EDMONTON — If the Grant MacEwan University Griffins were going to have success against the RDC Kings in Alberta Colleges Men’s Basketball League play this was the weekend.
The Griffins had Friday off, which gave them a chance to watch and scout the Kings as the the RDC squad hosted and defeated the Concordia University College Thunder 98-73.
“They (Griffins) were a little fresher and had an opportunity to get a close look at us the night before . . . a chance to see what we were doing since adding Sam (Lolik) and Rob (Pierce),” said Kings head coach Clayton Pottinger.
As it turned out the Kings still had enough in their tank to record a 92-83 victory over the Griffins Saturday and run their league-leading record to 13-1.
“This was a big weekend for us, a week we had circled on the calender since the beginning of the season,” added Pottinger.
“It was two gutsy wins.”
The Kings’ depth played a major role in the victory as five players finished in double figures with Pierce adding eight points and seven rebounds.
Overall the Kings held a 56-37 edge on the boards, including a 16-9 advantage on the offensive boards.
“We did a great job of rebounding and defensively we held two of their top three players under their season averages,” said Pottinger.
The Kings held both Keith Gerdes and Tyler Wise to six points under their averages. The only one to get away was team scoring leader Denzel Williamson-James, who finished with 26 points.,
“He was hot and hit two threes late, but we kept two guys in check, which is key. You let them all get off and we would have been in trouble.” Clay Crellin was named the RDC player of the game with 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists while Mari Peoples-Wong had 17 points, Jacob Cusumano 16 points, seven boards and four assists.
Lloyd Strickland added 14 points and Matt Johnson 10.
The Queens were also playing their second game in as many days, which may have been evident in the fourth quarter when they were outscored 21-4 by the first-place Griffins, who recorded an 85-50 victory.
Yet Queens head coach Mike Woollard wasn’t using that as an excuse.
“We had way too many turnovers in the first quarter and the fourth,” he said.
“In the second and third quarters we played right with them. We showed we can play with the best teams in the province, but we don’t have the consistency we need.”
The Queens trailed 26-10 after the first quarter, lost the second 15-12 and won the third 24-23.
In the end the Queens inability to get any consistent scoring was evident.
“Right now we’re struggling trying to get any movement on offence,” said Woollard. “It’s way to predictable and we’re throwing the ball to the wrong colour.”
Jessica Foley, who has struggled the second half of the season, was back to her first-half form with 16 points and eight rebounds while Mozanga Ekwalanga had 12 points. First-year guard Gillian Griffin only had five points, but was named the RDC player of the game.
“She was outstanding on defence and played a major role in our play in the second and third quarters,” said Woollard.
RDC hosts Briercrest Bible College next weekend — Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m.