Kings 93 Rattlers 77
Adam Shaw’s decision to return to the RDC Kings after a year off was a huge benefit in more ways than one.
Shaw gives the Kings one of the premier shooting guards in the Alberta Colleges Men’s Basketball League and, just as important, a veteran presence.
“Adam is playing a few more minutes and showing his experience and composure, which has been really helpful,” said Kings head coach Stef Labrecque. “He makes life so much easier.”
Shaw, who is in his fourth season, turned in another solid performance Saturday afternoon, dropping in 13 points to go with four assists and three rebounds as the Kings downed the Medicine Hat Rattlers 93-77 at RDC.
Shaw took last season off to concentrate on his schooling.
“I needed to get it back on track, but I also missed basketball,” he said, although he didn’t decide to return until five days before the opening of training camp.
“But I’m glad I came back,” he added. “The style of play is more my style. There’s a lot of up and down and you shoot when you’re open. You certainly have to be in shape to play, but a free action style is fun to play.”
The last time Shaw suited up for the Kings, he and Randy Davis, who is in his second season with the University of Lethbridge, were the team’s primary scorers. Today’s Shaw doesn’t have to carry the load alone.
“Coach Stef has instilled a lot of confidence in every player and the rookies are playing big minutes and contributing and that’s huge,” said Shaw.
First-year forward Stason Golden of Windsor, Ont., and second-year forward Eric Bakker were key contributors Saturday. Golden finished with 30 points, eight rebounds and two assists while Bakker had 20 points, eight boards and a pair of assists. Lloyd Strickland had 11 points.
The Kings were deserving victors, controlling play for the majority of the 40 minutes, although they did have a slight letdown in the third quarter when they were outscored 27-18.
“We’ve been having some problems in the third quarter, but we’re young and we’ll work through it,” said Labrecque. “We’ve identified it as an issue, so we’ll figure it out. The nice thing is we also kept digging and kept playing and finished it out.”
The Kings held a 32-12 edge in scoring in the second quarter as the Rattlers couldn’t handle the Kings quickness. As a result MHC went into a zone defence in the third quarter.
“That changed things, but our offence became a bit stagnant and we forgot to do the things we do best,” added Labrecque. “Just because it’s a zone doesn’t mean we can’t penetrate, move the ball and kick it. We have to work on that, if we don’t every team will pick it up.”
The win completed a weekend doubleheader sweep over Medicine Hat and was the third in a row for the Kings after an opening loss to Briercrest.
“Winning both games at home was important,” added Labrecque. “If you look at the scores in the league, it’s up for grabs and you need that consistency and have to be focused all the time.”
Derek Tymchyna led MHC, 1-3, with 29 points while Colby Bliss added 18, Nairen Duncan 13 and Stew Moffat 10.
Rattlers 77 Queens 59
One of the major problems facing the RDC Queens has been their inability to look after the ball.
That once again jumped up and bit them Saturday as they finished with 38 turnovers compared to 22 for the Rattlers in dropping a 77-59 decision in women’s action.
“We shot the ball well, hitting 48 per cent, but we took 31 less shots than they did and that’s a lot to do with the turnovers,” said Queens head coach Dawn Smyth. “You can’t allow that many more shots and expect to win.”
The Queens could have kept the game close at the free throw line, but connected on just 16 of 34 attempts.
“Just not good, which is frustrating because we have been good the last couple of games,” added Smyth.
But the Queens defence also did them in as they consistently allowed the Rattlers inside.
“On Friday they hit a lot of there-point baskets and today it was inside, but they took advantage and did a good job of finishing,” said Smyth.
The Queens are without point guard Karlen Majcher, who is out with a slight concussion.
“It was a huge difference without her,” said Smyth. “She has an attacking mentality and we were forced to use Megan (Ivancic) at point as backup for Katlyn (Olsen) and that’s not Megan’s natural position.”
Lisa Ivanics led the Queens, 2-2, with 20 points while Olsen had 10 points and six rebounds. Meagan Koroll had 21 points and Courtney Heinrichs 18 for MHC, 2-2.