GRAND RAPIDS — Defense wins championships and it certainly wins non-divisional games.
That was the case Tuesday at the Central Lakes College Raiders corralled the Itasca Vikings to secure an 81-52 victory.
Thirteen different Raiders scored led by post players Maurice Hernandez’s 18 points and Kevin Kuefler’s 15 points and nine rebounds.
“We shot well from the free throw line and shot from the field pretty well,” said Raiders head coach Jim Russell. “The main key was our defense. It was solid all night.”
The Raiders held the Vikings to 32-percent shooting (17-of-53) from the field, including 5-of-20 from 3-point. CLC committed just 11 turnovers and held Itasca’s leading scorer Eric Stark scoreless in 39 minutes of action. The Grand Rapids High School graduate came into the game averaging 23 points.
“Everybody played and the most impressive thing for us was we had good rhythm on offense and our defense played great,” said Russell. “Kwamaine Johnson, our only returning starter from last year, stepped up and played great defense on Stark.”
Itasca 20 32 — 52
Central Lakes 29 52 — 81
Joshua Mitchell 24, Jeromy Obrien 6, Darion Patterson 9, Justin Brunk 1, Nick Emanuel 2, Corvez Howze 8, Nolan Goss 2.
Alonzo Williams 2, Cody Hofmann 7, Michael Farrington 6, Ronnie Kornbaum 7, Maurice Hernandez 18, Roberto Lopez 3, Kwamaine Johnson 1, Brandon Davis 4, Kevin Kuefler 15, Matt Christenson 4, Michael Lindsay 8, Brent Koehler 4, Dylan Moorlag 2. FG 31-66 (47 perent). FT 13-20 (65 percent). 3-point: 6-17 (35 percent). Overall: 3-0. Next: at W. Arman Classic, Bismarck, N.D. 4 p.m. Friday.