By Woodard, Dale on November 4, 2019.
One bad quarter was followed by a strong one for the Lethbridge College Kodiaks men’s basketball team.
For that, they’ll remain undefeated following a 96-74 win over the Ambrose Lions in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference play Saturday night at the Val Matteotti Gymnasium.
Leading 52-42 at the half, a couple of late surrendered three-pointers prior to halftime opened the door for a Lions pushback as Ambrose outscored the Kodiaks 16-6 in the third quarter to cut the hosts lead to 61-58.
Paced by a 33-point performance from first-year Brock Dewsbery, the Kodiaks returned to form in the fourth quarter, poured in 35 points and regained control on their way to the win that sits them atop the ACAC South Division at 4-0.
“I thought the whole game was a real tough grind,” said Kodiaks head coach Ryan Heggie.
“We tried to get our running game going. They’re a solid team, a really good team. They took three off of us last year, so we know very well they’re well-coached. We are up 10 at the half and gave them two late threes in the first half, which gave them some momentum. Then in the third quarter I thought they just took over the game. Even at that, we only get about 16. I told the guys before the fourth quarter that we’re going to have those quarters this year and that was one of them, right there. So hopefully that’s the last one I have. I doubt it, but we found away and we didn’t dwell on it.
“I think the difference was we got back to what our basketball style is. We pressed on every basket in every dead ball and we pressure them into some turnovers. We got some easy buckets, but I think it was just our defensive pressure in the fourth quarter.”
Dewsbery led the Kodiaks with a 30-plus point outing that saw the Raymond product shoot four-for-five at the three-point line.
“I think you just have to remember it’s a 40-minute game, so you’re going to have rough quarters and a hard time scoring every once in a while,” said Dewsbery. “In the fourth quarter we got ready to go. We came out and we had a couple of threes and it just started us off strong. We got back to what we’re used to.”
Heggie had ample praise for his first-year guard who is fourth in the ACAC in points-per-game at 23.
“Brock was a beast. He’s been very consistent. He’s scoring in the 20s and he’s rebounding six or seven a game and he’s moving the ball. He’s shooting a good percentage. The stuff he needs to work on is his defence and his defensive boxing out assignments because (Isaac) Amsing got by him a few times tonight. Our whole team needs to get better at defensive box outs.”
The Lions were without Riley Cordwell and Sylvan Lombo.
“Credit to them, they were missing one of their best players,” said Heggie. “But when one of your best players is out, there was always somebody waiting to step up and tonight it was Isaac (Amsing) had a great game for them.
“Amsing did a good job of crashing the glass tonight for them. One time he boxed Brock out and knocked the wind out of him. That’s the type of box out we need to put on on other teams. Amsing and got him with a good hard box out and that’s what we’re trying to teach. We’re a young team mixed in with some vets. We’re grinding out every day and practice and trying to improve.”
The defensive pace of the ACAC is something Dewsbery continues to learn.
“I’m used to high school where everything is a little bit slower, so my defence is a little slow right now,” he said. “But it’s fun to be able to compete. It’s so much faster it’s cool just to be able to adjust to that and be able to play my game.”
Orin Porter hit for 15 points the Kodiaks, while Timothy McMahon came off the bench and added 14.
Chase Bohne scored 13 points and had six rebounds and four assists.
Their 4-0 start has the Kodiaks atop the ACAC South Division and also tied with the 4-2 NAIT Ooks and Augustana University Vikings for first in the conference.
“It’s just the chemistry,” said Dewsbery. “Right now, it’s not even necessarily about basketball, it’s about how close we are as a team. We’re staying close to each other and helping each other get better every single day and that translates to the court.”
Bohne and Porter are seventh and eighth in the ACAC in points-per-game with 20.5 and 20.3, respectively. Bohne is also seventh in assists with 25.
Jaxson Davison is tied for fourth in steals with five and Chris Thomson is tied for seventh in steals with nine. He also leads the Kodiaks in rebounds with 26.
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