Queens 68 Clippers 57
It’s not going to be easy for the RDC Queens to grab a playoff spot in the Alberta Colleges Women’s Basketball League, but they’re not going to go down without a fight.
The Queens went into the weekend needing to win possibly all six of their remaining games to have a shot at the playoffs. They took the first step with a 68-57 victory over the Briercrest Bible College Clippers before a capacity crowd at RDC Friday.
“This was big for us . . . a good confidence boost, now we have to continue this on tomorrow,” said Queens head coach Mike Woollard, whose squad faces the Clippers again today at 1 p.m. with the men to follow.
The win gave the Queens a 6-9 record and moved them into a 11th place tie with Olds, a point back of Keyano.
The game didn’t start well for either team, although the Queens managed to lead 12-11 after the first 10 minutes. A solid second quarter which saw them outscore the Clippers 16-11 gave them some breathing room. After the teams split 30 points in the third quarter the Queens held a 25-20 edge in the fourth.
“I thought as the game wore on we got into a flow and started moving the ball better and started moving it into the post,” said Woollard.
RDC’s six-foot-two post players, Jessica Foley and Desirae Paterson, both started to control inside and started to see their shots go down. Foley finished with 10 points, with eight coming late. Paterson made two of her last four shots.
But in the end it was the RDC defence that was the difference.
“I thought we defended well in both the half court and full court,” added Woollard. “For the most part we had good gap control. We attacked them in the full court and created a number of turnovers.”
The Queens till had 28 turnovers, but forced 37. Kaitlin Bracko had six steals with Mozanga Ekwalanga and Dedra Janvier grabbing five each.
Ekwalanga finished with 19 points while Janvier, who hit four three pointers, had 14 points. Claire Richardson had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers while Tracy Frimpong had 13 points, Meghan Friesen 12 and Krista Wiens 11.
Kings 109 Clippers 73
Kings head coach Clayton Pottinger knew heading into the game they had to play tight defence against one of the premier scoring teams in the ACAC.
“They’re the second highest scoring team in the league (behind us) and they take advantage of every mistake you make. We focused all week on making sure we limited those mistakes by defending well and forcing them to make tough shots and for the most part we did exactly that,” said Pottinger after a 109-73 win over the Clippers.
The Kings led 31-17, 54-31, 88-52 by quarters.
“We did a good job defensively, although as the game wore on and we were in control, I thought we let up a bit,” added Pottinger. “That’s something we’ve been working on, trying to be consistent for a full game.
“Still we can’t be dissatisfied, like some nights,” he said with a laugh. “Overall we executed on offence. They played mainly a zone, which we prepared for and with Jacob (Cusumano) and Ashaunti (Hogan) hot it helps a lot.”
Cusumano hit on six of nine three-point attempts and finished with 22 points while Hogan nailed four of three from long distance and added 20 points. Clay Crellin was the player of the game as the Kings played consistently at a high level with him on the court. He had 16 points, which included three spectacular dunks, seven rebounds and seven assists.
One of his dunks came during a 30 second spell in the third quarter that had the crowd and the RDC bench on their feet. Crellin’s dunk started the onslaught, which saw the Kings force two quick turnovers, which gave them five more points.
“That was impressive, even I was excited,” said Pottinger. “That all started with defence, which is one of our hallmarks.”
Lloyd Strickland added 16 points, six rebounds and four assists while Cusumano also had five assists.
Brandon Friesen had 18 points and five rebounds and James Wohlgeschaffen 11 points for BBC.
The Kings ran their record to 14-1 while Briercrest slipped to 8-7.