A humiliating, blowout loss is not often forgotten. Central Lakes College Raiders coaches and players can attest to that.
Exactly one month after being decimated 91-59 at Vermilion, the Raiders battled to a 63-60 win over the Ironmen on Saturday.
Sophomore guard Kody Braddix, who finished with a team-high 22 points and eight rebounds, said the team had been waiting to get another crack at Vermilion since the loss at Ely on Jan. 12.
"When we went up there we just went through the motions. They're a good team and we didn't really expect them to come out as hard as they did and they took advantage," Braddix said. "Coming out here today we had that on our minds. We were hungry for a rematch."
In the early going, it appeared as though the Raiders would be rolled over again by the Ironmen as they jumped out to a 12-0 advantage just over three minutes in.
But things were different Saturday.
Raiders 63, Vermilion 60
The key: Central Lakes outrebounded Vermilion 21-20 in the second half after being outrebounded 19-10 in the first
Division: CLC 7-3, V 7-3
Overall: CLC 15-7, V 17-7
Next: CLC at Northland, 8 p.m. Wednesday
The Raiders cut the deficit to 27-26 at the midway point of the first half and captured a 33-32 halftime advantage.
Both teams shot well in the first half, particularly Vermilion, which finished 12-of-22 (54.5 percent) from the field and 4-of-4 from 3-point range. Central Lakes, meanwhile, finished the half 13-of-28 (46.4 percent). The Ironmen held a 19-10 rebounding advantage while the Raiders forced 14 turnovers.
Vermilion pushed its advantage to 44-36 five minutes into the second half and was up 49-42 at the midway point. Russell said the Raiders played hard to hang with the Ironmen through the game's first 30 minutes.
"I thought we played fairly bad in the first half so to go in with a lead felt pretty good," Russell said. "We came out in the second half a little slow but the guys never quit."
Central Lakes continued to hang around and narrowed the deficit to 56-54 with five minutes remaining.
Russell said his team's defense rose to the occasion in the game's final minutes.
"They have so many weapons. But the great thing about this game is that you can always guard them, but you have to believe you can guard them. That's the key," Russell said. "Our zone gave them some problems because they didn't have any patience. They just wanted to throw it up there.
"Another key was rebounding in the second half. We didn't give them many second chances."
Central Lakes tied it at 56 on a C.J. Peeters jump shot at 4:32 and captured a 59-58 lead at 3:20 on a Braddix lay up.
The Raiders pushed their advantage to 61-58 before Vermilion responded at 58 seconds to make it 61-60.
After LeNorris Drummond missed a jumper with 22 seconds left, Vermilion went the other way, missed a layup, rebounded and missed a 3-point basket.
Braddix rebounded and was sent to line with 4.5 seconds remaining where he made both to sink the Ironmen.
Russell said his team showed him a lot by persevering.
"We lost by 32 up there," Russell said. "For us to come back today and win this game says a lot about this team.
Vermilion 33 17 - 60
Central Lakes 32 31 - 61
Nic Schulwitz 7, Adam Kado 8, Steve Birman 9, James Brooks 1, Eric McPherson 11, Jon Baker 3, James Dozier 2, Ashley Thomas 17, Jeff Lissick 2. Team totals: FG 22-53 (41.5 percent), FT 9-15 (60 percent), 3-point baskets: 7 (Schulwitz, Kado 2, Birman, McPherson, Baker, Thomas), Rebounds: 39 (McPherson 10), Turnovers: 18
George Washington 2, Kody Braddix 22, Matt Moorman 4, Will Kornbaum 4, C.J. Peeters 17, Dustin Monson 6, Ryan Peeters 2, LeNorris Drummond 2, Fritz Renelus 4. Team totals: FG 21-53 (39.6 percent), FT 19-28 (67.9 percent), 3-point baskets: 2 (Braddix, Kornbaum), Rebounds: 31 (Braddix 8), Turnovers: 11
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