Rattlers Bite Kodiaks to stay Perfect at Home

The Lethbridge Kodiaks headed East to Medicine Hat to Complete the Home and Home against the Medicine Hat College Rattlers. This Battle of the Number 3 Highway hoped to keep the intensity from the first matchup the previous night. The Rattlers looked to continue their winning ways in the new year. Holding first place in the south, the Rattlers were again looking like the team to beat. After a close match at Home, The Kodiaks hoped to come into the Snake Pit and knock off Medicine Hat. From the opening tip, both teams came out running and gunning. However both sides seemed to have some trouble finding the basket. With a slow first quarter, the Medicine Hat side was able to stay in the game despite some poor shooting. Neither side was able to get the ball to fall with any frequency. This continued for much of the first quarter. Both sides started to heat up with points finally being put on the board. Only in the final minutes of the quarter were both teams finally firing.

The second quarter started with much better play than the first. Both teams finding their groove, but the Rattlers seemingly more easily than the Kodiaks. Able to climb out of an eight point deficit, the Rattlers tied the game and took the lead all within the first minute of the Quarter. As the game progressed and both teams settled in, the play became much more back and forth. Neither team able to gain a distinct advantage, both teams battled for every point and rebound. This continued right up to the final play of the half. Morgan Muir of the Rattlers scored a free throw narrowly increasing the lead to 3, 33-30.

The second half opened with the rattlers failing to convert on their first three trips down the court. Fortunately for them their tough defense allowed them to maintain their slim 3 point lead. With 6 minutes on the clock, Kodiak post Jocelyn Neilson was forced to leave the game with an injury. Not long after another Kodiak needed an injury substitution. As the game clock wound down, the tension on the court ramped up. With both squads playing tough, the physical play was turned way up. After some hard fouls both ways the teams seemed to settle down and getting back to playing the game. When the dust settled after a battle of a 3rd quarter, The Medicine Hat Rattlers held a 51-43 over the Lethbridge Kodiaks.

A sharp Kodiaks squad took advantage of a flat Medicine Hat squad and closed the lead quickly. Unable to make anything on the offensive end, the Rattlers watched their lead quickly disappear to 4. Continuing their strong play, the Kodiaks continued to close the gap. With 2 minutes remaining in the game the teams traded baskets in end to end action. Medicine Hat could not close out the Kodiaks and Lethbridge could not tie the game up. A late set of 3 free throws from the Kodiaks gave them a chance to get the game within 2. After turning the 3 points, The Kodiaks fouled until bonus and forced a turnover with 22.4 seconds left. After Kodiak guard Matlin McMurray nailed a deep 3 to take the lead, the Rattlers were forced to score with 15.9 on the game clock. A late shooting Foul on Lethbridge sent Rattler Jordan Kerley to the line with the game in her hands. Making one, the game was tied with no time on the clock forcing an extra frame.

The Overtime period started much like the end of the 4th quarter. The Rattlers were however able to capitalize on their first two trips by getting to the line.  Both teams seemed to use this strategy for most of the points in the extra frame. Almost all the points came from the charity stripe. Another Kodiak surge late saw them up by one with less than a minute left on the clock. A huge 3 pointer from Rattler Kendell Kuntz put the home side back up by 2 with only 28 seconds remaining. After a quick 2 from the Kodiaks the score was tied again. Forcing a second OT with the game tied at 76.

The second overtime period started with a quick 3 points from Medicine hat's Morgan Muir, nailing a deep 3. Following this up with another quick 2 the Rattlers lead by 5 early. With the help of some solid shooting The Rattlers were able to extend their lead to 9 before allowing the Kodiaks to chip away. With just under 2 minutes Medicine Hat held a slight 6 point lead. With sloppy play on both ends of the court, Medicine Hat was not able to close out the game. Not until there was 11 seconds left with a 7 point was the game truly out of reach. A tightly contested match, the Rattlers barely edged out the Kodiaks 93-85.

The ACAC Players of the game were Madi Gladstone for the Kodiaks and Kiana Mintz for the Rattlers.