OLDS — A year ago the RDC Kings went into the Alberta Colleges Men’s Basketball League finals as the No. 1 team in the South Division and heavy favourites to reach the final.
Instead they were upset by the host Keyano Huskies in the quarter-finals and had to settle for fifth place.
They weren’t about to let that happen again.
Once again they went into the championships as the top team out of the South. This time they took care of business, downing the Lakeland College Rustlers 106-89 at Olds College Thursday.
“We controlled play from start to finish,” said Kings head coach Clayton Pottinger. “We got out on them in the first quarter, limiting them to 17 points, and while they scored more the next three quarters we continued to score as well. So it was never a problem.
‘The pace the game was pretty high, a little higher than normal, but the guys did a great job. They worked hard and made them earn their points.”
The Kings led 29-17 at the end of the first quarter and 62-44 at the half.
“They’re a good three-point shooting team and rebound well but we did good job of controlling both,” added Pottinger. “They got a few threes in, but you can’t eliminate them all.”
The Kings controlled the boards, holding a 42-28 edge in rebounds, led by Shayne Stumpf, who had 10.
The Kings also spread their scoring around. Anthony Ottley finished with 27 points to go with six rebounds and three assists.
Rodney Team had one of his best games of the season with 18 points while JP LeBlanc had 19 points and Matt Matear 14 points, six rebounds and three assists.
The Kings bench also proved to be stronger than the Rustlers, holding a 36-23 edge in scoring.
‘We did spread our points around, which is what we need. Plus the second half I used a lot of our bench with several guys getting good minutes. Everyone should be ready to play two games in two days, then we’ll see about three in three.”
The Kings face the NAIT Ooks in tonight’s 8 p.m. semifinal. NAIT advanced with an 99-81 victory over the host Olds Broncos.
On the other side the Huskies, who will host the national finals and have a berth wrapped up, beat Lethbridge 95-79 and Medicine Hat stopped Grande Prairie 93-82.
If Keyano reaches the final the winner of the RDC-NAIT contest will also advance to the national championships.
“We watched NAIT and they’re good … we’ll need to defend hard,” said Pottinger.
On the women’s side in Lloydminster, the host Lakeland Rustlers downed SAIT 69-54, NAIT beat Medicine Hat 91-54, Lethbridge stopped Augustana 77-44 and St. Mary’s defeated Grande Prairie 86-42.