Lightning strike at Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

Spencer Klassen (21) will be a key player this weekend. Picture-Colby Brochu Photography
Spencer Klassen (21) will be a key player this weekend. Picture-Colby Brochu Photography

Brent Forster – RDC

Red Deer, AB – After the RDC Kings and St. Mary's University Lightning were tied 37-37 at the half, the Lightning scored 43 points in the final two quarters, sealing an 80-72 win at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

The first quarter was even 15-15 until the RDC Kings went on a 7-0 run. During that stretch, Spencer Klassen drained a three-pointer and a field goal, and Khurram Sultan was perfect on a pair of free-throws to provide the Kings a 22-15 edge.

Khurram Sultan (10) Colby Brochu Photography

The Red Deer College Kings pulled ahead by nine (29-20) in the second quarter but the Lightning didn't relent. St. Mary's University outscored RDC 14-6 to climb ahead 34-33. In a back-and-forth finish, Klassen sank a late basket, evening the score 37-37 at the half.

In the third, Cordell Minifree provided St. Mary's a four point edge (45-41). Eric Bakker and Ramiro Martinez Quintanilla Jimenez connected from the field for the Kings but the Lightning took advantage of their offensive opportunities, going up by 13 (62-49).

Klassen started to heat up in the final quarter, dropping three consecutive buckets from the field to bring the Kings within eight (64-56). Shortly after, Minnifree responded for St. Mary's from behind the arc (69-58). Anthony Harper, Malik Smith and Kevin Szymanek helped bring RDC within five (71-66) but the Lightning capped off an 80-72 win.

Kevin Szymanek (11) Colby Brochu Photography

Spencer Klassen was selected as the Kings Player-of-the-Game while Ryan Tod received the honour for the Lightning. Klassen, a Bachelor of Education student, totaled 26 points, 5 steals and 6 rebounds. Tod played with energy and contributed 8 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals while going six-for-six from the free-throw line. 

As a team, the Kings sank 33 per cent of their attempts from the field, 7.7 per cent from behind the three-point arc and 53.3 per cent from the free-throw line. The Lightning shot 40.3, 34.8 and 81.8 per cent respectively. 

Anthony Harper (4) Colby Brochu Photography

Anthony Harper and Malik Smith scored 10 points each for RDC. The Kings picked up 10 more boards than the Lightning (62-52). 

"We looked rusty and weren't working very hard. We didn't make many shots but there are no excuses. We've been practicing since last week," says Kings Head Coach Clayton Pottinger. "We felt like we should have worked the rust out and been more ready to compete tonight. I was content with a couple of performances but we had lacklustre performances from some of our best guys who really need to show up. Not just in the statistics from scoring, but in other ways as well."

The RDC Kings (4-5) will look to get back into the win column as they travel to Calgary on Saturday to take on the Lightning (2-7) at 8:00 p.m.