Brent Forster - RDC
Friday afternoon, the RDC Kings competed against the Keyano College Huskies at the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men's Basketball Championship in Lethbridge and after several swings in momentum the Kings couldn't complete the rally in the fourth quarter. The Huskies picked up an 89-80 win.
The Kings had a strong opening quarter and outscored the Huskies 24-15. Solon Ellis was on fire and connected on 4-of-5 from behind the three-point arch. The Business Adminstration student added 2 rebounds and a steal, and finished with 14 points.
Solon Ellis (7) hitting from long range.
The second quarter was nearly a reversal of the first. The Huskies put up 24 points and the Kings had 13. At the half, Keyano College held a slight 39-37 lead. Solon Ellis led the way for the Kings with 16 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals over two quarters. Chris Oppong had 11 points and 3 assists for the Huskies.
Keyano College had their strongest offensive quarter in the third and scored 29 points. All-Conference selection Dshawn Tyrell had 9 of the Kings' 19 points in the quarter and the RDC Kings trailed by 12 (68-56). The Kings tried to chip away at the lead and with the help of the South Rookie of the Year Omon Edobar's 10 points, the RDC Kings pulled within 9 points. They Keyano College Huskies eventually won 89-80.
Solon Ellis was named the player-of-the game for the Kings. The first-year guard from St. Paul, Minnesota recorded 18 points, 4 steals, 4 rebounds and 1 assist. Chris Oppong received the award for the Huskies with 19 points, 8 assists and 2 boards.
Kings Basketball Head Coach Clayton Pottinger appreciated the strong start. "We started well and Solon Ellis had us ahead but weren't able to finish the way we wanted," said Pottinger.
Several student-athletes impressed their head coach. "Solon Ellis had a good game for us and helped us grab an early lead," said Pottinger. "Spencer Klassen came off the bench and played with good energy today."
The Kings' weekend of competition wrapped up on Friday and the RDC team will use the experience next season. "We have a very young team. The level of competition at the championship was an eye opener for several of our players and it helped us identify some weaknesses," said Pottinger. "It will be a process of a couple of years to build this team to a championship level. With many of the Kings in their first year, it is the first chapter of perhaps a five chapter book."
Coach Pottinger has several building blocks for next year.
The RDC Kings have many exciting, young building blocks for next season and they will be ready for competition in the new Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre/Centre des Jeux du Canada Gary W. Harris in the fall of 2018.