Lightning 69 Queens 52
Looking at the standings there’s a large gap between the St. Mary’s University Lightning and the RDC Queens.
On the floor, if the Queens play up to their capabilities for a full 40 minutes there isn’t a large gap. However, they didn’t play a full 40 minutes Friday at RDC and the final score – 69-52 – was indicative of that.
The Lightning pulled away late in the game, after the teams were tied 44-44 early in the final quarter, to run their record to 14-3. The Queens, who are still in a battle for a playoff spot, slipped to 7-9.
“Our defence let us down … we didn’t compete hard enough … we had some people who need to be better for us on the defensive end,” said Queens head coach Ken King, who was anything but happy following the game.
“At times we looked tired which isn’t OK. We need to come back tomorrow (tonight at St. Mary’s) and play better defence.”
The Queens also didn’t get the offence they needed, especially early in the first quarter as they missed a number of shots inside 15 feet. As a result they trailed 11-4 early and 18-13 at the end of the first 10 minutes. They were even with the Lightning 11-11 and 15-15 in the second and third quarters before letting down in the final quarter.
“We feel we can compete with teams like that, but we didn’t deserve to win tonight with the way we played in the fourth quarter,” said King.
There were still some positives with Cassidy Hollingsworth coming in off the bench and finishing with 15 points and two rebounds while Emily White was once again solid inside with nine points, 12 rebounds, five assists and five blocks.
“That may have been Cassidy’s best game since I’ve been here,” said King. “And Emily helps us a tonne inside. She is a difference maker.”
The Queens remain tied for fifth place with Olds, who lost to fourth-place SAIT, 9-8. The Queens still face St. Mary’s today and Olds and Briercrest twice each. SAIT has to face Olds today and undefeated Lethbridge and St. Mary’s twice each.
Montana Romeril had 24 points for the Lightning.
Kings 99 Lightning 73
The Kings went into the game wanting to work on their defence as they prepare for the final stretch to the regular season. And despite the final score of 99-73 the Lightning forced the Kings to do just that.
“That’s a lot of parity in this league and St. Mary’s is one of those teams that keeps the pressure on you,” said Kings head coach Clayton Pottinger. “They take a lot of shots and they make a lot of shots. We have to play hard to win these games.”
Outside of the third quarter when they were outscored 26-24 Pottinger was pleased with the defence.
“We did a good job defensively except in the third quarter when we gave up 26. We want to keep teams under 20 per quarter.”
However, Michael Guinto got hot in the third quarter, hitting everything he threw up. He finished the game with 24 points.
The Kings got a solid effort from a number of players, especially their inside men as Shayne Stumpf had 16 points and 16 rebounds, Matt Matear 14 points and 14 boards and Anthony Ottley 21 points and 10 rebounds. JP LeBlanc had 15 points and Matt Johnson 14 points and five assists.
Stumpf, who joined the team at Christmas is beginning to look comfortable in the team’s system.
“He had a good two solid weeks of practice and tonight 16 and 16 he’s finally doing the stuff we knew he could do,” said Pottinger. “He gives us a different looks as he can hit the three and also hits his free throws.”
The Kings are still missing six-foot-eight Dallas Hancox because of a bad back.
“Once we get Dallas back we’ll have four big men to rotate,” added Pottinger, who wants to see a weekend sweep.
“We haven’t swept a series so far in 2016,” he said. “We’re poised to do that, but we need to go into their gym to do it.”
The Kings ran their record to 12-4 the same as Olds while Medicine Hat is 12-5.