Red Deer, AB – The RDC Kings played a consistent brand of basketball against the visiting Briercrest College Clippers, winning every quarter and having six Kings finish with double-digits, completing an impressive 93-52 home victory at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.
The Clippers took an early lead (10-6) in the first quarter but the Kings quickly erased the deficit. After Cody White connected for three from the left side to knot the contest 16-16, a pair of buckets from Eric Bakker helped the Kings go ahead 24-19, and they didn't look back.
RDC built on their lead in the second, and they took care of business at both ends of the court. When one of the Clippers thought he was in alone for a lay-up, Anthony Harper raced back and caught all ball as he turned aside the opportunity. Then, Cody White, a Kinesiology student, hit another one from the outside and first-year forward Rudy Suffo sank one from the top of the key, and the RDC Kings went up by 8 (42-34) at the half.
In the third, Eric Bakker was fouled while draining the bucket, and completed the 3 point play from the free-throw line. This gave the Kings a 15 point cushion (51-36). Cody White applied effective pressure on the Clippers, recording a pair of steals and baskets to extend the lead to 22 (61-39).
The RDC Kings dominated the second half and fourth quarter, earning a 93-52 home victory. The Kings won all four quarters, including a lopsided 31-5 third. Six members of the Kings hit double-digits in points. Ramiro Martinez Quintanilla Jimenez led the way with 16 points. Eric Bakker scored 15, Cody White totaled 14, Anthony Harper picked up 12, and Spencer Klassen and Malik Smith each had 11. Rudy Suffo nearly made it seven members in double-digits, finishing with 9 points. RDC finished with 57 boards.
Claytong Pottinger, Kings Head Coach, liked the evolution of his team's game. "We started a little bit slow but as the game progressed we really started to play well. Our defence really picked up," he says. "In the third quarter we only allowed five points which was an incredible defensive quarter for us, and took the steam out of them. Briercrest worked hard and played in Olds last night so you could see down the stretch that we were more fresh."
Malik Smith, a Bachelor of Arts Sociology student, was chosen as the Kings Player-of-the-Game and Nicholas Gregerson received the award for the Clippers. Smith totaled 11 points, 11 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals, while going 5-for-6 from the free-throw line. Gregerson had 15 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist.
"I've always liked Malik's court vision. He had 11 assists and gets the ball to where it needs to be most of the time," says Pottinger. "His full court defence is one of the best in the league when he's not reaching, and he will be a force. I think that this is a little taste of what is to come from him. There are a few things that he has to work on but I think that he will be great for us."
Next weekend, the Kings will face two of the top three teams in the south. "I think in weeks like this the guys get a little bit more focused because it's not just SAIT, but we also have Medicine Hat next weekend too, who is also tough," says Pottinger. "It is also the first weekend this year that we will have back-to-back games. We want to make sure that we are ready and have a good week of practice."
The RDC Kings (3-1) will challenge the SAIT Trojans (4-0) in Calgary on Friday, November 9 at 8:00 p.m. Then on Saturday, the Medicine Hat College Rattlers (3-1) will pay a visit to the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre at 8:00 p.m.