By Woodard, Dale on January 17, 2020.
Rodney Dangerfield once claimed he got no respect
As the last undefeated team in Canada, the Lethbridge College Kodiaks men’s basketball team doesn’t have to worry about that.
Thanks to their 11-0 start to the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference season, that respect has been given via the top-ranking in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association.
As the Kodiaks head into their second week of ACAC second semester play in a home-and-home series with the Ambrose Lions starting tonight in Calgary, the men’s squad rolls up their sleeves and gets back to work despite the deserved recognition and ranking.
“Every ranking you get, I think it’s a privilege to be in the top-15 because it shows there are people out there that respect the program and what the program is doing at the time and they feel good enough about you as program to rank in that top-15,” said Kodiaks head coach Ryan Heggie, whose team takes the court against the 5-4 Lions at 8 p.m. The 6-5 Kodiaks women start the night at 6 p.m. against the 1-8 Lions.
After earning the respect that comes with a number-one ranking, Heggie said his team is respectful of the lofty honour.
“We have such a mix of young kids and older players like Chris Thomson – he’s been around a bit – and Orin Porter Jr. Then you have young kids like Brock (Dewsbery) and Chase (Bohne) and Tim McMahon and then you have (Jackson) Kasko in the middle, who is kind of a young veteran,” he said. “They’re all excited about it, but they don’t talk about it too much. You want to respect it and you want to not take it for granted because it can be snatched away from you within the next seven days depending on how you do. We’ve just taken it on (in) that we’re privileged to be ranked in that area. We know it doesn’t put you in a championship game or it doesn’t even guarantee playoffs or anything. But it’s something where people are looking at your program. So we’ll just keep working hard and respect the process.”
“I did tell them (Wednesday) night that since we’re the only undefeated team left in the country there really is no question, they have to be ranked number one. We need to respect it and practice accordingly and be ready to play games because every team in the South Division can beat anybody any given evening.”
That starts in Calgary tonight before coming back to the Val Matteotti Gymnasium Saturday night.
“It’s always a tough place to come out with the win,” said Heggie of the Lions’ home court. “So we’ve been preparing for (tonight’s) road game and I’m sure the guys will be excited to get back on the home court on Saturday. Our goal is to obviously go up the Ambrose and win and come back and carry on. But they’re a good team. They’re 5-4 right now, but they have several dangerous players we have to keep a close eye on, for sure.”
Dewsbery’s 22.5 points per game places him fourth in the ACAC, while Porter Jr. is eighth with 18.8 points per game.
On the women’s side, the Kodiaks look to get back in the win column after a close loss to the Medicine Hat Rattlers last Thursday in Medicine Hat.
The Kodiaks are tied for second with the Briercrest Clippers and St. Mary’s University Lightning, but the Clippers have two games in hand.
Matlin McMurray led the Kodiaks with 13 points in the loss to Medicine Hat and is averaging 9.5 points per game. She also sits 12th in the ACAC in three-point percentage. The Kodiaks beat the Lions 84-46 in a first-half meeting.
The women’s game starts at 6 p.m. Saturday night. The men follow at 8 p.m.
The Kodiaks volleyball teams hold their second half home openers this weekend as the Olds College Broncos trot into the Val Matteotti Gymnasium tonight and Saturday afternoon.
Then 11-3 Kodiaks men are fourth in the CCAA rankings after a split with the Red Deer Kings last weekend in Red Deer. They are second in the South Division, two points behind the 12-4 SAIT Trojans.
Fifth-year Kodiak Carter Hansen is averaging 3.72 kills per set to sit third in the ACAC and is also third in total attacks. Michael Svab is fourth in the ACAC.
The 2-12 Kodiaks women look to snap a 10-game losing streak against a 2-12 Broncos team that has lost 11 in a row.
Mack Lewicki is in the top 20 in the ACAC in both kills and digs, while Jamie Brown is 14th in assists per set.
Game time tonight is 6 p.m. for the women and 8 p.m. for the men.
The women’s game starts Saturday at 1 p.m. The men take the floor at 3 p.m.
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