Hoop Kings clipped by Falcons in final

Falcons 88 Kings 86 Winning silver is never enjoyable . . . there are always a lot of sad faces.

Falcons 88 Kings 86

Winning silver is never enjoyable . . . there are always a lot of sad faces.

After all the teams that bring home gold and bronze do so after winning their final game. The silver is awarded to a team, or individual coming off a loss.

That’s the way the RDC Kings felt Saturday after dropping an 88-86 decision to the Langara Falcons of Vancouver in the Canadian Colleges men’s basketball gold medal game at Quest University in Squamish, B.C.

“I was looking through the history of the championships and all the team pictures, and the teams that finished second all had long faces while the other two were all smiles,” said Kings head coach Clayton Pottinger.

“That’s the way with our team. It’s tough to digest right now, but as we look back we’ll realize it was an amazing accomplishment.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this team,” added Pottinger. “They were phenomenal and played like champions. It still hurts, as we were out to win the championship and we had a great chance to do just that.”

The Kings led by 10 early in the fourth quarter, but the Falcons, who came in seeded No. 1, went on a 14-2 run to take the lead.

“When we got up by 10 we knew it was far from over,” said Pottinger. “The night before they (Falcons) overcame a 12-point deficit in about a minute against Vanier. There was a lot of game left and we knew they had a run in them.”

The Falcons went into a 1-3-1 zone defence, which upset the RDC offensive rhythm.

“We knew they would go into that and we were prepared, but by the time we adjusted they had come back.”

The Kings also went into a zone in an effort to control the Falcons guard Brody Greig and wing Elliot Mason.

“It was like a three-on-three, unfortunately their three guys made us pay,” said Pottinger.

It looked as if the Falcons had the game wrapped up, leading by seven with under a minute remaining. However, Kings veteran point guard Lloyd Strickland had other ideas. Strickland made three straight long distance threes to give the Kings a chance and when Greig missed his second free throw with 4.4 seconds remaining it gave the Kings one last chance.

They got the ball down court and had an in bounds play for one second remaining, but pass just deflected off Strickland’s hands.

“Lloyd was simply phenomenal,” said Pottinger. “We’ve seen him do that before against teams, but it was amazing to watch. He never believed the game was over and he summoned the power to get us back in it.”

Strickland finished with 34 points and was named to the first all-star team along with Clay Crellin, who had 24 points and seven rebounds in the final.

Fouls hurt the Kings, especially when Sam Lolik ran into early foul trouble and never got into a rhythm.

“Sam didn’t have a chance to get into the game. He wasn’t able to give us his usual 10 points and 10 rebounds. That hurt,” said Pottinger.

The Kings showed all weekend they were no pushovers at any time.

They opened the eight-team tournament with a come-from-behind 78-63 win over Crandall University of Moncton, N.B., after trailing by 19 at the half. Matt Johnson had 14 points, Crellin 13, Jacob Cusumano 11 and Lolik 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Kings turned in a solid effort in downing the second-seeded Sheridan Bruins of Oakville, Ont., 108-91 as Crellin had 23 points and 13 rebounds, Strickland 20 points, Lolik 13 points and 10 boards, Rob Pierce 13 points and Johnson 10.

The Kings will lose fifth-year players Strickland, Cusumano and Pierce for sure.

“We’ll have our exit meet and we could have everyone back except for the three seniors,” said Pottinger.

“It’s unlikely they’ll all be back, but we’ll have a good core and with some good recruits our intent is to win the league again and get back to the Canadians.”

Sheridan beat Vanier 106-76 to win bronze.

l In the women’s championship in Saint-Lambert, Que., Montmorency of Laval, Que., downed St. Thomas University of Fredericton, N.B., 59-54 in the final. Grant MacEwan stopped Algonquin of Nepean, Ont., 77-53 in the bronze medal game.

l The Queens will have their ID camp April 5 with the Kings camp on April 6.


Just Posted

Man badly injured in off-road vehicle collision on Saturday

Incident happened in Mountain View County about 10:50 p.m.

Heat warning in effect for Central Alberta

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for Central Alberta. Residents in… Continue reading

Alberta’s debt clock on the road to drive home fiscal message

Canadian Taxpayers Federation raising concerns about Alberta’s $45 billion debt

Red Deer’s Ryan Vandervlis out of intensive care, able to communicate

An Alberta player with the Western Hockey League who was seriously burned… Continue reading

Trump-Putin summit opens without talk of election meddling

HELSINKI — With a wink and a slouch, respectively, President Donald Trump… Continue reading

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Croatia gears up to give heroes’ welcome to World Cup team

ZAGREB, Croatia — Fans are pouring in from throughout the country as… Continue reading

Statelessness a hurdle for some rescued Thai boy

MAE SAI, Thailand — The 12 boys and coach of the Wild… Continue reading

Lobbying commissioner rejects complaints against firearms panel member

OTTAWA — A federal watchdog has dismissed complaints that a mass-shooting survivor… Continue reading

CREA reports June home sales down 10.7% from year ago, but up from May

OTTAWA — The Canadian Real Estate Association says the number of homes… Continue reading

Red Deer Royals place second at Calgary Stampede parade

Royals depicted life in forest and portrayed destruction by human beings

Muslim candidates running in record numbers face backlash

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A liberal woman of colour with zero name recognition… Continue reading

Former UK Cabinet secretary seeks new Brexit referendum

LONDON — A former U.K. Cabinet minister from the ruling Conservative Party… Continue reading

Man killed by Chicago police ran away, reached for waist

CHICAGO — A man killed by Chicago police had a gun in… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month