Mike Peeters knows his role.
He knows he's not going to start. He knows he's not going to get a ton of playing time. He knows he's not going to be the first offensive option.
But the Central Lakes College Raiders forward has embraced his role.
Peeters' play was a big reason the Raiders opened the North Division with an 82-69 win over the Mesabi Range Norse Tuesday.
Peeters came off the bench to spark the Raiders, scoring 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting and grabbing six rebounds.
"Mike understands his role," Raiders coach Jim Russell said. "Mike loves the game and he's just waiting for his time. When Mesabi went zone, I didn't hesitate to put him in.
"As a team we're not surprised by Mike's play. I'm sure (Mesabi coach Tom) Stackpool is looking at the stats and asking, 'Who is that kid?'"
Nobody will be asking who the other Raiders are. Travis Krenske again led CLC in scoring with 14 points, including three 3-pointers. Mike Pater, Leonard Langdon and Deejay Mayfield all added 11 points apiece. Pater grabbed nine boards.
But the telling stat is the assist column. Point guard Andy Schmitz dished out four assists with six other players registering at least one.
"When we play well we end up with 15 or more assists a game," Russell said. "These guys like to share the basketball. The numbers we should worry about is how many assists we have. It not only makes you look good but it makes your teammates look good.
"Nobody in our program scores a lot of points because we share the basketball."
CLC built an early 22-10 lead that it wouldn't relinquish throughout the entire game. The Raiders shot 48 percent in the game and outscored the Mesabi bench 37-14.
Raiders 82, Mesabi Range 69
Role player: Mike Peeters came off the bench to score 13 points and grab six rebounds.
Next: at Itasca, 8 p.m. Friday
The Raiders also turned 17 Norse turnovers into 23 points. Mesabi came in averaging 87 points, tops in the state. It met a roadblock in the Raiders' defense.
"We rotated well on defense and put pressure on the ball," Russell said. "Stackpool said after the game it was the best defense he's seen anybody play. We knew Mesabi was athletic and likes to put the ball on the floor. For us to stop them from doing that was the key."
Mesabi guard Courtney Davis entered the game with a 19.5 scoring average. He was held to only 15 as Raider forward Ron Jackson deployed a blanket defense.
"The key for us is that Ron is a little taller," said Russell. "We wanted to see if (Davis) could shoot over Ron. A lot of people don't give Ron credit because he's a taller player but he moves very well and is smooth. Ron really showed his leadership on the defensive end."
Mesabi Range 31 38 -- 69
Central Lakes 43 39 -- 82
Courtney Davis 15, Laurence Jones 13, William Maupins 6, Brandon Pickens 2, James Nobles 10, Alex Maas 11, Greg Ravy 12. Team totals: FG 27-80 (33.8 percent), FT 9-12 (75 percent). 3-point baskets: 6 (Davis 3). North Division -- 0-1. Overall -- 6-5.
Deejay Mayfield 11, Andy Schmitz 4, Mike Pater 11, Travis Krenske 14, Ron Jackson 6, Leonard Langdon 11, Louis Roseman 10, Michael Peeters 13, Adam Carson 2. Team totals: FG 30-63 (47.6 percent), FT 17-24 (70.8 percent). 3-point baskets: 5 (Krenske 3, Mayfield, Peeters). North Division -- 1-0. Overall -- 9-4. Next game: at Itasca College 8 p.m. Friday.
Rebounds -- CLC 38 (Pater 9, Jackson 8, Peeters 6), MR 47 (Maupins 12). Assists -- CLC 15 (Schmitz 4, Pater 3), MR 13 (Jones 4). Steals -- CLC 13 (Schmitz 4), MR 4. Turnovers -- CLC 15, MR 17.
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