Red Deer College Queen Morgan Dool drives towards the net as Medicine Hat Rattler Kristen Skjonsby defends at Red Deer College Friday.

Kings look to regroup after bite from Rattlers

The RDC Kings weren’t expecting to go through the Alberta Colleges Men’s Basketball League season undefeated.

Rattlers 88 Kings 68

The RDC Kings weren’t expecting to go through the Alberta Colleges Men’s Basketball League season undefeated.

The coaching staff expected there would be the odd blimp along the way. They didn’t expect it to be as bad as it was Friday as they turned in their worst performance of the season in dropping an 88-68 decision to the Medicine Hat Rattlers before close to a full house at RDC.

“That was probably the worst loss in our guy since I’ve been coaching here,” said Kings head coach Clayton Pottinger, whose squad lost for the first time in 10 starts. “They (Rattlers) added some new pieces (at Christmas) and we are short-staffed tonight, but really even if we had everyone I’m not sure we would have beat them.”

The Kings lost team scoring leader Ian Tevis at Christmas and also had six-foot-eight newcomer Shayne Stumpf not ready on Friday. As well veterans Tyler Wise and Benny Bankazo, both of whom were injured most of the first half, didn’t dress.

The Kings fell behind 10-0 early before battling back to trail 19-18 after the first quarter. They took the lead briefly in the second quarter before trailing 38-32 at the half. They were outscored 28-19 in the third quarter.

“We have to regroup and do a lot of things better tomorrow,” said Pottinger. “The guys seemed disengaged for the first time this season. We faced some adversity and a team came out and punched us in the mouth and our response was pretty weak.

“I’m not afraid to lose a basketball game, what I’m more afraid of is not continuing to get better. I believe we will get better from now on.”

When the Kings are back close to full strength is anyone’s guess, although one would think Stumpf needs to get some playing time. Pottinger wasn’t sure when he will be able to dress a full squad.

“We’ll make some changes with who we have and see what happens,” he said.

Matt Johnson led the Kings with 17 points while Matt Matear had 12 points and 12 rebounds, JP LeBlanc 12 points and Anthony Ottley 10 points. Pietro de Andrade had 18 points and Jordan Wynter 16 points and nine boards for the Rattlers.

Rattlers 64 Queens 61

RDC Queens head coach Ken King could have spent some time talking about some calls that went against them in their 64-61 loss to the Rattlers, but instead shouldered the blame for the loss.

“I thought the girls played hard and played well … the coaching staff will eat this one and come out better tomorrow,” he said.

The Queens chances of a comeback was hurt in the final minutes when outstanding forward Emily White picked up her fifth foul on a questionable call. She was called for blocking despite the fact the MHC defender tripped as she went around her.

But the Queens still had opportunities to pull out the win, only their offence fell apart in the fourth quarter. The Queens led 40-34 at the half and 51-49 after three quarters. They managed just 10 points in the fourth quarter.

“We got away from what was working for us and panicked a bit,” said King.

That was never more evident than in the dying seconds. Trailing by three the Queens got the ball with 19 seconds remaining yet twice threw up wild shots when they had plenty of time to run a play.

“We didn’t execute well in that quarter and that last play was a continuation of that,” said King. “Still we played hard and when you lose a close game like this they say it’s the coach’s fault.”

White led the Queens with 22 points and 10 rebounds while Dedra Janvier added 17 points. Megan Getz had 16 points, Morgan Muir 12 and Kennedy Were 11 points and nine rebounds for MHC.

The teams meet again today at 1 p.m. at RDC.

Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at drode@bprda.wpengine.com. His work can also be seen at www.rdc.ab.ca/athleticsblog.

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