Earlier in the day, the NJCAA Division 1 poll came out and the Red Ravens men's basketball team jumped one spot to #13 in the nation. That wouldn't be the only win on the day for the program.
Led by sophomore Cedric Roland "The Entertainer" (pictured), the Red Ravens beat Neosho Panthers to improve to 11-1 overall and 7-1 in conference. Roland has been a constant production machine for the Red Ravens this year. The Entertainer has produced 10.3 points per game, 4.3 rebounds per game, and just under 1 assist per game. He has also proven to be a sufficient free throw shooter, going 31/49 on the year. Roland posted a solid game with 15 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block.
While Roland posted solid numbers, he wasn't the only Red Raven to have a solid game. The Entertainer was joined by freshman Casey Benton who had a big part in the teams win. Benton posted 12 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks. Benton was also a perfect 3/3 on free throws on the night.
It was clear that Neosho's game plan was to lock down Travis Washington "The President". From opening tip, the Panther's head coach pressed the issue of having his defenders stay on Washington no matter where he went. At times, the President was double teamed and was played tightly off ball. Nevertheless, the President still had 3 assists as he proved he could be a solid ball handler and facilitator.
The added attention on Washington allowed for his teammates to have successful games.
Once again, head coach Jay Herkelman received plenty of production from his bench. Freshmen Marvin Johnson and Keon Queen had 11 and 12 points (respectively) off the bench. Johnson was a major spark off the bench for the Red Ravens as he had several high flying points. Queen also had an outstanding performance from the bench. Along with his 12 points, he added 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.
In the early going of the season Herkelman, along with his assistants Kyle Fisher and Justin Tabor, has his program running on all cylinders.
The Red Ravens will travel to Colby on Sunday to finish their semester. The Red Ravens look to have an early Christmas celebration and head into 2018 on a high note.