Think about how history might have changed if plans had been changed because of a little bad weather.
The troops at Valley Forge might have called it quits, the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys might never have played in the Ice Bowl. The Donner party might have stayed home and ordered out.
Nevertheless, the basketball teams from Minnesota West and Ridgewater community colleges took one look at the weather forecast and decided to flee the area before Saturday's CLC Classic Tournament games could be played.
That left only two remaining women's basketball teams, the Central Lakes College Raiders and the Madison Area Technical College Wolfpack. Those squads rolled out of bed early and hit the gym for a 10 a.m.
The Raiders earned a come-from-behind 86-66 win in a contest that was much closer for most of the game. Each of the Raiders' first five possessions ended with either a turnover or a missed shot, allowing the Wolfpack to jump to an early lead.
Madison led by as many as seven in the initial half. Only Heather Olson's driving layups kept the Raiders close as the Wolfpack built a 35-28 lead. Mandy Moore sank the half's final two baskets to trim Madison's edge to 35-32.
The rest of the Raiders were having trouble finding their range, including usually consistent wing Jeanna Baratto, who was 0-for-the-half.
"Coming out to play this morning, I just wasn't really ready to go," said Baratto. "At halftime in the locker room we said, 'Now we're awake. Let's play.'"
After the intermission, it looked like more of the same as Madison scored the second half's first six points to grab a 41-32 lead. But then the Raiders proved they had awakened. Baratto began the barrage with a 3-pointer that was matched by Olson. Then it was Baratto again, this time making a steal and scoring on a layup that cut the Wolfpack lead to 41-40.
When Olson scored on another driving layup, the Raiders grabbed their first lead of the contest, 44-43, and never looked back.
"I know our team was tired," said Raiders coach Dennis Eastman. "To play last night and then get up early and come in and play a 10 a.m. in the morning game is tough.
"It took Jeanna (Baratto) a while to get going. I told them at halftime that someone was going to have to step up. We weren't hitting the shots we normally do but we kept fighting and we got there in the end."
Once in the lead, the Raiders kept the pressure on by pushing the ball up the court and spreading the ball around.
"We knew we could beat them," said Baratto. "Once we had our lead, we decided to work the ball around a lot. We hadn't done that much the last few games so we worked on that today."
Some of that ball movement ended with the Raiders' Amy Martinson scoring from close range, either off layups or her soft jumper. Defensively, Martinson was dominant as she gathered in nearly every rebound.
"I was really pleased with the way the team played," said Eastman. "Madison was good competition for us. I wanted to wear them down by running and that's what we did. We played the best we've played so far this year."
The Raiders are off until Jan. 5 when they host Hibbing. The win over Madison evens the Raiders' pre-conference record at 4-4.
Madison Area Technical (66)
Erica Burg 18, Amy Becker 2, Angie Sailer 19, Amber Buwalda 11, Shannon Hazelton 16. Team totals: FG 27 of 66 (41 percent), FT 7 of 13 (54 percent).
Central Lakes College (86)
Amy Solorz 5, Mandy Moore 6, Jeanna Baratto 14, Heathe Olson 18, Beth Frost 5, Cassey Veith14, Liz Reis 7, Amy Martinson 17. Team totals: FG 33 of 86 (38 percent), FT 13 of 24 (54 percent). Conference -- 0-0. Overall -- 4-4. Next game: Jan. 5 host Hibbing.
3-point baskets -- CLC 7 Amy Solorz, Baratto (2), Beth Frost, Cassey Veith (2), Liz Reis; MATC 5 Burg (2), Sailer, Hazelton (2). Total fouls -- CLC 13; MATC 19. Halftime -- MATC 35, CLC 32.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.