Kings 111 Broncos 109
OLDS – RDC Kings head coach Clayton Pottinger was looking for a spark as the team heads toward the Alberta Colleges Men’s Basketball League playoffs in two weeks in Olds.
He may have just got that Saturday when the Kings shook off some tough calls down the stretch to down the Olds College Broncos 111-109.
“That was exactly the situation we needed,” said Pottinger. “It was a tough back and forth game and we had to stay in it mentally right to the end to pull it out. We did exactly that which may have been for the first time this season.”
The Kings led 109-105 with 22.2 seconds remaining after JP LeBlanc scored on a driving layup and added a free throw with 52 seconds remaining and the hit three free throws with 22.2 left.
However, a pair of tough calls went against the Kings, allowing league scoring leader Wayne Tucker to go to the free throw line twice in the final seconds.
The first was mysteriously called an intentional foul and the second was what looked to be a clean block by Kings Dallas Hancox, who is the block leader in the South Division. The four free throws tied the game with 15.4 seconds remaining.
The Kings came back with Matt Johnson being fouled with 7.7 seconds left. He nailed both free throws and when a three point attempt by Olds missed the win was the Kings.
“JP and MJ (Johnson) did a great job keeping their focus,” said Pottinger, who was forced to play the game without six-foot-nine Shayne Stumpf, who hurt an ankle at practice Friday.
“That was a bit of a distraction, but the guys shook it off and JP had his best game of the season and Anthony (Ottley) was great again. As well Khurram Sultan did a great job for us in the first half when we had a bit of a lull. He hit five-for-five from the field, including three threes.”
Ottley pumped in 37 points while LeBlanc had 27, Matt Matear 14 points and 13 rebounds, Johnson 16 points, nine assists and seven boards and Sultan 13 points. Tucker had 41 for Olds.
Free throw shooting kept the Broncos in the game was they went to the line 37 times and hit 30. RDC was good on 16 of 21.
The Kings, Olds and Medicine Hat are all 14-5 and tied for first in the south Division. RDC hosts Briercrest next Saturday and Sunday while Olds and Medicine Hat clash. If the Kings and MHC tie for first the edge goes to Medicine Hat. If RDC and Olds tie Red Deer has the advantage.
Broncos 56 Queens 53
Once again a poor third quarter did in the Queens in a 56-53 loss to the Broncos.
The Queens led 19-7 after the first quarter and 32-22 at the half. However, they were outscored 21-9 in the third quarter and 13-12 in the fourth.
“It’s hard to explain,” said Queens head coach Ken King when asked about the poor third quarters.
“We’re scratching our heads but I think it has a lot to do with being comfortable and not knowing how to play with a lead. They work hard and execute to get the lead then it’s as if they don’t know how to play with the lead.
“As we learn we will get better at it.”
The loss eliminated the Queens from the playoffs as they sit with a 7-12 record while fifth-place Olds moved to 9-10 with SAIT at 10-10.
Still the Queens took a step forward this season after a 4-20 record last year.
“It’s a small step,” said King, who is in his second season with the team.
The Queens lost the game at the free throw line as Olds went to the charity stripe 27 times and hit 17 while RDC hit seven of 14.
“We didn’t have the free throw the first half,” said King. “We have to be more aggressive going to the hoop.”
Emily White had 14 points for the Queens while Dedra Janvier added 13 and Eva Bonde 11.