The Red Deer College (RDC) Kings Basketball team used a stellar third quarter run to outwit the Lethbridge Kodiaks en route to a 97-90 win on their home court on Saturday.
The Kings were looking for a better outing against Lethbridge, after dropping a game on Friday night to Ambrose University 106-87.
“I was happy to see us bounce back and play a little better game. This team has a lot of pride and they were pretty embarrassed about the way things went down yesterday. They were excited for the opportunity to play again today and do a better job than they did,” RDC Coach Clayton Pottinger said.
The first quarter was a fairly even affair, played at break-neck speed. The Kings got up plenty of threes and 6’3 guard Dshawn Tyrell punished the rim with a one-handed throwdown, however it would be Lethbridge who went into the second quarter with a 21-19 lead.
The Kings would play a more aggressive second quarter, with the home team locked into a 3-2 press zone defence. Guard Omon Edobar would score on a magical Euro-step layup, but it would be the Kodiaks once again who would carry a two-point lead into half-time.
Lethbridge would come out in the third quarter with a defensive switch to man-to-man coverage. This would be a costly choice, as RDC found a way to punish the Kodiaks by dominating them in the paint and from outside.
“Usually when teams have switched defences on us, we have struggled to adjust and figure out what is going on. The guys picked it up relatively quick and we scored the first two times on it, which leads to the chess game of whether they will stay in it,” Pottinger said.
The Kings would stretch the lead to 65-47 at one point and Tyrell would add a monster tip-slam that had the fans in attendance going insane.
The Kodiaks finally managed to kill the run with three straight threes, but the damage was already done at this point.
“That third quarter run was huge. We made some shots, but most importantly we played our best defence during that stretch. That is what created the opportunities for us on the other end,” Pottinger said.
The Kings managed to maintain a ten-point lead throughout the fourth quarter and Tyrell would give the fans two more dunks to keep them entertained. The Kings finished the game at 97-90.
Pottinger said his team gets a huge lift when Tyrell plays like that.
“Dshawn wasn’t able to play last night and he certainly was a spark for us today. He also played tremendously defensively,” he said.
The Kings now have one more game before the winter break. Pottinger sees progress with his team and hopes to be more healthy in 2018.
“It has been slow progress and injury plagued, but the good news is that it is the early part of the season. We play the bulk of our games in the second semester, so this is almost like preseason. We have 14 games and playoffs next semester. Our goal is to be playing our best basketball and be healthy in time for March,” he said.
Edobar would finish with 22 points and nine rebounds, Darien Valdes would add 19 points and nine rebounds and Tyrell would chip in 19 points and 8 rebounds in the win.
Meanwhile, the Red Deer College Queens picked up a 51-50 loss to Lethbridge after winning over Ambrose 77-61 the previous night.