Blue Devils blitz Western Tech

Published 9:45 pm Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Riverland Community College men’s basketball team put on an all out blitz in the first half as it beat Western Tech (6-14 overall, 3-4 MCAC) 96-83 in Riverland Gym Wednesday night.

The Blue Devils (14-6 overall, 5-2 MCAC) took a commanding 24-point lead into the break. Jacob Persoon hit five straight three-pointers to get things going and Jace Klinkner, who finished with 27 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, did a little bit of everything, including throwing a half-court alley-oop to Deandre Raggs.

Riverland’s Kwantez Simmons is contested during the first half against Western Tech Wednesday night at Riverland. Eric Johnson/

“We were more athletic than them and we wanted to push the ball and get to the hoop. We’re starting to click,” Klinkner said. “I was looking to get everybody going and Deandre was yelling at me for a lob. I finally got him on that half court lob.”

Email newsletter signup

Raggs has been a defensive specialist, but he did some work on the offensive end for RCC Wednesday. He finished with 15 points, five rebounds, three assists and five steals.

“I feel like my defense leads to offense and I let the offense come to me,” Raggs said. “I love defense. It wins games and tonight was my night, because I know I can score too.”

RCC head coach said that Raggs has done a solid job of working hard on the defensive end of the floor for RCC.

Riverland’s Robert Park goes up in traffic against Western Tech Wednesday night at Riverland. Eric Johnson/

“I felt like he could be one of the better defenders on our team, if not our best, and he’s kind of bought into that role,” Hahn said of Raggs. “He’s really changing the game. We put him on a lot of tough assignments and he’s done a good job with that. He’s not afraid to get on the floor and he’s not afraid to take charges.”

Western Tech got as close as 78-71 with 7:35 left in the game, but Klinkner responded with two three-pointers during a 9-0 RCC run that iced the game. Hahn liked the start for his team, but he hopes they learn to keep the intensity as the Blue Devils enter the second half of the conference season when they play at Minnesota West Saturday at 3 p.m.

“Starting slow has been a habit for us and tonight was probably the best start we’ve had in three years. We were making the threes, the defense was nice and we were looking good,” Hahn said. “We knew we were going to have a hard time duplicating that in the second half, but we wanted to play a complete game on defense.”

Riverland’s DeAndre Smith goes up strong in the first half against Western Tech Wednesday night at Riverland. Eric Johnson/

WTC 31  52    83

RCC 55  41    96

RCC scoring: Jace Klinkner, 27; Robert Parker, 17; Deandre Raggs, 15; Jacob Persoon, 15; Kwantez Simmons, 10; DeAndre Smith, 5; Octavein Johnson, 4; James Landherr, 3; free throws: 69 percent (9-for-13); rebounds: 39 (Klinkner, 9); turnovers: 8