Austin, MN - The RCTC Yellowjacket men's basketball team knew they were in for a battle on Saturday as they headed to Austin for a showdown with league leading Riverland CC. The Jackets had downed the Blue Devils just 3 weeks ago on their home floor 69-56. It was only Riverland's second loss on the season, and they had not lost since. After the dust settled on Saturday, the Jackets had handed Riverland just it's third loss on the season downing the Devils 77-72.
RCTC trailed 37-33 at the half, and then enter Karmog Lero. Lero came off the bench to spark the Jackets second half run pouring in 20 points in 17 minutes on 7 of 11 shooting from the field. Lero also hit on 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. RCTC outscored Riverland 44-35 in the second half leading to the final margin of victory.
Joining Lero in double figures were Kong Kong and Ben Opsahl both with 17 points on the night. The game was as tight as the core showed, as both teams shot 41.8% from the field and hit on 28 field goals. The final difference came at the free throw stripe as RCTC hit on 13-19 (68%), while Riverland connected on only 9-24 (37%).
RCTC outrebounded Riverland 50-43, led by Tanner Jonas' 13 boards. DaMichael Brown chipped in 9, while Kong added 7.
The Yellowjackets are now tied for second in the Southern Division with St. Cloud (one game behind Riverland). The Cyclones of St. Cloud and the Yellowjackets will break the tie on Wednesday, as the clach in St. Cloud. Tip-off for the game is at 7:30. In the first meeting between the two teams it was St. Cloud winning on the Yellowjackets home court 75-73.