Basketball Queens finish regular season with win over Lightning

Queens potentially moving on from left-to-right: Lauren Bailey, Eva Bonde, Emily White, Mary Krause and Kaylee Kuba. Photo - Tony Hansen
Queens potentially moving on from left-to-right: Lauren Bailey, Eva Bonde, Emily White, Mary Krause and Kaylee Kuba. Photo - Tony Hansen

Brent Forster - RDC

In their final regular season game in the RDC Main Gym, the Basketball Queens hosted the St. Mary's University Lightning and despite falling behind early the Queens persevered and earned a 63-59 home victory.

St. Mary's took a lead in the first quarter and extended their margin to 8 points. At the end of the quarter, the Lightning held a 23-15 lead.

The Queens increased their energy level in the second quarter and battled to reduce the gap. When RDC trailed 26-21, they went on a 5-0 run to tie the contest 26-26. During that stretch, Emily White connected on a pair of buckets from the field and Lauren Bailey hit a free-throw. The RDC Queens persisted and eventually led by 4 points (37-33) at the half. First-year guard Paige Schultz ended the half with a steal and basket. RDC outscored St. Mary's University 22-10 in the second quarter.

Over two quarters, Emily White contributed 11 points and 6 rebounds for the Queens. Megan Trisevic and Emily Wagner had 9 points each for the Lightning.

The Red Deer College Queens began the third quarter with some effective possessions. Emily White drained a three-pointer and Kaylee Kuba connected from the field to go ahead by 7 points (44-37). The Lightning eventually pulled even (50-50) and then the RDC Queens went on a 5-0 run which was capped off with a three-pointer by Paige Schultz. After three quarters, the Queens were up 55-50.

Paige Schultz continued the hot hand from long distance early in the final quarter and pushed RDC ahead 58-50. St. Mary's University clawed back into the game (58-58) but shortly after Emily White completed the three point play with the basket and free-throw to will the Queens ahead 61-58. Eventually RDC picked up a 63-59 victory.

Emily White was named the player-of-the-game for the Queens and finished with 25 points, 16 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block. Kennedy Burgess received the honour for the Lightning with 11 points. 

Queens Basketball Head Coach Ken King appreciated the effort especially in the defensive zone. "We definitely did a lot better in our key compete areas than we did yesterday - rebounding and defensive play," said King. "We made the necessary adjustments that we needed to make and it showed. It showed in the overall score and our number of rebounds. I am happy that we were able to do it but sad that we couldn't do it yesterday."

The Queens recorded 58 rebounds. The Lightning totaled 47. 

The RDC Queens had a great finish to their season and the growth of the Queens Basketball program was apparent. "This season was another step forward for the program," said King. "We had huge injury problems in the first half that put us in a big hole. The team that we were able to demonstrate in the second half got us close which was a big deal."

The Queens have some good building blocks moving forward. "We've increased our win total each year and this year's number of wins would have put us in the playoffs the previous two years. It's a very strong league. We are excited that we can build off some really strong, young student-athletes along with the returning players. We had a really good year to build our base on," said King. "The team next year has been recruited and is ready to go for the most part. We are excited to build our program with people like Paige Schultz and Lauren Cardinal. Those players will be staples moving forward. Jessie Handley was supposed to be a red shirt but here she is playing in games and contributing in ways that doesn't look like she should have been a red shirt." 

Paige Schultz totaled 10 points, 2 steals and 3 rebounds. Lauren Cardinal had 4 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal. Jessie Handley recorded 1 board in only 9 minutes played.

The RDC Queens (12-9) finished with 24 points in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Women's Basketball South Division and they went 7-3 in their past ten games. St. Mary's University captured the final playoff spot with 26 points.  The Queens will look to prepare for the 2018 – 19 season with many talented student-athletes back wearing the crown.

Graduating players

After the game, the RDC Queens recognized a group of Queens who may be moving on next season. Mary Krause, Emily White, Eva Bonde, Lauren Bailey, and Kaylee Kuba received a picture and flowers.