RDP Kings rookie guard Eduardo Crespo of Brazil drives to the basket in the fourth quarter of ACAC action against the Lethbridge College Kodiaks on Friday at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. The Kings picked up a 90-83 win to open the ACAC season. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

RDP Kings basketball win thriller over Lethbridge College Kodiaks

Kings 90 Kodiaks 83

Kodiaks 74 Queens 66

It’s been nearly two years since the Red Deer Polytechnic Kings played an Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference basketball game at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre in front of fans.

They gave the hometown faithful plenty cheer about, grinding out an exciting, back and forth 90-83 win over the Lethbridge College Kodiaks to open the ACAC regular season.

“I thought it was a hard-fought battle. I thought our defence was good despite giving up over 80 points. Lethbridge is an excellent offensive team,” said Kings head coach Darren Graham.

“They run the ball, they push the ball so I was happy with what I saw.”

RDP outscored the Kodiaks 26-18 in the fourth quarter closed the door with some impressive play in the final five minutes to secure the victory.

“I thought it was good enough defence, it wasn’t perfect. And then offensively, when they applied pressure we just moved the ball really well,” Graham said.

“They pressured us and we still moved the ball really efficiently and we got good shots. We looked to attack all the time. We weren’t passive, we were aggressive. We took the right shots, played as a team.”

RDP fifth-year guard Tyronn King was the catalyst all night long for the Kings, finishing with 30 points, eight rebounds, six assists. He was Player of the Game for his efforts.

“I liked his attack mentality. He’s not scared of any moment, he’s not scared of any time of defence or any spotlight,” Graham said.

“There’s no fear there. I just appreciated his attack mentality. Whether it was the first quarter or fourth quarter, he’s always a threat when he has the ball.”

The Kings trailed 45-40 at halftime but outscored one of the top teams in the ACAC from two years ago 50-38 in the second half on the way to the victory. First-year guard Kirkland Hall of Rocky Mountain House played strong defence against the Kodiaks’ star guard, Orin Porter who had 23 points for the visitors.

Graham also credited the play of first-year guard Eduardo Crespo of Brazil, who finished the night with 14 points, most of which came in the second half.

“He got some key buckets down the stretch that kind of game us a little margin for error at the end for their 14 point play. Between Ty and Eduardo, it was a very well-played game,” he said.

The RDP Queens fell 74-66 to the Lethbridge College Kodiaks Friday.

First-year guard Queens guard Meja Lundberg of Sweden led the way for RDP with 22 points in the loss. Third-year guard Amy Szymanek was the only other Queens player in double digits with 18 points. Courtney Deemter and Kirsten Barwegen each had 22 points for the Kodiaks.

Lethbridge led 23-18 after the first quarter and 40-31 at half. The Queens were 4-19 from three-point range, 33 per cent from the field and 60 per cent from the free-throw line and had 25 turnovers along with 14 steals.



byron.hackett@reddeeradvocate.com

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