MINNEAPOLIS -- All good things must come to an end.
Unfortunately for the Central Lakes College men's basketball team it was sooner than it had hoped as its storybook season didn't have a happy ending.
The Raiders lost in the opening round of the Minnesota Community College state tournament to Anoka-Ramsey 82-76 Friday.
MCCC Men's State Touranment
Vermilion 72, Rainy River 70
Mesabi 83, Rochester 75
Minneapolis 87, Fergus Falls 77
Anoka-Ramsey 82, Central Lakes 76
Rainy River vs. Rochester, noon
Central Lakes vs. Fergus Falls, 2 p.m.
Vermilion vs. Mesabi, 5 p.m.
Anoka-Ramsey vs. Minneapolis 7 p.m.
Consolation Championship, noon
Third Place game, 2 p.m.
Championship game, 4 p.m.
"Anoka played a good game," Raiders coach Jim Russell said."They shot 55 percent from the field and if they weren't turning the ball over they were hitting their shots. Everything seemed to go their way. Little bounces here and there, but give them all the credit in the world."
A-R was in a zone in the second half as they shot almost 61 percent from the floor including a blistering 58 percent from 3-point land to turn a 6-point deficit into a double-digit lead. A furious Raiders comeback in the last few minutes came up short. The loss puts CLC in the consolation bracket.
"I knew going into this tournament this was going to be a hard game," Russell said. "Anoka has size and they're very physical and they have some shooters. Their record doesn't show it, but they're a good team."
The Raiders started out the game on a tear, jumping out to a 15-2 lead behind wing Garth McFadden's shooting. McFadden, who finished the game with 25 points, 15 coming from behind the 3-point arc, set the tone as he nailed a three from the top of the key for CLC's first points.
But slowly the Rams would work themselves back into the game behind Nate Kerkhoff's 9 first-half points and would go into halftime only down by six at 38-32.
The wheels came off the cart at the beginning of the second half for the Raiders as Anoka went on a 21-9 run to give them the lead at 53-47. Guard Josh Klem, who finished with a game-high 28 points, led the charge by hitting three, 3-pointers. That lead would swell to 15.
With Anoka leading 67-52, the Raiders, behind a suffocating defense that forced the Rams into bad decisions and two Travis Janich 3-pointers, went on a 14-2 run that brought the lead to 69-66.
That, however, would be as close as CLC would get as Anoka answered the Raiders every shot and hit its free throws down the stretch to seal the win and a berth into the semi-finals.
"We started the game out great," Raiders guard Joel Clough said. "We forced them into a lot of turnovers, but we just didn't keep the intensity up throughout the entire game."
The loss puts the Raiders into the consolation bracket and with no chance to advance to the region tournament.
Russell feels that his team played hard and will now be playing for pride the rest of the tournament.
"Hopefully, we can go out and put some CLC pride into the game and get something positive done," Russell said. "We don't want to end the season on a loss," Mrozek said. "We're playing for ourselves and we'll just try to have fun together."
CENTRAL LAKES (76)
Garth McFadden 25, Joel Clough 8, Travis Janich 13, Jermaine McGruther 4, Reid Kuschel 6, Jay Mrozek 8, Brandon Flanders 12. FG 28-71 (39.4 percent), FT 12-19 (63.2 percent). Overall --19-5. Next: consolation round vs. Fergus Falls/Minneapolis loser.
Josh Klem 28, Alan Ng 12, Cyrus Nimene 6, Nate Kerkhoff 14, Matt Borak 7, Scott Clark 7, Colin Leier 8. FG 27-49 (55.1 percent), FT 19-23 (82.6 percent). Overall 12-13.
3-pt FG -- CLC 8 (McFadden 5), AR 9. Rebounds -- CLC 33 (Janich 6), AR 37. Team Fouls -- CLC 21, AR 20. Fouled out -- CLC Mrozek, Janich, AR Ng. Turnovers -- CLC 18, AR 28. Assists -- CLC 18 (Clough, McFadden 6), AR 17. Blocks -- CLC 1, AR 3, Steals -- CLC 15, AR 9.
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