Kings 90 Trojans 51
Last season RDC Kings fans never got to see Matt Matear at his best.
Coming off a broken arm Matear joined the Kings at Christmas and put together a solid second half, but felt he wasn’t where he wanted to be.
This year it’s another matter altogether.
“I trained hard in the summer and had a good training camp and I feel like my old self,” said the six-foot-six native of Calgary, who pumped in 19 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as the Kings downed the SAIT Trojans 90-51 in Alberta Colleges Men’s Basketball League play at RDC Friday.
Matear was especially strong in the first half when the Trojans stayed within striking distance of the undefeated Kings, 8-0.
The Kings needed his solid play as they were without league scoring leader Ian Tevis
“But we have so much talent we can still come through,” said Matear. “It’s a matter of cohesiveness and chemistry.
“As well all year the coaches have been stressing defence and it was there today. Even in the second quarter when they outscored us (15-14) it meant nothing as we still help them to 15 points.”
Head coach Clayton Pottinger was especially pleased with the defence.
“The key today was we defended better than we have any game this season,” he said. “We held them to 15 and 11 points in the first half and similar in the second.
“We’ve said all along that when we score like we’ve shown this season we’re dangerous but when we play defence we’re invincible.”
The Kings led 26-11 after the first quarter and 40-26 at the break. They pulled away in the third quarter when they outscored the Trojans 31-15. Then put together a 19-10 fourth quarter.
Matear has also been able to stay fresh this season with Dallas Hancox coming in off the bench to give him a breather.
“It really helps to have a big player like Dallas … it takes a lot of pressure off me defensively. He’s been strong on the glass.”
Hancox had a strong game Friday with 11 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots.
“You could see tonight what we see from Dallas in practice,” said Pottinger. “You could see that potential two years ago and the more he plays the more comfortable he feels. He defends the rim like nobody’s business.”
The Kings were able to use all their bench and walk-on Jabin Binnendyk continues to improve and didn’t look out of place.
“He’s getting a chance to play some minutes and he’s executing,” said Pottinger.
The Kings showed their cohesiveness cheering loudly for the bench players when they had success.
“It’s helps to have so many players on the bench, there’s a lot of energy,” said Matear.
“The guys on the bench are involved, look at Ian tonight he led the crew. We have a lot of chemistry and I enjoy that,” said Pottinger.
Rodney Teal added 15 points, Anthony Ottley 13 Kelvin Omojola 11 and Matt Johnson nine. Justin Makasiar had 22 for SAIT.
Trojans 66 Queens 57
The Queens turned in their most disappointing effort of the season in dropping a 66-57 decision to the Trojans.
The RDC squad, 3-5, struggled to find any cohesiveness on offence missing a number of open outside shots and continued to struggle at the free throw line.
They finished 12-for-24 at the line while SAIT hit 20 of 33.
Despite never finding their rhythm it turned out that the second quarter 17-8 in the Trojans’ favour, was the difference.
“We can’t let them score 17 points and only get eight,” said Queens head coach Ken King shaking his head.
The Queens trailed 17-13 after the first quarter and 34-21 at the half. They tied the third quarter 16-16 and won the fourth 20-16.
King had little to say, but did say that it was time for some players to buy in.
“I expect to see some changes to the starting lineup and possibly the roster,” he said. “We need players with a positive attitude and work hard every day.”
King did like what he saw from first-year point guard Madi Whiting, veteran Morgan Dool and Emily White.
“Madi played well and Morgan did what we wanted again,” he said. “Emily had a strong game in a number of areas.”
White was the RDC player of the game, finishing with 17 points, 19 rebounds and three steals.
Dool added 12 points and seven boards while Shaylee Farren continues to improve and had 11 points and Dedra Janvier eight.
The RDC teams finish their 2015 portion of their schedule today at SAIT.
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His work can also be seen at www.rdc.ab.ca/athleticsblog.