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MN WEST: Minnesota West loses big to No. 1 Central Lakes

BRAINERD -- The Central Lakes mens' basketball team is the No. 1 team in the country and the Raiders showed why on Saturday.

Minnesota West, which upset CL earlier this season, lost its last road game of the year 101-53 in a game that displayed the Raiders' many talents.

"It was probably their best game of the year. They showed why they have the No. 1 ranking in the country," MW head coach Justin Heckenlaible said. "They showed how good they are. And on top of that, we didn't perform as well as we are capable of and that's the reason Central Lakes was able to win the way they did."

The Bluejays (7-13, 4-6 Southern Division) were led by Mitch Hopkins' 14 points and nine rebounds. Luke Roddy added 10 points, while Mitchell Olson had nine points for MW.

The Raiders had six players finish the game scoring in double-digits.

But it isn't always the Raiders' scoring that opponents need to be aware of, it's CL's abilities defensively.

"Their defense is outstanding. That was the biggest difference in the game," Heckenlaible said. "They took away any chances we had and capitalized on all of our mistakes."

MW finishes its season up this week with two games at home. The Bluejays next contest is Wednesday against Rochester.

And Heckenlaible hopes his team makes improvements to finish the season on a high note.

"We need to do a better job of taking care of the ball and we need to execute better offensively," he said. "We'll be at home, so hopefully that will bring some comfort and confidence to the team and we can finish the season strong."

MW 26 27 -- 53

CL 47 54 -- 101

MW (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Roddy 2-1-2-10, Green 0-4-0-8, Neil 0-3-1-7, Hopkins 1-4-3-14, Heard 0-2-0-4, Olson 0-4-1-9, Sebastiano 0-0-1-1. Total 3-18-8-53.

CL (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Farrington 0-5-2-12, Lopez 0-1-1-3, Kornbaum 4-0-2-14, Hernandez 2-4-2-16, Christenson 0-1-1-3, Johnson 3-3-2-17, Davis 1-4-4-15, Wigfall 0-1-0-2, Fleming 0-5-0-10, Koehler 0-4-1-9. Total 10-28-15-101.