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Central Men's Basketball 11.5

Romah Behrens cuts between two defenders during a game against Peru State JV on Nov. 5. Behrens had a double-double on Sunday against No. 2 NIACC, but the Raiders went winless over the weekend. 

Central Community College-Columbus men's basketball had an opportunity to avenge two losses from early in the year in the North Iowa Area Community College Thanksgiving Basketball Challenge but fell short losing both games.

The Raiders lost to No. 20 Iowa Lakes Community College on Saturday, 114-75, and No. 2 North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) on Sunday, 115-103. 

"We knew it would be a tough weekend going in," head coach John Ritzdorf said. "Iowa Lakes and NIACC are both really good. So, we knew it would be a tough one, especially playing both of them a time before. We knew we would have our work cut out for us, and I was just looking for improvement from the first time we played those guys. In one of those games I felt like we did, and the other we didn't. 

"Overall, you're never happy when you go 0-2, but we saw some things on Sunday that pleased me." 

NO. 20 IOWA LAKES CC 114, CENTRAL 75: Nathan Frost recorded his seventh double-double of the year scoring 25 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, but it wasn't enough to overcome a potent Iowa Lakes offense. 

The Lakers scored 57 points in both halves. 

"They're really good. I don't want to take anything away from them. We were up by 10 or 15 points the first time we played them, so to get completely blown out especially early in the game was disappointing," Ritzdorf said. "Our effort wasn't very good that game. Our guys know it. I told them that, too. Anytime you get blown out like that, it has a lot to do with effort. We're good enough to compete and beat teams like that, so that was disappointing."  

Central lost 92-78 in the first game on Nov. 9. 

Tre'vion Crawford had 17 points and Wuor Wiyual added 10 off the bench. 

NO. 2 NIACC 115, CENTRAL 103: The last time Central faced off against NIACC it was a 111-82 result on Nov. 22. 

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Roman Behrens led Central in points with 32 and finished with 10 assists for a double-double. 

Frost scored 30 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Crawford added 19 points. 

"Roman Behrens has been really good lately," Ritzdorf said. "NIACC, all they do is try to pressure you and get you to turn it over, and he had the ball in his hands most of the game and only had three turnovers to 10 assists." 

The losses drop the Raiders to 8-5 on the season.

"Anytime you go 0-2 on a road trip and don't win on a road trip, it's not a good thing," Ritzdorf said. "It's not like we were happy with how we played. We always go and try to compete and win. But, we felt much better leaving the gym on Sunday than we did on Saturday, strictly because of effort, intensity and how we guarded.

"Being able to respond after a beat down on Saturday, we left the gym feeling a lot better of ourselves on Sunday. We were able to take some positives. I think that was important." 

Central plays McCook Community College at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at home. 

"They have a new coach and almost a completely new team from last year," Ritzdorf said about McCook. "There's not a whole lot of similarities if anyone has seen this team in the last year or so. They've played a tough schedule. They're a D-I juco themselves, so they're going to be ready to play." 

Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sports@columbustelegram.com 

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