Brent Forster - RDC
The Red Deer College Kings Basketball team entertained the Medicine Hat College Rattlers Friday evening, and fans were treated to a back-and-forth battle that wasn't decided until late. The Rattlers led 44-42 at the half and eventually picked up an 88-83 road win.
It was a fast paced opening quarter and not much separated the two squads throughout. A layup from Omon Edobar gave the RDC Kings a 1 point edge (13-12). Eventually, Daniel Powell hit a three-pointer in the latter stages and RDC was up 24-22 after the first quarter.
Medicine Hat College pulled ahead slightly in the second quarter. The Rattlers led 43-40 and then Braiden Ousey connected from the baseline to pull his Kings within a point. At the half, Medicine Hat College led 44-42. Dshawn Tyrell and Daniel Powell contributed 10 points each for the Kings by the half. Aaron Cameron led the way for the Rattlers with 14.
After the Rattlers were up 55-51 in the third quarter, Omon Edobar sank a basket from the field to bring the Kings within two. In what continued to be a close game, the Medicine Hat College Rattlers were up 63-59 at the end of the quarter.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Kings clawed back to even terms 66-66. Eric Bakker was a factor with an early offensive rebound and a pair of baskets down low. Minutes later, Bakker continued the hot hand, but this time from behind the three-point arc to knot the contest 75-75. Moments later, Daniel Powell drained a three ball to push the Kings ahead 81-80. The Rattlers outscored the Kings 8-2 the remainder of the way and capped off an 88-83 win.
Kings Basketball Head Coach Clayton Pottinger credited the Rattlers in a close basketball game. "It was a battle – back-and-forth for most of the game," said Pottinger. "We probably played a little better in the first half than we did in the second half but we were able to do most of the things that we wanted to do. Medicine Hat is a tough team."
Pottinger was pleased with the play from his starting lineup. "All of our starters played very well. Omon ended up being the player-of-the-game with 24 points," said Pottinger. "Dshawn was big again. Eric had another solid performance. Daniel had 17 points and 16 rebounds. Our starters are playing well. We'd like to get a bit more out of our bench though."
Omon Edobar, a first-year guard from Calgary, finished with 24 points, 1 steal, 3 assists and 3 rebounds. Jon Sappleton was named the player-of-the-game for the Rattlers and he contributed 22 points, 2 steals, 4 assists and 10 rebounds.
Overall, Pottinger liked the effort but he will make a few changes in the rematch. "We will have to make some adjustments for Saturday," said Pottinger. "In games that are this close and teams that are matched like this, it will be about the minor adjustments that we make during the game that can sway things in our direction. When we prep for these weekends, we have a game plan A and a game plan B."
The RDC Kings finished with 52 rebounds. The Medicine Hat College Rattlers totaled 45.
The third place Red Deer College Kings (8-6) will host the second place Medicine Hat College Rattlers (12-3) Saturday, February 3 at 3:00 p.m. in a weekend rematch.