Kings play two-way game in win over Huskies

Kings play two-way game in win over Huskies

Queens keep it close against top North Division team

Kings 104 Huskies 65

One never knows what to expect from exhibition play.

That was the case for the RDC Kings during their Ramada Inn and Suites Fall Royalty Classic basketball tournament during the weekend.

The Kings turned in a so-so performance to open the three-day tournament Thursday, downing the Kings University Eagles 91-82. On Friday they didn’t show up at all, losing 91-50 to the Lethbridge Kodiaks.

On Saturday, the Friday night game was forgotten as they turned in a solid two-way performance in downing the Keyano Huskies of Fort McMurray 104-65.

“A way better effort today, I’m glad the guys bounced back and showed some signs of life after last night,” said Kings head coach Clayton Pottinger. “Our defence was immediately better and our energy was much better.”

The Kings stormed out of the gate taking a 13-0 lead and never looked back.

“The only thing I’m still worried about are those situations where we’re facing a bit of adversity,” said Pottinger. “Today we were up early and never looked back. But the situations where we’re pushed is where we show our true character. We need a few more of those.”

The Kings also had a deeper and more experienced lineup Saturday with Shayne Stumpf and import point guard Kai Green in the lineup. They both sat out Friday as Pottinger used his whole roster over the three days.

Stumpf finished with 20 points while Green added nine and did an excellent job of running the offence. Matt Matear was outstanding, finishing with 33 points, including 20 in the first half. Ian Tevis added 27 points while hitting on seven three-pointers.

“Kudos to Matt Matear, he showed a lot of leadership while Shayne had one of his best games in as a King,” said Pottinger.

Huskies 79 Queens 70

The RDC Queens didn’t have the same success as the Kings yet showed more than a little promise in a 79-70 loss to the Huskies, who are considered one of the top teams in the Northern Division.

“We’ve played them twice in the last week and they’re a strong team. Very athletic with a lot of weapons,” said Queens head coach Ken King, who felt foul trouble played a major role in the outcome.

“Getting into foul trouble hurt us, especially in the second half when we didn’t have our starters as long as we would have liked … that definitely hurt,” he said. “We need to be more disciplined if we want to play the (full court, aggressive) style we want to play. We need that discipline. We can’t run around like chickens with their heads cut off.”

The Queens led 37-36 at the half and trailed 58-49 after three quarters.

Dedra Janvier led the Queens with 16 points while Emily White added 15, Kristen Loney 10 and Kiana Mintz nine.

Loney continues to impress in her rookie season.

“She’s playing well and I don’t think she even realizes what she’s capable of doing,” said King. “That’s the way with a lot of the girls on this team. We want to turn them lose and allow them to realize their full potential. They’ll realize they can do more than they think they can.”

One aspect the Queens have already improved on from last season is their press break.

“You can see some of the experience,” said King. “We have 10 girls with experience in the league and even when they do turn the ball over they remain calm. They’re more comfortable against pressure.”

The Queens have a pair of exhibition games lined up against Grant MacEwan University — Oct. 19 in Edmonton and Oct. 21 at home, before opening their regular season at home, Oct, 29 against St. Mary’s University.

Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at drode@bprda.wpengine.com. His work can also be seen at Danny’s blog at rdcathletics.ca