Broncos Stomp on the Rattlers

The top two teams in the south faced off in the Snake pit in the deciding game of the season series. The Olds Broncos were in Medicine Hat to face the first place Rattlers. If the first two battles between these two powerhouses were any indication, we were in for a spectacular night of basketball. The teams looked nervous off the opening tip, both missing on their first trip down the court. The Broncos were the first to capitalize with forward Alli Taylor scoring the first points of the day. Medicine Hat's Kate Rozdeba got the Rattlers first 3 points of the game, taking the lead. The teams started to settle in, but it was evident early defense would be the critical factor in the game. With the action of the game becoming back and forth, misses and makes came from both sides. The Rattlers started to find a bit more of a grove later in the frame going up 10-6 and forcing Olds to take a timeout. The last minute saw both teams score with the frame ending 14-9 for the Rattlers.

The second quarter started with the Broncos earning a trip to the line early. Unfortunately a missed shot and a lane violation resulted in no points. A miss from Medicine Hat and a Fast break lead to the broncos earning another trip to the charity stripe. The Rattlers again turned to Kate Rozdeba to get them back in the game. A brilliant inside move gave Rozdeba another 2 and started to shift the momentum back in the Rattlers favor. The game started to slow down substantially with both teams focused on D neither team could generate points. The first break in the drought occurred with Kendell Kuntz nailing a deep 3 for Medicine Hat. This was followed almost immediately by a trip to the line from Olds, this time capitalizing on both. The Broncos followed this up with a deep 3 of their own from Michaela Allen-Guillion. Answered almost immediately from Kuntz scoring another deep 3. This was  just enough to keep Olds from stealing the momentum. At the end of the half the Rattlers lead the Broncos 22-17.

The third quarter started with a quick Rattlers Bucket. A beautiful pass from Kate Rozdeba gave Kristen Skjonsby an easy 2. This started the scoring that was so obviously missing from the first half. This started on a much quicker pace. While committing a foul, Broncos forward Brittney Thibeaux opened up a cut above her eye. This took Olds' biggest scoring threat out of the game. This caused a tactic change from the Olds bench. Running a faster paced offence and high pressure D, the Broncos were able to tie the game at 27 midway through the quarter. Medicine Hat's Morgan Muir answered with a deep 3 at the shot clock buzzer. Not more than 5 seconds later, Olds answered with a 3 point play of their own. A back and forth match now, the Broncos re-took the lead 34-32 with 2:38 on the clock. Play started to intensify and both teams again dug in their heels. Olds was able to convert more of often maintaining their slight lead late. A good defensive stand from the Rattlers let them get themselves back into the game and retake the lead with 38 seconds remaining. A late foul on a 3 point shot had Olds at the stripe shooting 3. Turning the oppoutunity into a 4 point play ther were up 3, 42-39

A quick and one from the Broncos started off the 4th with a bang. The energy from the stands had dissipated and Olds now had a firm control of the momentum. Medicine Had needed something to stall this and fast before the score got out of reach. In this low scoring affair points were at a premium. An early timeout from the Rattlers side hoped to reverse the momentum of the game. A huge defensive play from Abygail LaRochelle taking a charge and forcing Olds Brittany Thibeaux to take a seat on the bench. This injected some energy back into the gym as the Rattlers rode the momentum to take back the lead. This was short lived as the Broncos came back down the floor to nail a 3 pointer from the corner re-taking a 2 point lead. A foul from Olds at the far end of the court put the Rattlers into bonus with 3 minutes left in the game. Rozdeba made both shots and closed the gap to one. Another steal and quick basket saw the rattlers take a slim 53-52 lead. With 1:12 on the clock the Broncos were able to retake their one point lead, 54-53. With sloppy play from both teams burning the clock, the Olds broncos were again able to corral a loose ball and fire an outlet pass to a streaking Bronco. Now down 3, the rattlers only had 24 seconds to try and tie the game. Another turnover looked to spell the end for the Rattlers. Intentional fouls from the Medicine Hat squad saw them down by 4 with only 7 seconds left on the clock. This was too much to recover from and the Olds squad took the game 57-53.