Kodiaks Women Win ACAC Championships

by ACAC Sports Writer Curtis J. Phillips with Files from NAIT Ooks

03/07/2015....Edmonton, Alberta  - With three Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference teams ranked in the Top 15 Canadian Collegiate Athletic  Association polls, the odds are pretty good that at least two of them may meet in the gold medal finals at the 2014-2015 ACAC Women’s Basketball Championships being held in Edmonton and hosted by NAIT.

Would it be the Lakeland Rustlers at No. 5 or the Lethbridge Kodiaks and SAIT Trojans at No. 7 and No. 12 respectively. Or perhaps none of the three with some David vs Goliath upsets among the eight teams participating.

Well the odds proved correct with Kodiaks and SAIT making it an all-south final, as was the case in Fort McMurray in the men’s basketball finale with Kodiaks vs Medicine Hat Rattlers.

SAIT had advanced to the championship defeating University of Augustana Alberta Vikings 54-44 and Lakeland Rustlers 64-43. Kodiaks opened the three-day 11 game tournament 75-39 against Keyano Huskies and a close 69-65 decision versus Olds Broncos.

The final featured two young guns with Trojans Lockhart and ACAC Women’s Basketball Players of the Year Kodiaks Ali Cameron dropping in 51 points in the two games leading up while South Division All Conference All Star Chanell Lockhart had 42 points.

But first the bronze medal match was captured by Broncos vs Lakeland

The Bronze medal game saw Olds Broncos defeat Lakeland Rustlers 72-50. Danesia Williams had a game high 23 points for Olds.

Olds men also won the bronze medal at the men’s championships in Fort McMurray defeating the host Keyano Huskies 94-74.

Also up north, the Kodiaks men won the championship beating the Medicine Hat Rattlers 87-68.

Could the lady Kodiaks repeat?

Well...the answer is yes as the final score was Kodiaks 61 Trojans 40.

“I thought we started slow...both teams were a bit nervous,” said Kodiaks coach Brad Karren. “Our defence  was really good.”

Of the fact that Lethbridge won both the men’s and hoop’s crowns, Karren replied: “It’s pretty exciting. I don’t think it happens that often.” (last time it happened in the ACAC was 1996-1997 Mount Royal Cougars. Lethbridge also did it last in 1993-1994).

SAIT coach Donovan Martin who is retiring, said of the game: “Naturally I am disappointed. I would have preferred gold but overall we exceeded our expectations and the team grew as the year went on. Lethbridge played a smothering defence and we had a lot of trouble attacking it.”

Kodiaks are off to Nanaimo, British Columbia for the CCAA Women's Basketball Championships.

“We are pretty confident and we are going to take each game as they come.”

5th and 6th place game had NAIT Ooks over Augustana  Vikings 57-46. Players of the game were Leah Vandenboogard NAIT and Anna Montgomery for the Vikings

The below is the GOLD medal game report courtesy of NAIT Ooks website

he 2015 ACAC Women's Basketball Championships Gold Medal Game showcased an all south final as the #1 South seed Lethbridge Kodiaks defeated the #2 South seed SAIT Trojans 61-40. The Trojans took a brief lead early in the first quarter but would trade baskets with the Kodiaks until half-time, exchanging the lead 5 times. Balanced offensive production from both teams made for a 27-17 Lethbridge lead going into the break. A high tempo second half ensued as the Kodiaks defensive pressure began to cause issues for the Trojans. SAIT managed to escaped most of the trap defense with good ball movement and saw many open looks but weren’t able to knock down enough shots to keep up with the Kodiaks. This marks the 12th time Lethbridge College has claimed the ACAC Women’s Basketball Championships.

 The Lethbridge Kodiaks solidified their spot in the ACAC Championship after defeating Olds College 69-65 in the Semi-Finals and the Keyano Huskies in the opening round by a score of 75-39. The Kodiaks were the most decorated team at the All-Conference banquet boasting two 1st Team All-Conference players including ACAC Player of the Year Ali Cameron and the South Division ACAC Rookie of the Year, Sunder West. SAIT was awarded one 1st Team and one 2nd Team All-Conference players in Chantell Lockhart and Kendell Kuntz. The Trojans paved their way to the finals after defeating the Augustana Vikings 54-44 on Thursday and Lakeland College 64-43 in Friday’s Semi-Final. Coming into the game Lockhart lead the Trojans in tournament points with 42 after the two games. Cameron lead the Kodiaks as well as the tournament with 51 points in her two contests. Lethbridge won the regular season head-to-head matchup with a 3-1 record, outscoring the Trojans 274-238 in the four-game span.

Three Kodiaks reached double digits including Tournament All-Star Emma Lowry (16 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists) and Tournament MVP Ali Cameron (13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals) while Tournament All-Star Chanell Lockhart lead SAIT with a team high 13 points to go along with her 5 rebounds and 4 steals. Logan Moncks from SAIT and both Marie Lupe and Renetha Burton from Olds College round out the Tournament All-Stars.

Players of the Game Deanna Dotts – Lethbridge Alicia Tan - SAIT

Tournament MVP

Ali Cameron - Lethbridge

Tournament All-Stars

Emma Lowry - Lethbridge