Kings respond to loss with big win
Kings 95 Kodiaks 78
The RDC Kings know what it takes to be a championship calibre basketball team.
One of those things is being able to quickly respond to a little adversity, just what they showed against the Lethbridge College Kodiaks during the weekend.
The Kings didn’t look like themselves Friday in dropping a 103-82 decision to the Kodiaks. Saturday afternoon the RDC squad was back on form as they downed the Kodiaks 95-78 to run their Alberta Colleges Men’s Basketball League record to 10-2.
“I’m proud of the guys, the way they responded after what happened last night,” said Kings head coach Clayton Pottinger. “We had a shooting practice this morning and talked about several adjustments, plus we wanted to show championship calibre basketball.”
The Kings did just that as they jumped on the Kodiaks, grabbing a 27-15 lead in the first quarter and extended it to 53-33 at the half.
“We got back to basics with our man defence and did a better job of covering their three-point shooters,” added Pottinger. “They were zero-for-11 from the three-point line in the first half (three-for-23 overall) which made a huge difference.”
The Kings also got another outstanding performance from all-star Rob Pierce, who pumped in 28 points to go with 20 rebounds and two assists. It’s the second time this season the six-foot-two Pierce has 20 boards. His season best was 22 in an overtime game at Lakeland.
“Rob did what we needed him to do,” said Pottinger, who also got a solid performance from newcomer Demaine Nelson, who finished with 16 points and five rebounds.
“Demaine had a great first half and when you see him in game condition and ready to go he’ll be killing it in there.”
The Kings had only nine players for the game with Joel Carroll out with a hyper extended knee, he suffered on Friday.
“We’re a little deeper this season, so that helps and we can do some patch work to get ready,” said Pottinger, who was willing to accept the loss on Friday.
“Last year at the end of our run we went up and lost to MacEwan and Keyano which was a wake up call for us. Last night was a wake up call as well, We’re not untouchable, there’s a lot of great teams in this league and they bring their A game when they play us. But that’s what we need. We need more intense situations to become battle tested.”
Ashaunti Hogan added 18 points and Jacob Cusumano had 12 for the Kings while Jared Baker had 13 for Lethbridge.
Queens 82 Kodiaks 72
There was a time this season, no matter who they were playing, that the Queens would be all but done if they trailed by double figures heading into the final quarter.
On Saturday they trailed the Kodiaks 64-52 heading into the final 10 minutes, but that’s when they picked up the pace, outscoring their southern rivals 30-8 and pulling out an 82-72 victory.
“A great job of digging down hard and Carly (Hoar) got hot and we did a good job of finding her,” said Queens head coach Mike Woollard. “I was impressed in that the girls recognized it as well,. I was about to tell them in a time out and there were four others saying ‘get it to Carly’.”
The five-foot-six Hoar from Longview finished with 22 points, including 11 in the final quarter when she nailed three threes and a two.
Defence proved to be the turning point.
“We talked about the girls putting together strong defence and shutting them down on at least three trips to start the quarter. We stopped them for the first seven trips down and we were hitting our shots as well.”
It was the second straight win for the Queens over Lethbridge and gave them a 2-10 record. Lethbridge is 0-12.
“We’re preaching ball movement and communication and it’s seeping in which is fun to watch,” said Woollard.
Second-year guard Sarah Williamson, who is the only returnee to play during the weekend with returning guard Morgan Schultz out, couldn’t be happier with what she sees from the team.
“It feels good. It’s a new year and we’re forgetting about the first half. There’s a lot of communication out there and we’re playing as a team. We also have girls who can shoot from the outside and we’re driving and kicking out and trusting them to finish for us.”
Desirae Paterson added 19 points and eight rebounds for RDC while Williamson had 12 points and seven boards. Jackie Tollestrup had 23 points for Lethbridge.
The RDC teams have next weekend off before hosting St. Mary’s of Calgary Jan, 25.
Volleyball Queens 3 Wolves 0
The Queens completed their weekend sweep over the Grande Prairie Wolves with a 25-20,25-17, 25-23 victory in Grande Prairie Saturday.
The Queens ran their record to 10-2 behind some solid defence and strong play at the net.
“We got real strong defence as Maddi (Quinn) and Brooke (Sutter) combined for close to 50 digs,” said Queens head coach Talbot Walton. “Plus we got strong play from our middles and power hitters.”
Sutter had 16 kills and Amber Adolf 10 as well Leanne Price, who was the player of the match, and Shelby Bramall were strong in the middle.
“Also our serving was strong and we didn’t allow them to get on any extended runs,” said Walton. “Overall it was a good performance setting the stage for the second half.”
Kings 3 Wolves 0
The Kings ran their record to 12-0 with a 27-25, 25-18, 25-20 win.
Braden O’Toole, who was replacing right side Chris Osborn, who was at RDC working on school work, was the player of the match with 10 kills, four digs and two stuff blocks.
The RDC teams have a tough weekend ahead as they face SAIT in a home-and-home series — Friday at RDC and Saturday in Calgary.