After winning the first state championship in program history in 2007-08, the Central Lakes College Raiders men's basketball team took the first step toward a possible repeat this season.
The Raiders attacked the basket, shot the three, rebounded, ran the fast break and played solid defense in an 84-46 season-opening victory Monday night against the St. John's University junior varsity.
Four Raiders scored in double figures, including starters C.J. Peeters with 16 points, Illya "Bam" Glover with 14 and point guard Quentin Wilford with 10. Caleb Nurnberger came off the bench to add 11 points for CLC, which shot 52 percent from the field.
About the only negative for the Raiders was 25 turnovers.
C.J. Peeters took the ball to the hoop Monday in Central Lakes College's 84-46 defeat of the St. John's University junior varsity. Peeters led the Raiders with 16 points. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls» Purchase reprints of this photo.
"That's never good," C.J. Peeters said of the turnovers, "but overall we played pretty well. We're taking a step, our first step of the season. It was good to come out and get a big win in front of a crowd. We had a pretty good turnout.
"We've definitely got the talent. It's going to come down to chemistry this year. That's what we're working on every day in practice."
Raiders coach Jim Russell used 12 of the 14 players in uniform, and all but one scored. CLC received 34 bench points.
"It's early in the year. We're trying to figure out who can do what," Russell said. "Like I told them, you guys took your first step tonight and that step is trying to play together and playing hard. I think we did that. Our goal was to do that and to outrebound them."
CLC dominated the glass, outrebounding the Johnnies 49-23. The Raiders scored 19 second-chance points. Peeters led CLC with eight boards.
Peeters scored 13 of his 16 points in the first half, and Glover had 10. Nurnberger scored all of his 11 points in the second half on 3 of 7 shooting from behind the arc.
"It was a quick 11," Russell said of Nurnberger. "He hit a couple threes, bam, bam, bam. He's a great kid. He works his tail off on defense. It will be hard for me to keep him on the bench with the effort he gives."
Kyle Mickelson (5) of Central Lakes College guarded a St. John's junior varsity player Monday. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls» Purchase reprints of this photo.
Peeters finished 6 of 9 from the field, Glover made 7 of 8 shots in the paint and Wilford slashed to the basket to make 5 of 9 attempts.
"Overall, I was pleased with our effort," Russell said. "Now we have an idea what we have to work on. They understand there are some things we've got to work on. But the effort, the rebounding, sharing the basketball, was huge.
"It's a fun group. They're starting to understand. I told them there's a lot of talent here, but it's what we do with it that's going to matter. Hopefully after today's game they got a little bit of a taste of what hard work will get you."
In the first half, the Raiders shot 62 percent (21-34) from the floor and beat St. John's down the court for numerous fast-break baskets. CLC's defense was another factor, limiting the Johnnies to 18 points on 7 of 22 shooting.
Raiders 84, SJU JV 46
The key: CLC shot 52 percent from the field and limited the Johnnies to 38 percent.
Overall: CLC 1-0
Next: CLC vs. St. Cloud Technical, 8 p.m. Friday in CLC Fall Classic; vs. Western Wisconsin 6 p.m. Saturday.
St. John's JV 18 28 - 46
Central Lakes 48 36 - 84
ST. JOHN'S JV
Brad Allgaier 8, Ryan Brown 2, Mike Schwarz 4, Ted Stessman 6, Dan Bonebright 7, Max McHugh 4, Chris Tengwall 11, Luke Mernin 4. FG: 20-53. FT: 4-14. 3-point baskets: 2-15 (Stessman, McHugh). Turnovers: 28. Rebounds: 23.
Quentin Wilford 10, Will Kornbaum 4, C.J. Peeters 16, Illya Glover 14, Dustin Monson 6, Ryan Peeters 4, Sultan Burris 4, Caleb Nurnberger 11, Scott Herold 6, Brandon Stenger 4, Erik Peeters 5. FG: 35-67. FT: 7-10. 3-point baskets: 7-16 (C.J. Peeters 2, Nurnberger 3, Herold, Erik Peeters). Turnovers: 25. Rebounds: 49 (C.J. Peeters 8). Assists: 21 (Wilford 4). Steals: 11 (Glover 3).
MIKE BIALKA may be reached at email@example.com and at 855-5861.
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