The Central Lakes College men's basketball team upset second-ranked Vermilion, 81-73, Saturday, Feb. 16 in Brainerd to complete a sweep begun by the Raider women, who came from behind to win over the visitors, 76-68. The Vermilion men (23-2) had held the NJCAA Division III ranking for several weeks and lead the Northern Division of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference. CLC shot 51.5% in the second half and made 17 of 25 free throws in one of the best efforts of the 17-7 season.
The Raiders held a 69-52 lead before the Ironmen made a comeback to close within five points late. Down the stretch, defense and a balanced attack of true team resilience paid off for the winners. The scoring leader was Kevin Kuefler with 22 and 9 rebounds, making 8 of 15 shots and 6 of 8 free throws
Andre Thomas performed in sensational fashion as the floor captain and super-quick playmaker, tossing in 19 points. He made 7 of 13 from the field, both of his three-point shots, and 3 of 4 at the line to go with 5 rebounds. Brandon Davis and Kahreem Horsley each scored 11, with Kahrem's game cut short by a knee injury when he was fouled hard on a lay-up.
The CLC women were led by Sierra Benning's 22 points, including 12 of 14 at the line, and she totaled 10 rebounds, five assists and four steals. Lindsay Monson added 17 points and 11 rebounds for the 10-13 Raiders, who maintain a serious challenge in the Divsion run.
Jalynn Lamb scored 13 and had 3 blocked shots. Vermilion led, 35-23, while hitting 6 three-pointers before a first-half run by the Raiders closed it to 35-33 halfway.
In the final 20 minutes, CLC was tenacious on defense and determined on offense, out-rebounding the visitors, 48-35, and shooting 50% in the last half to outscore Vermilion, 43-33 and claim Win No. 2 of the season over the Ironwomen.