Brent Forster - RDC
The Red Deer College Queens and the Briercrest College Clippers entered Friday's game with the same 3-6 record so there was no surprise when the game came down to the wire. After the Clippers led at the half, the Queens willed themselves ahead with a strong third quarter and the RDC squad earned a 71-70 victory.
Only one point separated the two teams in the first quarter. The Clippers scored 17 points while the Queens responded with 16. Maya Parker, Emily White, Eva Bonde and Jessie Handley contributed 3 points each for RDC. Kai Wyatt led Briercrest College with 4 points.
Briercrest College hit several shots from the outside and they built up a lead in the second quarter. The Queens pressed and created several turnovers in the latter stages, but at the half the Clippers were up by 9 points (38-29). Over two quarters, Sandra Garcia-Bernal contributed 7 points and 4 rebounds for the Queens. Victoria Voth led the Clippers with 8 points.
The RDC Queens started the third quarter with a tremendous amount of enthusiasm. They went on a 7-0 run and continued to press. About 4 minutes into the quarter, the Queens took a 44-42 lead off an Emily White free-throw. White found herself at the line several times by forcing the Clippers defenders to either foul her or let her have a good scoring opportunity. The RDC Queens put up 26 third quarter points while the Briercrest College Clippers scored 14. After three quarters, the Queens held a 3 point lead (55-52). Emily White led the way for RDC with 12 points and the Management Certificate student went 5-for-5 from the field in the quarter. Kai Wyatt had 7 points for Briercrest College.
The fourth quarter was back-and-forth. About 6 minutes into the quarter, each team had scored 9 points and the Queens maintained their 3 point margin (64-61). Mary Krause picked up some important rebounds and she found herself at the free-throw line several times by challenging the Clippers defence. The Clippers hit a late three-pointer as time was expiring but the RDC Queens earned a 71-70 victory. The depth of the Queens played a big role. The RDC bench outscored the Briercrest College bench 39-22.
Queens Basketball Head Coach Ken King appreciated the effort of several student-athletes and in particular he liked the play of Mary Krause. "In key moments we had a few players step up and play solid for us. When Emily got the wind knocked out of her, Mary came in and made a massive difference in the game," said King. "Emily helped us in many ways but Mary changed the game for us and did exactly what we needed her to do." Krause, a Bachelor of Education student, finished with 8 points, 1 steal, 2 assists, 9 rebounds and shot 8-for-12 from the free-throw line.
The Queens showed a strong and determined effort in the third quarter to battle back and eventually pull ahead. At one point, the Clippers led by 14 points. "We saw that last weekend in Lethbridge. After trying to shake off the rust on Friday, we came out on Saturday and really competed. For most of this season, besides the last two games, our third quarters have been a bit of a struggle for us," said King. "To come out in the last two games and change the game in the third quarter is a step forward. If we can put that together with consistency in other aspects in our game, we will feel better whether we win or lose."
In Saturday's rematch, King would like to see improvement in a few areas. "Tomorrow, we have to do a much better job of keeping them off our glass and improve our ball security. They had 26 offensive rebounds which is inexcusable," said King. "We have to do a much better job with that. We want to get into the gym early and really focus, and lock in. Our free-throw shooting wasn't good enough." The RDC Queens shot 48.4% from the free-throw line and 43.6% from the field. The Clippers sank 59.1% of their free-throws and 32.9% from the field.
Emily White was named the player-of-the-game for the Queens while Kai Wyatt received the award for the Clippers. White accumulated 19 points, 1 block, 7 steals, 4 assists and 12 rebounds. Wyatt led the Clippers with 21 points.
The RDC Queens (4-6) will compete against the Briercrest College Clippers (3-7) on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in the RDC Main Gym.