Kings 106 Wolves 55
RDC Kings head coach Clayton Pottinger talked during the first half of the Alberta Colleges Men’s Basketball League season about adding depth inside.
When six-foot-eight Sam Lolik indicated he wanted to return to the team at Christmas it was a perfect fit.
“He’s a force inside,” said Pottinger following the Kings 106-55 victory over the Grande Prairie Wolves at RDC Friday. “He makes all his bunnies (close in shots) and is a rebounding force and out letting machine which gets us into our running game.”
Lolik played the first half of last season, but because of family commitments took the second half off.
“I got busy with family and life and I had to go back to work,” said Lolik, who finished with eight points and four rebounds in limited playing time Friday.
“This year I’m taking a few courses and it’s my last year so I figured why not come back . . . I’m happy I did. It’s a good team with a great coach (Clayton Pottinger). I love playing for him and I love playing with the younger guys.”
Lolik did practice with the team “three or four times” before Christmas, but knows he still has some work to do.
“That wasn’t enough and I’m not in shape, but I’m trying to get there,” said Lolik. “I’m a bit rusty and the toughest part is getting into a rhythm, but it will come.”
Lolik was born and raised in South Africa and moved to Toronto eight years ago.
“I lived there for four years before moving to Red Deer,” he explained.
The Kings started a bit slowly Friday and let by four midway through the first quarter. But by the end of the opening 10 minutes they led 32-18 and were up 56-25 at the half.
“We had a great game against Lethbridge in the SAIT tournament and it was great to see that we carried that momentum over to this game,” said Pottinger, who got a strong effort out of the complete lineup.
“Dallas (Hancox) had a breakout game, but we have enough depth we should be getting that contribution up and down the lineup.”
Hancox had eight points, three boards and three blocks in limited minutes.
The Wolves were missing league scoring leader Jordan Teo.
“They were missing two starters, which was a little advantage for us, but they still have a quality team and a win like that against them shows how well we’re playing,” said Pottinger.
The Kings will have even more depth when all-star Rob Pierce joins the team next week.
Mari Peoples-Wong had another solid game finishing with 25 points while Ashaunti Hogan added 21, Lloyd Strickland 19 and Matt Johnson 11. Nicholas Maniatis had 19 for the Wolves.
Wolves 69 Queens 54
It took the Queens almost three quarters to get into any kind of rhythm and by then they trailed 63-35. The fourth quarter was their best, outscoring the Wolves 19-6, but they still dropped a 69-54 decision.
“A couple things hurt us as we were a bit unlucky around the basket, as we didn’t make some of the shots we usually do, but we didn’t show up defensively,” said Queens head coach Mike Woollard. “We didn’t guard them and there was no rotation until that fourth quarter, We have to show up with that intensity from the start, without it we’re in trouble. We show we can play if we have that intensity, but if we get down by 30 to a top team there’s no way to come back.”
Although the Queens had only 13 turnovers that was below what the number should have been.
“We shouldn’t be turning the ball over as much at this time of the season,” added Woollard. “We’re not looking where we’re throwing the ball. We’re open, but throwing the ball to them. That’s been an Achilles Heel since I’ve been here and we have to clean it up, but I’m starting to run out of ideas.”
Desirae Paterson had an outstanding game with 25 points and five rebounds while Mozanga Ekwalanga added 13 points and five boards. Kelly O’Hallahan had 19 points and eight rebounds for the Wolves.
RDC hosts Concordia Friday and travels to Grant MacEwan Saturday.
Kings 3 Ooks 0
It took the Kings close to two sets to find their rhythm, but even then they were too much for the NAIT Ooks, winning 25-22, 25-17, 25-13.
“We weren’t really there for the first couple of sets, but got into it in the third,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha. “We served well, but didn’t block well at all. That’s something we’ll focus on tomorrow.”
RDC hosts the Ooks tonight with the women getting underway at 6 p.m. and the men to follow.
Braden O’Toole was RDC’s player of the game with seven kills, nine digs and five aces while Tim Finnigan had seven kills and four aces, Justin Luckacs seven kills, Chris Osborn five kills and two aces and Parker Maris 10 digs.
Queens 3 Ooks 0
The RDC Queens weren’t overly sharp but were too much for the Ooks, winning 25-15, 25-15, 25-19.
“We passed the ball real well and that first contact allowed us to run our offence,” said Queens head coach Talbot Walton. “I thought we were still a bit rusty, but played with a lot of composure and once we got on a roll they got flustered before we did. I think our ability to dig the ball put pressure on them.”
Amber Adolf had a strong game with 10 kills, 10 digs and two stuff blocks while Maddi Quinn had 18 digs. Brooke Sutter added seven kills, 10 digs and two aces and Shelby Bramall six kills.