Brent Forster – RDC
Red Deer, AB – The RDC Kings knew it was a crucial pair of weekend games against the Lethbridge College Kodiaks, and they delivered. After Saturday afternoon's contest, the Kings remain in the hunt for a spot in the playoffs after another strong defensive outing (85-69) at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.
Energized by Spencer Klassen's 19 points, the Kings captured a 13 point lead (46-33) at the half. Lincoln Anderson was the engine for the Kodiaks, contributing double-digits (10 points) for the visitors. Over two quarters, the RDC Kings (51.4%) were nearly 10% more efficient than the Kodiaks (42.3%) from the field.
Spencer Klassen (21) Colby Brochu Photography
The Kings outscored the Kodiaks 39-36 in the second half, earning an 85-69 victory.
"The main thing for me is that this basketball team continues to get better and we are playing our best basketball when it matters," says Kings Head Coach Clayton Pottinger. "We will take it one game at a time and still have a long ways to go before we can solidify a playoff spot. I imagine that it will come down to the last games of the season."
Eric Bakker (15) Colby Brochu Photography
Spencer Klassen was selected as the Kings Player-of-the-Game, totaling 34 points, six rebounds and two steals. Christopher Schlauwitz received the award for the Kodiaks, accumulating 10 points, three rebounds and two steals.
Lincoln Anderson had 21 points for Lethbridge.
The RDC Kings went 29-for-58 from the field (50%). The Lethbridge College Kodiaks connected on 20-of-56 shots (35.7%).
The Kings' play in their own zone was on par, limiting the visitors to under 70.
"The defence was phenomenal today. It led us. If you are defending you are going to be in a game, which is where we found ourselves. We knew that the Kodiaks were going to be tough because their backs were against the wall," says Pottinger. "I was pleasantly surprised with our ability to handle those waves of pressure they kept coming in the third and fourth quarter. When teams do that, they take chances which also gives us more opportunities. We were calm enough in the pocket to take advantage of those opportunities. The score looked a little bit more than it actually was, but it was a tight game."
Anthony Harper (4) Colby Brochu Photography
Pottinger sees some areas on offence to sharpen. "Offensively, we made shots when we needed to. We are still a little bit out of sync with some of the things that we are doing, and want to be on the same page," he says. "Some of our offensive reads weren't great but it's easy for me standing on the sidelines because they don't always catch that. We will watch some film and try to teach them, and continue to get better."
Malik Smith (5) Colby Brochu Photography
Both the Kings and Kodiaks have 16 points each in the south standings. The Medicine Hat College Rattlers (9-6) sit in third with 18 points and the Ambrose University Lions (10-5) hold second with 20 points. The SAIT Trojans (13-1) are in top spot with 26 points.
On Friday, February 8, at 8:00 p.m., the Kings (8-8) will face the Broncos (5-9) in Olds.
On that evening and also on Saturday, February 9, a President's Challenge will take place.
RDC and Olds College frequently partner on initiatives and activities to provide learning and growth opportunities to the communities of central Alberta. RDC President & CEO, Joel Ward will compete against Stuart Cullum, President of Olds College, in a game of 21 in Olds on Friday and then at RDC 24 hours later. The losing President will have to the wear the other team's jersey for a full day on Monday, February 11. If Ward and Cullum split the games of the 21, the point differential will determine the winner.
As part of a beer tasting event, participants are encouraged to make a donation with proceeds going to Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre (CASAC).