, Monson also collected eight rebounds and just two personal fouls in 32 minutes of play. Last Saturday, Monson and others had their time limited to early foul trouble.
Saturday Rainy River had four players with four fouls.
“We have practiced a lot on our defense and keeping our composure if we did get calls and to just play our game,” Monson said. “I know when I get the ball that I am looking to shoot. A lot of the people that I go up against are so strong that I have to be strong and I know that it’s my job to shoot.”
Rainy River featured a lineup that was strong on the inside led by Teaira Martin, who finished with 16 points.
In the first half, the Raiders were able to get good looks in transition game, but weren’t able to convert on all of them. Despite only 23 points from the Voyagers, it was just a two point game at half time.
The teams continued to stay close in the second half until a seven-point run from Rainy River gave them a 56-50 lead. The Raiders answered with an inside basket from Monson, a free throw from Carlie Sweet and a 3-pointer from Jessica Kadus to tie the game at 56.
CLC made four free throws down the stretch and scored the last 13 points of the game to get the victory.
With the win the Raiders and Rainy River are tied for second place in division play with six games remaining.
“When we played at Rainy River, we just weren’t playing well together as a team,” said Monson. “Our shots were not falling. We knew today with the home court advantage that we wanted to come out and play our game.”
“That just shows the maturity of the team to understand what they need to do and how they need to play,” said Coach Eastman. “It was a good win and we are tied for second place so I can breathe a little again.”
Mariah Childs 17, Joscelynne Alvarez 3, Jessica Alvarez 5, Naila Washington 9, Caseylynn Evans 4, Teaira Martin 16, Alisha Brinker 2. FG 26-85 (31 percent). FT 3-10 (30 percent). 3-point 1-10 (10 percent).
Carlie Sweet 5, Lindsay Monson 19, Taalyr Egeness 6, Ashley Arneson 12, Sierra Benning 8, Jessica Kadus 3, Jalynn Lamb 10. FG 23-58 (40 percent). FT 16-29 (55 percent). 3-point 1-6 (17 percent). Division: 6-2. Overall: 7-12. Next: CLC at Fond du Lac 6 p.m. Wednesday.