Kings 83 Lightning 63
Looking at the scoreboard one would think the RDC Kings played well in an 83-63 victory over the St. Mary’s University College Lightning in Alberta Colleges Men’s Basketball League action at RDC Friday.
But head coach Clayton Pottinger was anything but overjoyed with his team’s performance.
“They’re a scrappy team and cause some matchup problems, but we look at these last few games as a time where we start to move toward a provincial championship and a national championship and I don’t think we made any forward progress tonight in terms of that, the big picture,” he said.
“We had a good week of practice and I thought we’d come out stronger than we did. We weren’t shooting that well, which was an indication as to why the score wasn’t higher, but overall we didn’t show a lot of energy.
“We were consistent at times and played some great defence and forced them into shot clock problems while other times we relaxed and forgot our checks and reverted back to the same old stupid mistakes. If this was a provincial or national playoff we’d be going home.”
The Kings led 19-10 at the end of the first quarter and 40-26 at the half. The third quarter they outscored the Lightning 23-15 to take control, but St. Mary’s won the fourth quarter 22-20.
“These aren’t do or die games, but my team has to make a commitment to get better on a regular basis instead of just coasting and that’s what we’ve done over the last two games . . . two subpar games and frankly I’m not happy with it,” added Pottinger. “We’ll finish out our game tomorrow (at St. Mary’s) and then there’s two weeks worth of practices that will be hell for the guys.”
The win did wrap up first place overall for the Kings, who are six points up on both Lethbridge and NAIT. Both teams, even if they win out, can manage only five points.
Clay Crellin led the Kings with 23 points and 11 rebounds while Taner Parrington had 18 points and seven boards and was the RDC player of the game. Lloyd Strickland added 10 points and Rob Pierce nine points and seven rebounds. Connor McCleary led the Lightning with 21 points with Mark Fernandes hitting 14.
Queens 66 Lightning 34
It’s been some time since the RDC Queens were looking at posting a .500 record. They took another step in that direction with a 66-34 win over the Lightning, which gave them a 8-9 record and a good chance to be .500 after they face the winless Lightning tonight in Calgary.
“We want to take that step,” said Queens head coach Mike Woollard. “It’s certainly a step up from last year and from two years ago. We’re heading in the right direction and we have to be happy with that.”
The Queens will have a tough final two games in the regular schedule as they play in Lethbridge on Feb. 14-15, but they do know if they win one of those games they would likely be in the playoffs.
“That’s our ultimate goal,” added Woollard, who didn’t like the way the team came out of the dressing room Friday.
“I was kind of disappointed with the way we came out as we talked about execution and I think we were thinking about that instead of playing basketball. That first quarter wasn’t the best but I thought we started picking it up in the second quarter and played very well in the second half. But we need to play 40 minuets to get where we want to go.”
The Queens led 15-6 at the end of the first quarter and 30-20 at the half. The third quarter they outscored the Lightning 19-6, and didn’t allow them to score until the final 1:28 of the quarter. RDC won the final quarter 17-6.
“Any time you can hold a team to 14 points in a half, no matter who you’re playing that’s impressive,” added Woollard, who got a strong performance out of Paola Viveros, who came off the bench to score 11 points and grab seven rebounds and was named the player of the game.
“Paola got us going by getting to the basket and the others followed in stride,” said Woollard.
Mozanga Ekwalanga, who played last year for the Lightning, had 17 points while Jessica Foley added 10 points and nine rebounds.
Katie Nutini had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Lightning.