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RDP Queens erase 14-point deficit to extend eight-game winning streak

Queens basketball haven’t lost since November
RDP Queens basketball guard Sadie Jeffries puts in a layup against the Olds College Broncos Friday night in ACAC action at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

The Red Deer Polytechnic Queens basketball team is on a magical run.

After overcoming a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter against the Olds College Broncos Friday night, the Queens have won eight consecutive games.

Head coach Avery Harrison said it was a gutsy win by his squad.

“Olds outplayed us for much of that game… What I liked about our team tonight is they didn’t give up they didn’t quit,” Harrison said.

“A lot of teams with 2:05 to go in the third you’re down 14 would have folded and thought well this isn’t our night. These guys just kept coming at one point it was a 21-4 run we had on them.”

The Queens’ defensive play came up clutch in the fourth quarter holding the Broncos to 11 points to Red Deer’s 29. It was a much-needed boost after being down in the second and third quarters.

“We had seven steals in the first half and 17 in the second half so that was big for us,” Harrison said adding 11 of those came in the final quarter. “Our defensive pressure really stepped up big for us at a time when we really needed it.”

Queens Amy Szymanek finished with 25 points shooting 10-for-23 from the field and grabbing 10 boards. Sophie Melin and Sandra Garcia-Bernal each added 13 points and LaurenFrance notched six points off the bench.

Great defence is at the top of the priority list for Harrison who explained their offence feeds off their defence when they’re playing well.

The Queens’ winning streak began just before the Christmas break when they beat Lethbridge College on the road in November. Since then they’ve defeated Briercrest College, Ambrose University, Sait, and Olds College.

“They’ve been playing so well,” Harrison added. “They’re supportive of each other and the communication on the floor. The bench being involved is huge. I think the more the bench is involved in the play out there the more enthusiastic you are and the more pumped up you are.”

With only four games remaining including a rematch against the Broncos on Saturday every win matters with playoffs around the corner. Their fury of wins has launched the Queens up the standings to second place in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) South Division with a record of 11-6. The top six teams from each division will make the postseason.

“I don’t think we’re at our peak yet,” he said.

“This started the last game before Christmas in Lethbridge which was a huge win for us. If we had dropped our record to 3-7 I don’t think we could be doing what we’re doing now… I think that gave us a good feeling over Christmas what we were going to do in the second half.”

More importantly, Harrison said they’re thriving in pressure games which doesn’t seem to bother this team.

They just go out play their game and take care of business.

“Every night on the board before a game I write down our offensive and defensive strategies and at the end, I put keys to our game. Play one game at a time, play one quarter at a time and play one possession at a time. That’s on our board every night.”

“We don’t care what’s happening tomorrow, or next week, or the week after that. The only thing we have to worry about is right now and how we’re playing. That’s worked pretty well for us.”

Meanwhile, the Kings blew out the Broncos 88-56 on their home court. They won seven of their last eight and are in third place in the South Division standings with four games remaining.

RDP Queens basketball overcame a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Olds College Broncos Friday night at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

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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