Kodiaks stretch across Canada in hunt for national basketball gold

March 16, 2017 – There are just 16 college basketball teams still competing in Canada, and the Lethbridge College Kodiaks are two of them. Both the men’s and women’s teams have qualified for Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) championships this weekend.

The Kodiaks women are one of the favourites heading into the tournament, hosted by NAIT in Edmonton, having gone through the entire Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) season undefeated (24-0). They capped their perfect conference season by winning the 13th ACAC championship in school history on their home court, with an 85-54 victory over St. Mary’s in the championship game. Despite spending most of the season ranked second by the CCAA, the Kodiaks are seeded third in the championship tournament and will face the sixth-seeded Douglas College Royals out of New Westminster, B.C., in the first round. Douglas earned a wildcard berth in nationals after winning a PACWEST silver medal.

“We are really excited for this national tournament,” says Kodiaks head coach Brad Karren. “We expect Douglas College to be a good challenge and we will have to be ready for them. We achieved our first goal by winning the ACAC, and now we have three more tough games ahead, but the girls seem ready and are excited to get going.”

The Kodiaks are led by ACAC player of the year Logan Moncks (fourth year, Business Administration – Management, Cardston, Alta.), ACAC championship tournament MVP Sunder West (third year, General Studies, Raymond, Alta.) and Emma Lowry (fifth year, Massage Therapy, Lundbreck, Alta.) who had a triple-double in the ACAC championship game.

The Kodiaks play the first game of the tournament at 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 16. The full schedule, results and video livestream are available through the tournament website.

On the men’s side, the Kodiaks earned a wild-card berth to nationals, following a silver medal at the ACAC championships. The team’s biggest win of the season came in the conference semifinal where they shocked the hosts and nationally second-ranked Medicine Hat Rattlers 78-66, before falling 85-65 to SAIT in the gold medal match. While they had been ranked at various points throughout the season, the Kodiaks did not finish the season among the top-15 teams in the CCAA rankings. They enter the tournament, hosted by Holland College in Charlottetown, P.E.I., as the seventh seed and will face the RSEQ-champion Nomades de Montmorency in the first round.

“Our goal coming into the season was to finish as one of the top-two teams in the ACAC and earn this trip to nationals,” says Kodiaks head coach Ryan Heggie. “We had a solid week of practice and are excited to compete for a national championship in P.E.I. We’re proof that hard work in practice and games does pay off.”

The Kodiaks placed three players on the ACAC all-tournament team, including Chris Maughan (third year, Business Administration – Management, Mesa, Ariz.), Robert Myles III (first year, General Studies, Las Vegas, Nev.) and Cory Richardson (first year, Business Administration – Management, Bunbury, Western Australia). Richardson and Maughan were also named to the ACAC all-conference first team for their regular season efforts.

The Kodiaks play their first game of the tournament at noon (MDT) on Thursday, March 15. The full schedule, results and video livestream are available through the tournament website.