First-year Queens play key role in sixteen point home victory

Returning student-athlete Maya Parker (13) was strong at both ends of the court against the Lions. Photo - Tony Hansen
Returning student-athlete Maya Parker (13) was strong at both ends of the court against the Lions. Photo - Tony Hansen

Brent Forster - RDC

Friday evening, the Red Deer College Queens Basketball team hosted the Ambrose University Lions, and the Queens gave a consistent effort with a high level of energy over four quarters. After the Lions led after the first quarter, the RDC Queens created many turnovers with pressure, and they moved the ball effectively as they earned a 77-61 victory.

It was a back-and-forth first quarter. After the Lions held a 12-9 lead, the Queens pulled even from a Jessie Handley steal and bucket, and an RDC free-throw. The Lions held a slight 18-15 lead after the opening quarter. Sandra Garcia-Bernal led RDC with 5 points. 

In the second quarter, Maya Parker tied the contest 22-22 with a three-pointer from the left-side. After Ambrose University pulled ahead 28-24, the Queens went on a 12-2 run and led 36-30. Paige Schultz connected from behind the three-point arc and Mary Krause scored a couple of baskets in the paint to help propel the Queens' run. At the half, the RDC Queens held a 39-32 lead. Over two quarters, Paige Schultz picked up 10 points, while Jessie Handley scored 6 points for the Queens. Catarina Dimonekene had 8 points for the Lions at the half.

The RDC Queens entered the third quarter with energy and expanded their 7 point lead. Kaylee Kuba scored off the glass to put the Queens up by 14 (47-33). Ambrose University reduced the lead to 11 points, until Maya Parker capped off the quarter with a deep three-pointer before time expired to maintain the 14 point margin (56-42). In the quarter, Parker totaled 5 points and 2 rebounds. 

The Lions tried to rally in the fourth quarter, but a three-point ball from Lauren Cardinal maintained the 14 point margin for the RDC Queens (71-57). The Queens eventually extended the lead to 16 points and earned a 77-61 home victory. Cardinal accumulated 8 points and 2 rebounds in the quarter.

Eva Bonde was chosen as the player-of-the-game for the RDC Queens while Katie Nutini received the award for the Lions. Bonde, a Kinesiology & Sport Studies student, accumulated 5 points, 3 steals, 7 assists and 9 rebounds. Nutini stacked up 17 points, 4 steals, 2 assists and 10 rebounds for the Lions.

Red Deer College Queens Basketball Head Coach Ken King was very happy with the energy level. "After a good practice on Thursday, we played an inspired game," said King. "Our inspired and aggressive defence helped create the offence and we showed a consistent energy level. We have seen that energy in spurts, but we saw it over four quarters tonight."

As a team, the Queens recorded 21 steals which were created through constant pressure. "Our twenty-one steals were led by a lot of rookie's defensive efforts. Jessie Handley got her hands on the ball all the time. Lauren Cardinal seemed to be in the right spot and picked up the loose balls," said King. "Maya Parker, Eva Bonde and Kaylee Kuba did a great job as returning student-athletes in leading us in many areas. I don't think this victory would have happened without the positive contributions from the first-year players."

The RDC Queens have some key student-athletes out of the lineup with injuries. Emily White, Lauren Bailey and Madison Nimmo watched from the sidelines. "Everybody is progressing as we are expecting them to. Nobody has had any setbacks," said King. "We will likely see them again on the court in the new year."

The RDC Queens (2-3) will host the Lethbridge College Kodiaks (1-4) on Saturday at 6:00 p.m.