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Queens lose in quarterfinals at CCAA women’s basketball nationals

Move on to bronze quarterfinals on Thursday
Red Deer Polytechnic Queens basketball coach Avery Johnson talks to his team during a time out earlier this season at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

The Red Deer Polytechnic Queens’ historic winning streak officially came to an end Wednesday afternoon.

In their first game at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Women’s Basketball National Championship in the quarterfinals, the Queens fell to the Dawson College Blues 68-51.

The Queens struggled in the first half both offensively and defensively and allowed the Blues to score 28 points in the second quarter to head into halftime down 46-22.

In the second half, Red Deer made up some ground scoring 20 points to Dawson’s eight points. However, the Queens’ run came to a stop in the fourth quarter despite cutting within 10 points of the lead.

Head coach Avery Harrison said his team played scared in the first half.

“That wasn’t our team out there,” he said. “We were scared from start to finish. The first 20 minutes were our worst of the season and you can’t do that at nationals. You’ve got to show up and play.”

“I liked that third quarter. We outscored them 20-8 compared to being outscored 27-8 in the third quarter and in the fourth we cut it to a nine-point game. We didn’t finish off some opportunities.”

The Queens only shot 31.8 per cent from the field and 27.6 per cent from three-point territory. A strong suit for the Queens has been their ability to steal the ball on defence and they only did that nine times but turned the ball over 23 times.

Queens Sophie Melin led the way offensively with 20 points, 18 of which came from the three-point line, and added three assists and two rebounds. Rookie Peighton Melton added eight points meanwhile Sandra Garcia-Bernal had 13 rebounds in the effort.

The Queens will be back in action in Hamilton on Thursday at 1 p.m. mountain time in the bronze medal quarter-finals. They’ll play the loser of the game between the Mohawk Mountaineers and the VIU Mariners.

If the Queens win they’ll play in the bronze semi-finals on Friday for a chance to compete for a bronze medal on Saturday.

“We came here for something bigger but now the best we can do is a bronze medal and we’re going to do the best we can for the school,” Harrison said. “We also represent the ACAC so it’s important we do well for the league.”

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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