Rustlers’ victory over Kings shows why they’re No. 1

The Lakeland College Rustlers walked into Red Deer College Saturday as the No. 1 ranked team in the country. When they walked out it was obvious why.

Rustlers 113 Kings 88

The Lakeland College Rustlers walked into Red Deer College Saturday as the No. 1 ranked team in the country.

When they walked out it was obvious why.

The Rustlers have a deep and offensive talented team which they showed during a 113-88 victory over the RDC Kings in Alberta Colleges Men’s Basketball League play.

“We ran into one of the best teams in the country who were probably playing one of their best games of the year,” said Kings head coach Clayton Pottinger. “They shot unbelievably, even when we defended well they were making shots.”

The Rustlers shot a blistering 50 per cent from the field, plus 35 pert cent from three-point range. They also nailed 70 per cent of their free throws.

The Kings hung with them for most of the first half before slipping behind 58-48 at the break.

“The last three minutes of the half we lost focus and they got up by 10 and never looked back,” said Pottinger. “We had our ups and downs, which has been the story of our season. Fortunately we’re talented enough to win some of those games, but that’s not going to get us to the level we want to get to.

“Tonight was an eye-opener for our guys. We got a chance to see what the best teams are doing and I’m confident our guys will see that and step up to the plate.”

What the Kings couldn’t do is stop Lakeland scoring stars Kevon Parchment and Njuguna Waiganjo, two of seven players on their roster from Ontario.

Parchment finished with 34 points and Waiganjo 33.

There were also some positives on the Kings side.

“Despite the score we did a decent job on defence and some of the guys came off the bench and played well,” said Pottinger. “We also played better than we did yesterday, but just not good enough to beat a team of that calibre.”

Kek Biel was solid with 13 points, 14 rebounds and five steals while Rob Pierce had 21 points and eight boards. RJ Wells added 18 points and Eric Bakker 14 points. Lloyd Strickland had eight points and eight assists.

The Kings have next weekend off and Pottinger feels they’ll be that much better when they return in two weeks.

“We should come back with more resolve. I expect you’ll see we’ll be a lot more like Lakeland when we return.”

Rustlers 68 Queens 44

While the women’s edition of the Rustlers aren’t ranked as high as the men, they’re also one of the top teams in the ACAC as they showed in a 68-44 win over the Queens.

They have 10 veterans on their roster, including outstanding American guard Amy Warbrick of Coeur d’Alene, Id.

“We didn’t have anyone who could handle her,” said Queens head coach Dawn Smyth.

Warbrick finished with 18 points and controlled the teams quick transition offence.

The Queens did a good job for the first three quarters and only trailed 46-36. But they ran out of gas in the fourth quarter.

“They started hitting their threes when we left them open and we just don’t,” said Smyth.

“To get three points we need about three possessions,” added Smyth with a laugh. “But we tried to push the ball with more intensity than we did in the past and for the most part did a good job. But we still finished with 44 points. That issue is not going to go away and we might as well stop talking about it and concentrate on other things.

“I thought we rebounded well at times, but we also need to be a bit more consistent there as well.”

The Rustlers held a 55-50 edge in rebounds.

Paola Viveros led the Queens with nine points and five rebounds in limited action. Karlen Majcher had eight points while Lauren Loyek had five rebounds.

drode@bprda.wpengine.com