Gutsy effort helps propel Queens over Trojans

Jessie Handley (34) had 7 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound and 1 steal in the home win. Picture- Colby Brochu Photography
Jessie Handley (34) had 7 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound and 1 steal in the home win. Picture- Colby Brochu Photography

Brent Forster – RDC

Red Deer College Queens Audio Recap

Red Deer, AB – In a heart-and soul effort from Mallory Uskiw and a strong collective defence, the RDC Queens earned a 55-38 victory over the SAIT Trojans at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Women's Basketball action. 

After 10 minutes of play in tight opening quarter, Lauren Cardinal's six points provided RDC with a one point edge (14-13). The talented forward from St. Albert was perfect from the field, going three-for-three while adding one board. Rachel Ocszevski was the driving force for SAIT, contributing six points and two rebounds.

Colby Brochu Photography

Early in the second, Sandra Garcia-Bernal connected from beyond three (19-17). The Trojans tried to keep it close and were successful down low. Another bucket from Ocszevski in the paint kept SAIT within a pair (21-23). As the quarter was closing, Sandra Garcia-Bernal hit from beyond the arc again, and the RDC Queens bumped their lead to five (26-21).

The Queens opened the third quarter on a 10-1 run (36-22). During that stretch, Harneet Sidhu made a nice move on the baseline and sank a bucket off the glass. Then Samantha Wade connected from the free-throw line and Sandra Garcia-Bernal drained a basket from the left. Anegor Wold tried to bring her Trojans closer with a field goal and successful free-throw, but at the end of thirty minutes RDC had increased its lead to 16 points (44-28).

Harneet Sidhu continued her strong play in the final quarter, connecting off the glass to give RDC a 20 point edge (50-30). The Trojans finished on an 8-5 run, but the Queens sealed a 55-38 home victory.

Queens Head Coach Ken King was proud of the effort, especially on the defensive side of the ball. "I thought that we did a lot of good things. We are at our best when everything starts with our defence. When we try and make our offence our engine, we might get a little fool's gold out of it if we are shooting well, but eventually we come back to earth," he says. "I felt like we did a good job establishing a defensive presence early and then maintaining that throughout, so when scoring didn't come the defence was consistent."

The young Queens showed poise against the visitors, winning every quarter and keeping the Trojans under 40 points. "The thing with a young team that is good to see is resiliency which is something that you don't usually expect from a first or second year team," says King. "We see it in flashes and hope to see more of that. Once you see what is possible, all of sudden good things start happening."

Katie Ballhorn (4) Colby Brochu Photography

Mallory Uskiw was selected as the Queens Player-of-the-Game, contributing two points, seven rebounds and two steals. The Bachelor of Science student displayed a lot of heart after an injury. Mallory Uskiw received a cut and bump above her right eye, but after the second-year forward went off the court for repairs, she was back on the floor making contributions for the Queens. Rachel Ocszevski received the award for the Trojans, finishing with eight points, two blocks, two steals, one assist and 11 rebounds.  

King was impressed with the effort from the five-foot-ten forward from Beaumont. "Mallory is a super energetic player and works really, really hard. She's willing to sacrifice herself for the team," he says. "The best thing about that, is when you show your teammates that you are willing to do that, it gives you a lot of leverage in the locker room and on the court."

Harneet Sidhu (14) Colby Brochu Photography

Harneet Sidhu totaled 15 points, four assists, four rebounds and one steal. Sandra Garcia-Bernal nearly had a double-double, stacking up 12 rebounds and nine points for RDC.

On Saturday, January 12, the RDC Queens will face the SAIT Trojans at 6:00 p.m. in Calgary.