Kings win big, Queens bounced by SAIT
The RDC Kings were determined to get back on the highway to success and the SAIT Trojans were the unfortunate victims who just happened to be in the way.
The Kings, coming off last Saturday’s 120-114 home-court loss — their first of the season — to the Medicine Hat Rattlers, ran over the visiting Trojans 113-47 in an Alberta Colleges Men’s Basketball League mismatch Thursday.
The RDC Queens were 75-41 losers to SAIT in the earlier women’s game.
The Kings go into the Christmas break with a league-best 10-1 record. SAIT fell to 2-9.
“We had to get a little of our mojo back after the loss last weekend,” said RDC coach Clayton Pottinger. “I was glad the guys responded and came out and played pretty well.
“SAIT was missing three of their key personnel tonight. They had a bit of a depleted lineup and I think that was reflected in the score.”
Lloyd Strickland paced the Kings with 26 points, while Aushanti Hogan scored 22 and Clay Crellin netted 17 points and had a team-high eight rebounds.
Four other RDC players hit for double figures, as Matt Johnson, Mari Peoples and Jacob Cusumano each scored 12 points and Brian Prenosio added 10. Johnson also had seven boards.
Colten Murray led the visitors with 17 points.
Pottinger is satisfied with the Kings’ sizzling first half of the season, but not overjoyed.
“It’s easy to become complacent. You look at it and see we’re 10-1 and everything is going great,” said the coach. “If someone had said to me in August that you guys are going to be 10-1 going into the Christmas break, I would have said ‘hey, that’s great’.
“But I would honestly deep down would want our 10-1 to be a little bit better with a little more execution and with us making a little more progress. It sounds silly but I would prefer to be 7-3 and have made a lot more progress than be 10-1. You start believing you’re doing things right when actually you still have a lot of work to do.”
The Kings return to action Jan. 10 against visiting Grande Prairie.
“We have lots of things to learn in the second half. We have a lot of tough games coming up,” said Pottinger. “We’ll take some rest over Christmas, regroup and come back in January.”
Trojans 75 Queens 41
Considering the Queens were a point ahead of the Trojans heading into the women’s game, Thursday’s final score seemed out of whack.
RDC head coach Michael Woollard suggested his team got what it deserved.
“I just don’t think we came to play today,” said Woollard, whose squad trailed just 29-20 at halftime. “We have to be happy with our first half, but we can’t be satisfied and we looked like a team that was satisfied today.
“I don’t have an explanation. We didn’t defend, we were slow to the ball. Every time the ball moves we have to move and we were ball-watching a lot. We made a bit of a run and then we made some mental errors that hurt us.”
The Queens were minus the services of six-foot-two post Jessica Foley and when two other players got into foul trouble the home side was in tough.
“That made us a little smaller than we’d like to be and took us out of some of our stuff, but no excuses,” said Woollard.
Mozanga Ekwalanga led all RDC players with 12 points. She also finished with eight rebounds, while Desirae Paterson contributed nine points and seven boards.
The Trojans got 14 points from Sara Astorga, 11 from each of Florence Oloya and Kendell Kuntz and a 10-point outing from Kaitie Beard.
Both clubs head into the Christmas break with a 5-6 record.
“We had a good first half of the year and right now we just have to settle down, have a good break and come back ready to play in January,” said Woollard.
The Queens host Grande Prairie Jan. 10.