The new gym at Ponoka Secondary Campus was an ideal spot for two women’s college basketball teams to get their bounce back before their season begins.
Lakeland College Rustlers of Lloydminster and the Red Deer College Queens faced off Monday, Sept. 15 to work out the kinks in their defensive and offensive game plans.
It didn’t take long for the Rustlers to take control of the game. By the end of the first half they held a commanding 33-19 lead against the Queens.
Red Deer struggled to break through a tough defense and were forced to give up the ball on several occasions. The Rustlers’ ability to score through free throws and capitalize on rebounds added to the widening lead in that first period.
By the end of the third quarter the score was 52-27, with the Rustlers and Queens fighting tooth and nail for every point. Players on both teams were unwilling to give up the ball on rebounds and referees called several jump balls.
With five and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Rustlers pulled ahead with a commanding 59-34 lead but two quick defensive plays by the Queens dropped that gap to 19 points. Despite the Queens’ efforts, the Rustlers did not relent in their pursuit of a win. The Rustlers finished the game with a 64-44 win.
Rustlers coach Chris King regularly brings his team to Mecca Glen School and hosts a basketball academy for the girls’ team at the school. He was looking for a team to compete with that he would not play during the regular season. Adam Troitsky, athletic director at Mecca Glen School was able to secure a time at PSC with its staff.
“We work with their (Mecca Glen School) basketball academy every year,” explained King.
He knew players would be rusty after the summer break and used the exhibition game to identify areas to work on.
Basketball season starts in October for the two teams and King said if logistics work out they would like to return next year.
Queens coach Ken King took on the role of head coach one month ago and is getting used to his players. “We’re a very young team,” he said.
He says the players are just getting used to the intensity of college basketball.
“The facility is incredible,” added the Queens’ coach.