Like a shark that smells blood, the Central Lakes College men's basketball team attacked its undermanned and undersized opponent until hardly a shred was left.
The Raiders didn't let up, using their considerable height advantage and bruising inside game to throttle the Grand Forks Air Force Base Warriors 106-79 Friday in the opening round of the Pepsi Classic tournament.
CLC, with four players 6-foot-5 and taller, outrebounded the Warriors 47-30, led by 6-7 forward Jahiah Porter's 15 boards. The Warriors' tallest player was 6-4.
"Rebounding has to be the key for us on both ends," CLC coach Jim Russell said. "Rebounding is a man's game. You've got to understand what work ethic is when it comes to rebounding."
That height advantage translated into easy inside baskets for the Raiders.
Forward Leonard Langdon, who was reinstated on the CLC team last week, was the main benefactor of the dominant inside game. He scored a team-high 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the floor. Porter was a close second with 17 points.
"Coach (Russell) told us to stay consistent and we were able to do that as a team," Porter said. "We know that if we go inside that we get better shots at the three so we're going inside more."
It also helped that CLC shot 60 percent from the field (44-73) with six players scoring in double figures. The inside game helped loosen up the outside and the Raiders took advantage. Guard Eli McVey hit five 3-pointers and finished with 15 points.
CLC shared the ball as well, finishing with 36 team assists. Point guard Walter Power led the Raiders with nine assists.
One player who stood out was freshman forward Ben Hamill. In the first half his seven straight points helped CLC open a 34-16 lead. Hamill finished with 11 points on a perfect 5-5 shooting night.
"Ben is fundamentally sound, he takes care of the basketball and does everything well," Russell said. "He's big and he's strong and we're really pleased with him. He's going to be one of our key guys."
Grand Forks Air Force Base 32 47 -- 79
Central Lakes College 47 59 -- 106
Raiders 106, GF AFB 79
The key: CLC (5-5 overall) finished with 47 rebounds and shot 60 percent from the floor.
Next: CLC hosted Ridgewater, 4 p.m. Saturday
GRAND FORKS AFB
John Arroyo 2, Johnny Ramos 6, Eric Williams 22, Matt Wireman 30, Soultez Dukes 4, Brandon Franklin 1, Adonis Ball 5, Chris Thiel 7. Team totals: FG 28-80 (35 percent), FT 15-27 (56 percent). 3-point baskets: 6 (Ramos 2, Wireman 3, Williams).
Louis Roseman 10, Frank Johnson 10, Chris Beckley 7, Eli McVey 15, Walter Power 2, Leonard Langdon 19, Jahiah Porter 17, Ben Hamill 11, Grant Tilus 5, Danny Kimman 2, Gavin Glazier 4, Adam Angell 4. Team totals: FG 44-73 (60 percent), FT 12-17 (71 percent). 3-point baskets: 6 (McVey 5, Tilus). Overall -- 5-5.
Rebounds -- CLC 47 (Jahiah Porter 15, Grant Tilus 5), GFAB 30 (Chris Thiel 7). Assists -- CLC 36 (Walter Power 9), GFAB 11 (Thiel 3). Steals -- CLC 10 (Chris Beckley 3), GFAB 9 (Eric Williams 3). Turnovers -- CLC 22, GFAB 12.
TROY GUNDERSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5865.
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