The Red Deer College Queens basketball opened up their home exhibition tournament with a loss to the Keyano College Huskies 51-41.
RDC was inching on the lead in the final five minutes of the game before some costly mis-communications led to the Huskies putting the game away.
“I think that is a chemistry thing,” Coach Ken King said. “We have to get used to where each other are going to be. I’m not too worried about those kinds of things. They will iron out as we play a bit more.”
Despite the loss, King was pleased with the effort from his squad.
“We did a lot of things well,” he said. “I thought our defence was excellent—I thought both teams’ defence was pretty good considering how low the score was. We had some really great rotations with only a couple breakdowns here and there.
“Hustle looked pretty good—I just thought we were a little frantic on offence.”
The game gave King and his coaching staff insight into how the season will begin to play out.
“Our main focus is ironing out what our top 12 will look like,” he said. “Even today, you saw some people rotated in to see what they can do and how they can help us.”
The Huskies were a big test for the young RDC team.
“I think Keyano is the best team in the north right now,” King said. “That was a great test for us and moving forward if we can outwork those teams, that is our goal.”
Meanwhile, the RDC Kings got the better of the Huskies 95-61.
The Kings were led by local products Cody White and Spencer Klassen—who scored 13 and 12 points respectively. Omon Edobar added 13 points of his own in the blowout victory.
“I love the Central Alberta kids that we have developed through our club programs,” Coach Clayton Pottinger said. “Cody White had a great game; Kevin Szymanek had a great game; Spencer Klassen had a great game as well. I am glad that we are seeing the fruits of that labour over the last two to three years with the club.”
Pottinger also saw the fruits of training camp play out on the court against the Huskies.
“I thought we played pretty well,” he said. “We did a good job defensively for at least three of the four quarters.We have a lot to work on—it is early in the year.
“We have to work on sharing the basketball a bit more. Early on, everyone was eager to score. We executed better in the second half.”
The Kings scored most of their points in transition—which meant the three ball wasn’t necessary.
”It is definitely part of our game—we can shoot it,” Pottinger said. “With our focus right now being sharing the basketball—we were able to get opportunities in transition and inside.”
He added he wants his team to, “Lock in defensively. That puts us in position for success this year.”