Kings lose McCallum and to Cougars

Earlier this week RDC Kings basketball head coach Craig Behan made a tough decision when he suspended veteran guard Graeme McCallum.

RDC King Lloyd Strickland throws up a lay up on MRU Cougar Cameron Dodd Friday. MRU won 83-57.

Cougars 83 Kings 57

Earlier this week RDC Kings basketball head coach Craig Behan made a tough decision when he suspended veteran guard Graeme McCallum.

“It was a behavior thing,” explained Behan. “He could help us a lot and he does fit in with the guys, but it’s been on-going. We provide an opportunity here for the guys to advance themselves both on and off the court and when they stop being a good teammate something has to be done.”

McCallum’s loss left a big hole in the Kings lineup as he was leading the team scoring with close to 20 points per game, led the Alberta Colleges Men’s Basketball League’s South Division in steals and was third in assists.

His absence was obvious on the court as the Kings were embarrassed 83-57 by the defending national champion Mount Royal University Cougars at RDC Friday.

“His loss did hurt,” agreed Behan. “We were running our offence through him and we only had one practice to work on rediscovering ourselves. And that practice the guys were in shock.”

Behan did say there’s always a chance McCallum may return.

“There’s a chance if there’s communication,” he said.

Communication was one of the problems the Kings had defensively Friday.

“We need to communicate a lot better and do a much better job on the boards,” he said. “And that has nothing to do with the fact Graeme isn’t here. It’s not like his loss stops us from blocking out, or causes us to make errors. Or even stops us from cutting, passing and moving on offence.”

Those were all things the Kings did little of Friday.

The Cougars, who have eight returnees on their roster, including three fifth-year players and one in his fourth year, did show why they’re the defending national champions, especially on defence as they led 21-9 after the first quarter and 39-20 at the half. But the Kings helped them as well, committing the majority of their 31 turnovers in the early going.

The Kings also couldn’t handle six-foot-eight fifth-year post Brett Kobe, who finished with 29 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.

“We didn’t have an answer for him tonight, but then we didn’t do a very good job of fronting him and keeping the ball out of his hands,” said Behan.

Chris Porteous led the Kings with 12 points and eight rebounds while Joel Carroll came off the bench to add 11 points.

Cougars 63 Queens 51

Queens head coach Dawn Smyth was anything but pleased following a 63-51 loss to the Cougars.

“We made silly decisions at critical times,” she said. “I really believe this was a game we could have taken.”

The Queens also lost a key part of their team with 4:06 remaining in the second quarter when six-foot-two Morgan Rauser went down with a knee injury, that required the paramedics to take her to the hospital.

Rauser had eight points and six rebounds at the time and was controlling play inside.

“She’s a big loss, but the main problem is we need someone else to step up and rebound,” added Smyth. “We got some rebounds, but late in the game our post players tired and we didn’t get the push needed to stay with them.”

The Queens also didn’t shoot the ball with any consistency. In fact they shot a dismal 28.8 percent from the field, 18.2 per cent from three-point land and 46.9 per cent from the free throw line.

“We were rushing our shots and not setting up,” said Smyth, “Those are things we can correct.”

The Queens hope to do just that tonight at RDC visits Mount Royal.

Lisa Ivanic led the Queens with 14 points. Rochelle Thoutenhoofd had 18 points for MRU.

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