The Red Deer College Kings Basketball team weren’t able to continue their winning ways after dropping two games in a row for the first time in league play this season last weekend.
A weekend home and home set with the SAIT Trojans turned out to be the undoing for the Kings, who were toppled by the Trojans 89-79 on Friday night in Calgary before suffering their first loss at home this year in a 91-87 nail biter on Saturday afternoon.
The losses weren’t the way the Kings, who had lost just once this season prior to last weekend, wanted to return to the court after a lengthy Christmas break.
“I think being undermanned hurt us a little bit but I really think the big thing that hurt us is that we just didn’t find that extra energy and that level of determination that we typically have been able to find,” said Kings’ Head Coach Clayton Pottinger after Saturday’s loss.
The Kings got off to a quick enough start in the matchup, which pitted the leading team in the ACAC South Division with a SAIT team which had won its last three games in a row leading into the weekend.
After battling back and forth with the Trojans throughout the first quarter, the Kings held onto a 25-19 lead heading into the second frame.
Kings’ starter Shayne Stumpf opened the game in a big way for his team, contributing 13 points in the opening quarter alone on his way to a game-high 27 on the day.
The home team didn’t let up in the second, either. Lead by a nine point effort by Stumpf, RDC stormed to a 55-38 lead heading into the half. It didn’t seem like anything would be able to stop them.
SAIT, however, had other ideas.
Right from the opening whistle of the third quarter the visitors pressed hard, roaring all the way back to tie the game up at 64 points apiece by the end of the third frame.
Pottinger said some key stats told the tale of what exactly happened to the Kings team which has been so solid this year.
For example, he said, the Kings were out-rebounded 34-24, including a few key rebounds late in the game which could have made all the difference.
Not to mention the fact that SAIT scored 20 points off of RDC’s 17 turnovers.
But, he said fatigue may have also played a role for a Kings squad which has suffered a string of injuries of late.
“It was similar to last night, you know. We won the first quarter and we’re winning that second quarter but in the third you can see fatigue setting in for the guys that were playing,” Pottinger said, noting that a number of the RDC starters clocked more than 35 minutes of court time in both Friday and Saturday night’s games.
“You can see it. If you look at the score we scored nine in the third quarter. It’s tough to sustain.”
Still, there were some strong points for the Kings. Newcomers Cody White and Darryl Broderick fit in well with their new team.
White provided eight points off the bench for the home side while Broderick was able to nail his first shot in the ACAC; a three pointer from the corner which found its mark.
“Cody played phenomenal in the minutes that he got and probably earned himself more time if he continues to play like that,” Pottinger said.
Meanwhile, the RDC Queens Basketball team picked up a big win when they hosted the Trojans earlier on Saturday afternoon.
The Queens, led by Emily White’s game-high 28 points, picked up a 80-49 win to split a weekend home and home set with the SAIT team and improve their record to 4-7.
Both the Kings and Queens are back in action this Friday night when they head to Medicine Hat College for a pair of back to back games against the Rattlers.