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Tribune photo by Tom Larson Ridgewater's Cody Warner (33) and Central Lakes' Cody Hofmann reach for a loose ball during the first half on Wednesday at Ridgewater College. Central Lakes defeated the Warriors 89-64.

Warriors fall to Central Lakes

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sports Willmar,Minnesota 56201 http://www.wctrib.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/fieldimages/1/1130/dsc00581.jpg?itok=B55nt2Gm
West Central Tribune
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Warriors fall to Central Lakes
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WILLMAR -- Once the Ridgewater men's basketball team got over the jitters of playing the nation's top team, the Warriors performed admirably.

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But those jitters proved costly in the end.

Central Lakes, the undefeated and No. 1-ranked team in NJCAA Division III, bombed the Warriors with whirling pressure and a host of transition baskets to take a 25-point halftime lead.

While Ridgewater played the Raiders even in the second half, the Warriors fell 89-64 on Wednesday night at Ridgewater College.

Four Raiders scored in double figures and they forced the Warriors into 23 turnovers, which they turned into a 32-14 advantage in points off turnovers.

"They're a very, very good team," said Warriors head coach Bob Knutson. "Once we got over being intimidated and played calm, with poise and started having fun, we played pretty well."

Central Lakes, now 16-0, flustered the Warriors, 5-8, with pressure and traps that led to numerous barely contested baskets, and the Raiders out-rebounded Ridgewater by 10 in the first half to lead 54-29 at the break.

In the second half, both teams scored 35 points and the Warriors made up the Raiders' rebounding edge.

"We did the same things in the second half that we tried to do in the first half," Knutson said. "We came to the ball better, settled down and started to cut down on the turnovers."

Neil Helgeson led the Warriors with 11 points and 6 assists, and Zac Pendleton scored 11 points. Cody Warner and Adam Eyton both scored 6 points and Warner had 7 rebounds and Eyton 6.

The Raiders shot 54 percent from the field in the first half and 48 percent for the game. They committed just 13 turnovers and made 12 steals.

Maurice Hernandez led the Raiders with 26 points and 9 rebounds. Brandon Davis scored 13 points and had 7 rebounds, and Kwamaine Johnson had 12 points, 4 rebounds and 5 steals.

Central Lakes 89

Ridgewater 64

Central Lakes (1-0 16-0) 54 35 -- 89

Ridgewater (0-1 5-8) 29 35 -- 64

CENTRAL LAKES - 35-73 FG (7-21 3-pt); 12-21 FT; 43 rebounds; 20 fouls ... Scoring: Cody Hofmann 3, Michael Farrington 8, Ronnie Kornbaum 9, Maurice Hernandez 26, Roberto Lopez 3, Kwamaine Johnson 12, Brandon Davis 13, Kahreem Horsley 5, Jesse Fleming 10 ... 3-point shots: Hernandez 3, Kornbaum 2, Johnson 1, Hofmann 1 ... Rebound leaders: Hernandez 9, Davis 7 ... Assist leaders: Johnson 3, Michael Farrington 3 ... Steal leaders: Johnson 5, Farrington 4

RIDGEWATER - 24-58 FG (7-23 3-pt); 9-19 FT; 43 rebounds; 21 fouls ... Scoring: Zak Pendleton 11, Neil Helgeson 11, Jamie Boonstra 5, Jake Ruhland 7, Jake Rambow 4, Jordan Schwarz 4, Tyler Pendleton 10, Cody Warner 6, Adam Eyton 6 ... 3-point shots: T.Pendleton 2, Z.Pendleton 2, Helgeson 1, Boonstra 1, Rambow 1 ... Rebound leaders: Warner 7, Eyton 6 ... Assist leaders: Helgeson 6 ... Steal leaders: T.Pendleton 2, Warner 2

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