The Red Deer College Kings used a strong defensive effort to down the Keyano Huskies of Fort McMurray 83-59 in Thursday’s opening game of the iHotel RDC Classic men’s basketball tournament.
“I liked our defensive intensity in the first half of the game,” said Kings head coach Clayton Pottinger. “We still have a lot of work to do, but we were able to create some offence with our defence and that’s how we were able to get so many points.
“Our execution in the half court still isn’t great, but we’re doing a good job of communicating and we’re doing a pretty good job defensively.”
While it’s still early in the season — the Kings’ don’t begin regular-season play until Nov. 1 — Pottinger said time is of the essence in regards to his team’s preparation and maturation.
“To be flat-out honest, we’re behind where we were at this time last year,” he said. “But it’s a different team, a different year. It’s just the way it goes sometimes, I guess.”
Clay Crellin and Mari Peoples-Wong, with 16 and 12 points respectively, were the top scorers against the Huskies, who impressed Pottinger.
“They’re very good, one of the teams who have good guys at every position,” said the RDC coach. “They’re missing one of their key guys right now, which obviously makes a difference. Down the stretch I think they’ll be one of the toughest teams in the (Alberta Colleges) league.”
The RDC Classic continues today at 2 p.m. with Keyano facing Olds. The Kings take on Concordia at 4 p.m. and Lethbridge plays Lakeland at 6 p.m.
The Kings face Lakeland at 6 p.m. Saturday and the tournament concludes with an 8 p.m. match featuring Olds and Concordia.
Queens 1 Edge Prep 1
The Red Deer College Queens are still seeking that killer instinct.
The Queens were the better team for more than their share of a women’s exhibition hockey game Thursday at the Arena, but had to settle for a 1-1 tie with the Edge Academy Prep club out of Springbank.
“That was a weird game,” said RDC coach Bob Rutz. “There were 12-minute pockets in each period where I thought we were dominant. We generated a lot of offence from below the goal line and got pucks and bodies to the net and when we play that way we’re tough to play against.
“But there were also like eight or nine minutes in each period when we just kind of fell asleep and I thought that was the difference. They have a good, skilled team, but I thought we had more scoring chances than they did.”
Queens netminder Camille Trautman made 27 saves while her teammates fired 32 shots at Edge goaltender Kirsten Chamberlain. Both goals came in the second period, with Emily Lougheed staking RDC to a 1-0 lead and Codie Cross replying for the visitors.
“We have to play as close to 60 minutes as we possibly can. We can’t play for 10 and take 10 off, or whatever,” said Rutz.
“But I’m confident in this group that they’ll get there, that they’ll get to that level, because they’ve all bought in. It’s just a matter of breaking some old habits and getting on the same page.”
l Volleyball Queens setter Bronwyn Hawkes was named the ACAC female athlete of the week as she led the Queens to the Wild Rose Classic championship.
l Twenty-one RDC athletes received the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association national scholarship awards for the 2012-13 season. The awards are presented to student-athletes who achieve honour standings.
Recipients were: Brian Prenoslo, Sarah Williamson, Melissa Woolley, basketball; Timothy Haasdsyk, Kieran McDonald, Nicole Wagner, Anna Duda, Laura Friesen, cross-country running; Jeff Ireland, Lindsay Janko, curling; Braden Oehlerking, golf; Hayden McLean, Cale Jacobs, Andrew Jevne, Logan Grenier, soccer; Jonah Gilham, Sam Brisbane, Kirsten Sorensen, Brooke Sutter, Karissa Kuhr, Leanne Price, volleyball.