January 20th, 2021

Kodiaks look to keep rolling

By Woodard, Dale on January 24, 2020.

Dale Woodard

Lethbridge Herald


After a 2-0 showing last weekend, the Lethbridge College Kodiaks men’s and women’s basketball teams look to keep it going this weekend.

The Kodiaks host the Red Deer Kings and Queens tonight and Saturday in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference play at the Val Matteotti Gymnasium.

For the men, that means looking to build on their 13-0 record that keeps them in first place in the ACAC South Division, eight points up on the 9-3 SAIT Trojans.

It also keeps them first in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association rankings after getting the top seed last week.

For the Kodiaks women, this weekend means staying in the tight race for top spot in the South.

The 8-5 Kodiaks are tied with the St. Mary’s Lightning for second, are two points up on the 7-4 Briercrest Clippers and four points behind the 10-1 Olds Broncos.

However, the Kodiaks come into the weekend with a few new faces.

“We’ve added a few more guards for this semester,” said Kodiaks head coach Deanna Simpson. “We added Dezarae Jensen and then we’ll add Millay (Johnson) starting next week. So that will continue to make us deeper and make that guard presence really heavy and play some true southern Alberta guard-style basketball. It’s going to bring some more ball handling and some guard play to us and make us really strong on the perimeter. We can be lock-down defenders. The league has moved to a lot more guards than posts. Us, Ambrose and Olds, and Medicine Hat a little bit, at times you’ll see two posts on the floor. But quite often that can change pretty quickly. It’s one of those things you adapt to.”

The Kings are 6-5 and tied for third in the South with Briercrest.

In the first semester, the Kings pushed the Kodiaks to overtime before Lethbridge prevailed with a 96-85 victory.

The Queens are 4-7 and in sixth in the South.

Kirsten Barwegan hit for 17 points and 17 rebounds in last Friday’s win over the Ambrose Lions. She is 10th in the ACAC in rebounds per game, averaging 8.8 per game and is fourth in the conference in defensive rebounds. The Kodiaks are the fifth-highest scoring team in the ACAC.

In the first semester, the Kodiaks grabbed a big first quarter lead and never trailed in a 72-67 victory.

Game time tonight is 6 p.m. with the mens game to follow at 8 p.m.

On Saturday, the women’s game starts at 1 p.m. before the men’s game at 3 p.m.

NOTES – The Kodiaks will take part in the ACAC-wide RBC Make Some Noise for Mental Health initiative Friday, created to break stigmas around mental health.

Involving student-athletes, RBC Make Some Noise for Mental Health encourages empathy, understanding and open-mindedness while promoting resources and support available on campuses and in their communities. RBC will be providing giveaways, games and prizes for spectators in the Val Matteotti Gymnasium.

The Kodiaks will also receive a $1,000 cheque from Make Some Noise sponsor RBC that the Kodiaks Leadership Council, made up of student-athlete leaders from each Kodiaks team, will donate to an on-campus group of their choosing for mental health initiatives.

Tonight is also Junior and Senior High School Appreciation Night. All southern Alberta high school students are invited for a free dinner at 5:30 p.m. and then are offered free admission to watch the Kodiaks.

Students will have the chance to take part in games with the chance to win prizes, including one of four Kodiaks’ summer sports camp passes valued at $190 each.

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