The Central Lakes College Raiders found themselves ahead by 10 points in their Northern Division matchup against Rainy River on Friday.
Considering the last few games the Raiders have played, the team wasn't overly happy with the result.
In the second half, the Raiders found their transition game, and came away with an 83-67 victory. The win gives CLC a 3-0 record to start the division season.
C.J. Peeters had 19 points to lead the Raiders, followed by Quentin Wilford with 18 points and Bam Glover with 15. The Raiders shot 58 percent from the field for the game.
Peeters pointed out that some elements of the game have been working well for CLC early in their division games.
CLC 83, Rainy River 67
The key: The Raiders shot 58 percent from the field.
North Division: CLC 3-0
Overall: CLC 12-3.
Next: host Northland 8 p.m. Wednesday.
"We have been taking care of the ball a lot better and our ball movement has been good," he said. "We're the No. 2 defense in the nation right now and that's definitely going to win games, especially when you force turnovers."
CLC coach Jim Russell expected a good matchup from Rainy River and the Raiders got all they wanted early in the first half.
"They are a good basketball team that can shoot and handle the ball," he said. "We haven't seen a point guard and they have one. They ran their stuff. In the second half we wanted to run at our tempo and we made adjustments on defense to make it not so easy for them to score."
Cornell Lawson had 13 points and gave Rainy River good point guard play as the Voyageurs got out to a three-point lead midway through the first half. The Raiders made some adjustments and went on a 10-0 run to take a 25-19 lead.
CLC built on that lead the remainder of the first half and took a 45-35 lead to the locker room at half time.
Peeters said defensive lapses early in the game caused some problems for the Raiders.
"Our whole defense is about staying home and in the lane.," he said. "The first half we got caught right away.
"We were lazy and our guys weren't seeing the ball and we weren't getting any help on the wings. They're a penetrating team so when they drive, people need to be in the lane to stop them. We made our halftime adjustments and held them back."
Russell made the adjustments and CLC came out with a much quicker pace in the second half.
"We wanted to create our tempo in the second half," he said. "They played at their tempo in the first half. We wanted to get up and down a little quicker, moving 'Q' (Wilford) to the 2-guard and putting another point guard in and letting him go a bit."
The Raiders expanded their lead to 69-52 with 6:14 left. With a deep bench, CLC kept fresh legs on the floor and wore down Rainy River.
Peeters agreed the Raiders' depth gives them an advantage.
"Everyone off the bench has a big heart and gets after it," he said. "Other teams with short depth it just drowns them. You get fresh legs and we can run, and their style of ball was to run so we stayed right with them and came out on top."
Rainy River 35 32 - 67
Central Lakes 45 38 - 83
Derek Skully 6, Lawrence Pierson 4, Cornell Lawson 13, Ryan Pierce 11, Mauriice Patton 6, Dylan Clarke-Knaeble 13, Bentley Hylton 14. Three-point baskets: Skully 2, Lawson 3, Pierce 2.
Sutan Burris 9, Quentin Wilford 18, Caleb Nurnberger 4, Will Kornbaum 3, C.J. Peeters 19, Bam Glover 15, Brandon Stenger 2, Dustin Monson 7, Ryan Peeters 4, Lalo Bellamy 2. Three-point baskets: Nurnberger, Kornbaum, C.J. Peeters 3.
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