RDC Queens basketball player Maya Parker drives baseline looking for the basket in action during the Holiday Inn and Suites Thanksgiving Classic on Friday afternoon. (Photo by Byron Hackett/Advocate Staff)

Queens fall in tournament opener

In just their second preseason game of the year, there’s still lots of shuffling to do for the RDC Queens basketball team.

They lost the opener of the Holiday Inn and Suites Thanksgiving Classic to the Keyano College Huskies 51-41 Friday afternoon.

While at times the Queens played tight defence and moved the ball well, an inconsistent effort with lots of rotation to find the right mix lead to the loss.

“I thought defence was excellent, I thought both teams defence was pretty good considering how low the score was,” Queens head coach Ken King said. “We had some really good rotations, a couple breakdowns here and there but our defence overall looked amazing. Hustle was pretty good, I thought we were just a little frantic on offence.”

King said his main goal through the three-game exhibition tournament and the reason he mixed in a lot of players was to find the right combinations when the season gets underway.

“We’re still trying to iron out what our top 12 looks like. You’ll see some people getting rotated in just to see what they can do and what they can help us with and we’re seeing some great things. If we can really come in and outwork all three opponents this weekend, I think that’s our biggest victory,” King said.

One of the Queens newest additions Sandra Garcia-Bernal got into action for the first time after joining the team just a few weeks ago. Garcia-Bernal hails from Valencia, Spain.

“Sandra is a great player and she works her butt off, we just have to get used to where everyone is going to be all the time. Those types of things I’m not too worried about, we’ll iron it out as we play together more,” King said.

A collection of third years including guards Eva Bonde, Kaylee Kuba and Lauren Bailey are all back along with forward Emily White. Fourth years Mary Krause and Maya Parker are also back.

With a good number of returning players on their roster and a few new pieces, King despite a few jitters from his side, overall, he liked what he saw on Friday.

“Keyano is one of the strongest teams in the (Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference) north right now. That was a great test for us. Going forward if we can outwork the other two teams we play, that’s our goal,” King said.

“I think we need to focus on moving the ball a little bit more, there was far too many times when we over dribbled. There were a bunch of times when the ball moved well, good things happened. As a coach, you just want to carbon copy that.”

The Queens are back on the court Saturday night when they host the Okanagan College Coyotes at 4 p.m.

Email sports info and tips to sports reporter Byron Hackett

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