Central Lakes College Raiders coach Jim Russell knew the type of game his team would be involved in before it even began Friday.
He said so after his team's victory Thursday night, mentioning that the Iowa Lakes Lakers on Friday would push and they would score.
They did both in large doses against the Raiders in a 90-78 victory.
CLC assistant coach Mike Paulus also had knowledge of the Lakers' style and the challenges they would present CLC.
"Generically, we knew what they were all about, that they like to run, they like to score and they were athletic. Other than that, we didn't scout them. The way we prepared is we prepared ourselves," Paulus said. "We wanted to come in with some heart, some scrap and some fight.
Kody Braddix had 22 points.
"In our own gym, especially, we needed to bring that spark to get an advantage because we didn't have the advantage athletically."
Coming into the game averaging nearly 90 points, the Lakers' offense was on full display in the first half after a slow start. With most stats being equal, Iowa Lakes was able to hold a 46-37 edge at halftime due to its 21-13 rebound advantage and six 3-pointers. The Lakers also held a slight shooting advantage from the field as they went 17-33 (51.5 percent) compared to the Raiders' 13-28 (46.4 percent).
Things got out of hand early in the second half as both C.J. Peeters and head coach Jim Russell picked up technical fouls at the 18:19 mark. It was Peeters' fifth foul and the Lakers stretched their lead to 58-37.
Iowa Lakes held that same 20-some point advantage until CLC put on a trapping press at the seven-minute mark.
Iowa Lakes 90,
The key: The Raiders fell behind by as many as 23 points in the second half.
Overall: CLC 7-4, IL 9-4
Next: Northland at CLC, 8 p.m. Wednesday
By the three-minute mark the Raiders had cut the deficit to 79-71, but that was as close as they would get.
Kody Braddix, who finished with a team-high 22 points, said he was proud of the way his team continued to apply tight defensive pressure and battle back in the game's final minutes.
"If we would have played like we did toward the end at the beginning we may have been able to take the game," he said. "It's our gym, you don't want to get blown out on your home court.
"We played hard. I'm proud of how we battled at the end, we didn't put our heads down and we kept coming back. We knew we could come back with the pressure, it just came a little too late."
Paulus said the team took a big step forward heading into conference play Wednesday despite the loss.
"They're a scholarship school. Depth-wise they have athletic guys at every position. On paper they should have completely outplayed us," he said. "But we hung with them.
"Overall, we got through the non-conference (schedule) well. The second season is coming up and it's the important one. The good thing is we came together as a team today. It was a loss, but as a team we finally turned the corner."
Iowa Lakes 46 44 - 90
Central Lakes 37 41 - 78
George Washington 4, Kody Braddix 22, Matt Moorman 3, Dusty Parker 10, Will Kornbaum 10, C.J. Peeters 2, Cody Lezer 5, Dustin Monson 19, Ryan Peeters 2, Justin Sutton 1. Team totals: FG 24-63 (38.1 percent), FT 24-31 (77.4 percent), 3-point baskets: 6 (Braddix, Moorman, Parker 3, Kornbaum). Turnovers: 19. Rebounds: 42 (Monson 7).
Mitch Bain 4, Mike Betts 1, Zach Fenceroy 5, Bill Geelan 18, Joe Knoer 6, Jimmie Marshall 23, Jackson Parr 5, Cornelius Vines 24, Jeremy Winters 4. Team totals: FG 31-66 (47 percent), FT 21-32 (65.6 percent), 3-point baskets: 7 (Marshall 2, Vines 4, Fenceroy). Turnovers: 18. Rebounds: 43 (Marshall 6, Geelan 6).
Ty RUSHMEYER may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5865.
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