It could be pay-back time for the Central Lakes College Raiders women's basketball team as it looks to avenge an overtime loss at the hands of the Ridgewater Warriors earlier this season.
CLC (1-4) will square off against the Warriors (6-3) at 5 p.m. Friday in the second game of the CLC Classic.
Ridgewater's Vicki Buseman, third in the South Division in scoring at 17.2 points per game and second in field goal shooting at 57 percent, lit up the Raiders in their earlier meeting, scoring 18 points.
CLC will also have to keep an eye on guard Michelle Buboltz, who's shooting 40 percent from behind the 3-point line and averaging 13.7 points.
One thing the Raiders will do to combat Ridgewater's high octane offense will be to apply full-court pressure in hopes of keeping the Warriors off-balance.
On offense, Ridgewater can expect a heavy dose of Val Diedrich, who'll bring her 18.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game to the floor.
The Raiders are also getting contributions from their many freshmen. Bobbi VanWechel is leading the North in 3-point shooting at 50 percent while Alisha Miller is fifth at 33 percent. Kayleen Starcevic is atop the North in field goal shooting at 59 percent and is 10th in rebounding at 7.0.
Monday, the Raiders will travel to take on the College of St. Benedict's junior varsity team.
As the Raiders come back from their holiday break, coach Jim Russell is hoping to unearth one thing in the coming weeks: An outside shooter.
CLC (3-4) will get that chance this weekend as it tangles with the Ridgewater Warriors (3-6) at 4 p.m. Saturday in the CLC Classic. The Raiders defeated Ridgewater 66-57 Dec. 13.
"I hope somebody will step up from the outside and get us going," Russell said. "Our effort is there and we have a pretty athletic team. The most important thing for us is taking care of the basketball and taking high percentage shots."
Those high percentage shots will most likely come from post players Daakarr Bellfield, Tony Monson and Ronald Jackson.
Bellfield leads the Raiders in scoring and rebounding with 12.7 points and 9.0 boards per game. Bellfield is also third in the North Division in field goal shooting at 62 percent.
Monson contributes 7.2 points per game in the paint while Jackson chips in with 5.5.
But it's the Raiders' outside shooting that needs the most help. Guard Daryl Burch, who's second on the team in scoring at 9.5, has been the biggest threat from outside. He's third in the North in 3-point shooting at 44 percent.
In its earlier meeting, CLC used a decided height advantage against the Warriors to get the win. That strategy won't change.
"We'll play a little more full court," said Russell. "We want to get up and down the court quicker and get the ball inside before we go for outside shots."
Defensively, the Raiders will have to contend with the shooting of guards Matt Totz and John Hamre. Totz is third in scoring in the South at 17.2 while Hamre is eighth at 13.7.
But CLC's defense has the ability to shut any team down. So far, the Raiders have held opponents to a mere 68.5 points per game, tops in the North and second in the state.
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