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SMALL COLLEGES: North Central basketball to host on road

Updated: April 8, 2013 7:58AM



With North Central’s track and field team hosting the NCAA Division III championships this weekend, the men’s basketball team has to take its show to a home away from home. A 65-50 winner over Centre in its NCAA opener last week, the No. 3 Cardinals play host to No. 5 Wisconsin-Whitewater, the defending Division III champions, at 7 p.m. Saturday night at Benedictine in Lisle.

“They have excellent players and excellent coaches, and we’re going to have to play 40 minutes of outstanding basketball,” North Central coach Todd Raridon said. “Is it ideal for us to play at Benedictine? No, but we’d rather play there than at Whitewater.”

The CCIW tournament champion Cardinals (25-3) had four players named to the All-Conference team, led by senior forward Derek Raridon, winner of the Fred Young Most Outstanding Player Award. Raridon (14.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists per game) was joined on the first team by junior forward Landon Gamble (14.4 points, 5.9 rebounds), a three-time All-CCIW first-teamer. Junior guard Vince Kmiec and senior forward Aaron Tiknis were named to the third team.

“His numbers don’t just pop out at you, but Derek to me has always been a team player,” Todd Raridon said of his son. “It’s not about his numbers. He’d rather make the nice pass and let somebody else score than to take all the shots.”

Whitewater’s leader is point guard sophomore Quardell Young (12 points, 3.8 assists, 3 rebounds per game), an All-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference first teamer. Eric Bryson (10.4 points, 39-for-108 three-pointers) and Darnell Harris (11.4, 54-for-153 threes) are long-distance threats, while 6-6 center-forward Luke Knoble adds 10.8 points per game.

“They present so many problems for you because they can shoot the ball from outside, yet they have a good inside players as well,” Todd Raridon said. “And their point guard controls everything. We have to be able to contain their three-point shooters, contain the dribble-drive from their point guard and yet be able to do the best job we can inside defensively and hope that we limit them to one shot.

“At the same time we’re going to have to protect the basketball. They’re an excellent defensive team.”

Wheaton on road

After a 59-58 home win over St. Norbert in the first round, Wheaton (21-6) travels to St. Paul, Minn., on Saturday to take on No. 1 St. Thomas (27-1). Nathan Haynes and Brayden Teuscher each scored 16 and Wheaton rallied from a 38-24 deficit to nip St. Norbert. St. Thomas ended Aurora’s season with a 91-62 first-round rout.

Track time

Defending Division III men’s track champ North Central has eight qualifiers for the Friday-Saturday national championships in Naperville. Josh Winder, who won the indoor pole vault last year, is tied with Wisconsin-LaCrosse’s Bryan Kinder as the national leader with a 16-6.75 best. John Crain, with a 14:24.22, is the No. 2 qualifier at 5,000 meters.



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