Saturday recap - WBB complete undefeated regular season
Feb. 26, 2017 – The Kodiaks basketball teams wrapped up the regular season with home games against the Briercrest Clippers on Saturday, with the women’s team looking to wrap up an undefeated regular season and the men’s team engaging in a critical battle for playoff position.
WBB | Kodiaks secure second straight perfect regular season
A 99-57 victory over the Briercrest Clippers meant the Kodiaks secured their second-straight undefeated regular season on Saturday. Yet there was little cause for overt celebration as the team now focuses their attention directly to the 2017 ACAC championship tournament, which will be held at Lethbridge College this week from March 2-4.
The Kodiaks smothering defence made life rough on the Clippers from the early going on Saturday. The Clippers were forced into rushed shots and had trouble moving the ball efficiently, committing 15 turnovers in the first quarter. Lethbridge jumped out to a 27-7 advantage in the opening frame and never looked back.
It was another breakout game for Kodiaks third-year guard Sunder West. West found her mid-range jumper in the third quarter as she knocked down 15 of her game high 33 points, impressively hitting several jump shots from distance in a row. West finished 12-17 shooting and was an incredible 6-7 from beyond the arc, upping her points-per-game average to 17.5 PPG, good for fourth in the ACAC in that category.
Logan Moncks also had a solid performance, draining 22 points. Moncks finished the regular season averaging 22.6 points per game, placing her second in the entire ACAC.
The win was the 42nd consecutive regular season win for the Kodiaks, all with Head Coach Brad Karren at the helm. The Kodiaks last regular season loss was Feb. 28, 2015 against Olds College.
Of course, an undefeated regular season rings hollow without a solid performance in the ACAC playoffs, a lesson the Kodiaks learned last year as they bowed out in the ACAC semi-finals. Lethbridge will be out to avenge last year’s result, and will have the opportunity to do so on home court next week.
The Kodiaks (21-0) have secured the top seed in the south division and will play the Lakeland Rustlers in their opening match of the RE/MAX 2017 ACAC Women’s Basketball Tournament. The teams will square off at 8 p.m. on Thursday evening at the Val Matteotti Gymnasium.
MBB | Kodiaks survive scare from Briercrest, finish third in division
With an ACAC conference tournament spot already locked up, the Kodiaks men needed a victory Saturday to jump past Red Deer for third place in the tough ACAC south division. While a spirited effort from the Clippers didn’t make it easy, the Kodiaks prevailed down the stretch and accomplished their goal with a 73-58 win.
The Kodiaks (15-6) jumped out to an early 23-12 lead after the first quarter, but Briercrest found their shooting game in the middle stanzas to chip away at the Lethbridge lead, eventually tying the game at 50 after a 13-5 run in the third quarter. Knowing crucial playoff position was at stake, the Kodiaks rebounded nicely in the fourth, outscoring the Clippers 18-6 to secure the victory.
Kodiaks starters combined for 51 points, including a game high 15 from Grady Taylor. Chris Maughan had 13 points and added 10 rebounds for a double-double. The Kodiaks used the game to test their bench in preparation for the conference tournament, with each roster player receiving at least seven minutes of game action.
Head coach Ryan Heggie said his team’s mindset was to treat the weekend set against Briercrest as if it was a playoff series.
“We decided this weekend that playoffs were starting last night, basically we’re checking games off as we go” Heggie said after the match. “We’re checking two successful games off this weekend, next up is Thursday night and we’re going to put it all on the line.”
It was the final home game for graduating Kodiaks point guard Robert Myles III, whose tenacious pressure on defence led to a game high six steals. Coach Heggie has been impressed with Myle’s compete level all season, and knows the Kodiaks need him at the top of his game next week.
“People that come out to see Robert all year have been impressive with his work-ethic, athletic ability and tenaciousness” Heggie said post-game. “He’s been really good at controlling emotions this year and what people don’t see of Robert is off the court, [he’s] one of the most gentle, nice individuals you’ll ever meet. But when he steps between the lines, it’s time to go to work.”
“He had a great game, a great game last night, and he’ll be big for us next week in playoffs.”
The Kodiaks will open the 2017 ACAC Men’s Basketball Championship tournament on Thursday night against NAIT, the number two seed in the north. Game time will be 6 p.m. from Medicine Hat.
About the Lethbridge College Kodiaks
Lethbridge College is a member of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) and competes against 16 other member institutions from across Alberta and Saskatchewan. The Kodiaks offer ten men’s and women’s varsity intercollegiate athletics programs, including basketball, volleyball, soccer, futsal, cross country and indoor track. The Kodiaks are proud owners of 56 ACAC championships and 11 national titles.