By Woodard, Dale on March 6, 2020.
The Lethbridge College Kodiaks men’s and women’s basketball teams have been relegated to the consolation side of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference provincial championship.
The Kodiaks men were topped 104-92 by the NAIT Ooks at the men’s championship Thursday at Augustana University in Camrose.
Earlier in the day, the Kodiak women were defeated 72-64 by the Lakeland Rustlers at the women’s championship in Medicine Hat as both teams prepare for consolation play this afternoon.
After finishing 20-1 to earn the top seed in the South Division and earn the second seed in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association rankings, the Kodiaks were downed by the 14-10 Ooks, ranked fourth in the ACAC North Division.
The Kodiaks trailed 50-48 at the half and led 77-76 after the third quarter, but the Ooks outscored Lethbridge 28-15 in the fourth quarter to pull away.
With the loss, the Kodiaks will face the loser of the Thursday evening game between the Ambrose Lions and the University of Augustana Vikings today at 3 p.m.
A win this afternoon will put the Kodiaks in the consolation final Saturday at 1 p.m.
On Thursday afternoon, Orin Porter and Chase Bohne each had 22 points and Brock Dewsbery had 16 in the loss. Dyson Surmik came off the bench and added 11 points for the Kodiaks. Bohne also had six assists.
Chris Thomson had 10 rebounds for Lethbridge to go along with two steals and three blocks.
In earlier action Thursday, the SAIT Trojans (17-4) downed the Concordia Thunder (14-10) 90-76, while the 22-2 Keyano College Huskies beat the 10-11 Red Deer Kings 103-79.
In Medicine Hat, the Kodiaks fell to the Rustlers in the opening game of the day.
The Kodiaks enjoyed a quick start and took a 24-18 first quarter lead and held a 35-30 advantage at the half.
Lakeland cut the deficit to 51-50 after the third quarter and outscored the Kodiaks 22-13 in the final quarter to earn the comeback win.
Matlin McMurray led the Kodiaks with 14 points, 11 rebounds and three assists, while Natalie Hoyt put up 13.
The Kodiaks finished the regular season 12-9 and third in the ACAC South, while the Rattlers were 19-5, ranked second in the ACAC North Division.
The loss puts Lethbridge in the 1 p.m. consolation semifinal today against Augustana, who lost 71-55 to the Olds Broncos.
In the third game of the day, the Huskies beat the host Medicine Hat Rattlers 56-48.
In the late game Thursday night, NAIT was playing the St. Mary’s Lightning.
The men’s and women’s Kodiaks kicked off their ACAC championship weekend with plenty of awards for both teams at their respective banquets Wednesday night as the teams combined to win eight awards.
The Kodiaks swept the ACAC Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year Awards for the men’s and women’s South Division.
Dewsbery earned the South Division Rookie of the Year award, while Hoyt took home the South Rookie of the Year award on the women’s side.
Meanwhile on the bench, Kodiaks head coaches Ryan Heggie and Deanna Simpson won the men’s and women’s South Division Coach of the Year awards.
Lethbridge also put three players on the ACAC all-conference first-teams. Dewsbery and Porter were honoured on the men’s side, while Kirsten Barwegen was named to the women’s team.
A product of Raymond, Dewsbery, a guard, made his presence felt immediately in his first season in the ACAC.
In addition to helping the Kodiaks capture the South Division with a 20-1 regular-season record, Dewsbery finished fourth in conference scoring with 21.3 points per game and was also top-five in the ACAC in both three point percentage and free throw percentage.
Thanks to those numbers, Dewsbery has been named a Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association All-Canada and is now the ACAC’s nominee for CCAA player of the year.
Hoyt, who hails from Barnwell, helped lead the Kodiaks into the playoffs, averaging 12.1 points per game in the second half of the season in addition to shooting 37 per cent from the floor and hit 33 per cent of her three-point attempts.
Simpson earned her first coach of the year nod. In her third year the Kodiaks went 12-9 and put on a late surge to earn a playoff spot, which included an upset win over then nationally top-ranked Olds College.
Heggie is the longest-serving current coach in the Kodiaks program, having completed his ninth year with the men’s basketball team and wins his second ACAC South Division Coach of the Year award after having won it in 2015-16.
After missing the playoffs last season, the long-time head coach formed a roster that went 20-1 to enter the championships ranked second in Canada.
Heggie will go forward as the ACAC nominee for CCAA coach of the year.
Porter finished second on the Kodiaks and 11th in the ACAC in scoring, averaging 17.3 points per game. He was also second on the Kodiaks in steals and third in assists, while leading the conference in free throw percentage.
Barwegen led the Kodiaks in scoring, averaging 10.9 points per game. She placed eighth in the ACAC in rebounding, averaging 9.5 per game, and also finished 16th in the conference in shooting percentage.