RDC Queens basketball head coach Mike Woollard feels they deserved a better fate. Yet he also knows the way the rules were set up in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference this season he’ll have to take his medicine.
The Queens tied for 10th and the final playoff berth with Keyano College of Fort McMurray with 11 points each. However, thanks to a 72-54 loss at Fort McMurray in their second game of the season, the Queens lost the tie-breaker and missed the playoffs.
The Queens posted a 9-11 record this season while Keyano was 7-14. However, teams receive one point per win against their own conference and two against the other conference, which gives the teams equal points.
“That’s how it is, we knew the rules going in,” said Woollard. “We put a lot of work in to get a better win-loss record but the point system makes it fair.”
The Queens still had an opportunity to squeeze into the playoffs, but needed a split in their weekend series at Lethbridge. While they were never in the first game — a 74-31 loss — they were right there Saturday before losing 90–78 when the officials decided the game. They send Lethbridge to the free throw line 50 times and RDC 29. The Queens received 32 fouls, well over their season average of 18.
Woollard didn’t want to say anything about the officiating.
“I was proud of the way the girls played Saturday, but I did think we deserved to win in some ways,” he said.
But it’s over and done with and next season the ACAC basketball returns to North-South division play, as will volleyball.
It has it’s positives and negatives according to RDC director of athletics Keith Hansen.
“I didn’t like the basketball setup the way it is now, but I’m not a fan of strictly playing within your division either,” he said. “In volleyball I’d like to see what we had in the past.”
In the past volleyball teams played in their division prior to Christmas then took the top three teams from each pool and put them in a power pool.
While the basketball Queens finished just below .500 they definitely took a major step forward.
“It’s been some time since we won nine games,” said Woollard, who hopes to have close to nine players returning next season.
“We have six confirmed with four others close,” he said. “We also have two recruits confirmed as well.”
Both recruits are guards — a shooting guard from Foothills in Okotoks and a point guard from Meadow Lake, Sask., who won last year’s Saskatchewan 4A title.
“I’m close to adding a couple more and looking at a couple of local girls,” said Woollard, who will hold his ID camp on April 5.
• Both volleyball squads go into the ACAC playoffs this weekend — the men at RDC and the women at Grande Prairie —seeded No. 1.
The Kings will have an interesting opening match as they face Briercrest Bible College Clippers at 6 p.m. Friday.
The Clippers will have nothing to lose as they’re hosting the Canadian championships.
“They have a veteran team and I’m surprised they’re coming in ranked eighth,” said Kings head coach Aaron Schulha. “But then once you get here there are no easy teams.”
The Kings know all about the Clippers as they needed a five sets to beat them in the second match in Caronport earlier this season.
“It was in their gym and playing at home should be an advantage for us,” said Schulha. “The guys are focused and should be fresh after a couple of days off early this week.”
The Kings go into the tournament ranked No. 1 in Canada, as they have been all season.
Other games Friday sees Grande Prairie meeting SAIT at 1 p.m., NAIT and Grant MacEwan clashing at 3 p.m. and Augustana taking on Medicine Hat at 8 p.m. The semifinals go Saturday at 6 and 8 p.m. with the final Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
The Queens open the ACAC finals at 3 p.m. Friday against Lakeland. Kings and Briercrest meet at 1 p.m., Olds and Grande Prairie at 6 p.m. and NAIT and Grant MacEwan at 8 p.m.
• The RDC women’s curling team will compete in the ACAC finals Friday to Sunday in Lloydminster.
• Basketball dominated the Boston Pizza RDC athlete of the week voting with guard Matt Johnson receiving the top male award and guard Dedra Janvier taking home the top female award.
Johnson had 35 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in the two games against Lethbridge while Janvier was player of the game Saturday with 17 points and five assists.
• Kings volleyball received the Breathing Room team of the week award.