Queens 68 Lightning 58
The RDC Queens have the talent to take a significant step up in the Alberta Colleges Women’s Basketball League this season.
What they needed to do was show that against the higher ranked teams.
They did just that Saturday as they turned in a solid two-way performance in downing the St. Mary’s Lightning of Calgary 68-58 at RDC.
The Lightning came in with a 2-0 record and ranked ninth in the country. The win gave the Queens a 2-1 record and left them tied with Lethbridge, 2-0, and St. Mary’s for first in the south.
“It was a big win for us, for sure,” said Queens star forward Emily White. “I think it shows how together we are as a team. There’s a lot of chemistry and we have a lot of talent, but the most important thing is everyone doing their job. Our team moto is ‘Do Our Job’.”
Queens head coach Ken King agrees.
“I thought we did a lot of things for each other tonight,” he said. “When we did receive a scare in the fourth quarter it was when we were a little selfish, when we weren’t playing as a team. When we were we did a good job.”
The Queens led by as much as 21 in the third quarter, but the Lightning narrowed that gap to five in the fourth and appeared to have all the momentum.
But the Queens pulled together defensively and didn’t panic on the offensive end and did an excellent job of distributing the ball.
“Our people on the floor stayed together and played solid defence and remained poised offensively,” said King, adding he was impressed at the team’s poise for most of the game.
“Being ahead against a team of St. Mary’s calibre and to play with poise most of the time, was impressive,” he said.
King went into the game, making a couple of changes to his starting line. One was inserting Lauren Bailey at point guard.
“That helped us in two ways,” said King.” It allowed us to have someone else on the bench who could come in early, plus Lauren gives us energy and she does a good job of allowing the girls to stay focused.”
Newcomer Kiana Mintz also provides energy and defensive quickness.
“She plays with a lot of effort and enthusiasm,” said King.
Mintz struggled a bit offensively, finishing with seven points, but had six steals, several at key times.
White led the team with 21 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, four steals and two blocks.
She also always seemed to make the big play at both ends..
“I have a slightly different role this season in that I don’t focus on offence, but rather on defence and when I do that the offence comes,” she said.
Dedra Janvier also had a strong game with 14 points. Montana Romeril had 20 points and Kassandra Baptiste 14 for the Lightning.
Kings 94 Lightning 76
The Kings, much like the Queens, led by double figures most of the way, only to see the lead shrink to four in the fourth quarter. However, they too picked up their defence and pulled away to a 94-76 victory.
“When they got to four we forced three turnovers in a row with solid defence and created scoring chances on the transition,” said Kings head coach Clayton Pottinger. “I was proud of the way we finished the game. It could have gone the other way.”
Pottinger wasn’t pleased with the defence in the second quarter when they allowed 25 points. They led 52-41 at the half, but Pottinger brought his troops back early in the break to work on defence.
It paid off as they allowed just 35 points the second half.
“We played good defence in spurts and did a really good job down the stretch,” said Pottinger.
“This is the least number of points we allowed this season,” added Pottinger. “But they were also missing their top player (Cordell Minifee), who had 35 against us last week.”
But to the Lightning’s credit they did a good job of distributing the ball and got points from other sources.
Jordan Britton, who red shirted with the Kings three years ago, had 20 points and eight rebounds while Brad Hassal came in off the bench and hit five three-point baskets for 15 points., Tavis Lee and Brandt Seibel, both from Ponoka, added 12 and 10 points each.
“They’re a scrappy team, but don’t have a lot of depth or height,” said Porttinger. “We need to use our height, which will be key against some of the bigger teams.”
Ian Tevis had a strong game for the Kings with 20 points, nine assists and 10 steals. Mat Matear and Shayne Stumpf added 13 points each, Spencer Klassen 12 and Anthony Robbs 11.
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His work can also be seen at Dann’s blog at rdcathletics.ca