June 14th, 2024

Kodiaks basketball sweeps SAIT

By Dale Woodard - Lethbridge Herald on January 19, 2022.

As was perhaps to be expected after a long layoff, the Lethbridge College Kodiaks women’s basketball team’s offensive performance was a tad shaky.
But that’s OK, because their defence didn’t rest.
That allowed the Kodiaks to tip-off the 2022 portion of their Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference season on a winning note following a 58-44 victory over the SAIT Trojans Saturday night at the Val Matteotti Gymnasium.
On the men’s side, the Kodiaks improved to 5-2 with an 83-65 win over SAIT that puts the teams tied for second in the ACAC South. The 6-0 Calgary St. Mary’s Lighting sit in first in the South.
In a battle of the top-two teams in the women’s ACAC South Division and playing in front of an empty, fanless gymnasium as per COVID-19 protocol, the Kodiaks outscored the Trojans 23-8 in the third quarter to blow open a 25-22 halftime lead on their way to the win.
That improves the Kodiaks to 6-1 on the season and hands the Trojans (6-1) their first setback of the season as the teams sit atop the South Division, two points up on 5-1 St. Mary’s.
“In the third quarter our defence really stepped up,” said Kodiaks’ head coach Ken McMurray. “We held them to eight points, which was huge. It wasn’t our finest offensive performance, but we were rusty. We haven’t played for over a month, so I guess that’s to be expected. Anytime you can hold a team to 44 points, we’ll take it. That’s sound defence.”
The Kodiaks nursed a three-point lead into the third quarter before pulling away.
“I just think our pressure eventually wore them down a little bit and when you do that, you’ll get a steal and a basket and it stretches into five points,” said McMurray “I was happy about that. We have lots to work on offensively to fine tune some things. But we’ll take the win.”
In the second half, veteran Kirsten Barwegen got into foul trouble, which cut into her playing time.
“So she only played 14 minutes and she usually plays 30, so that hurt a little bit, too,” said McMurray.
But that opened the door for Annah Westrop, who pulled in 13 rebounds to help the Kodiaks seal the win.
“She played great,” said McMurray. “When Kirsten was out, she became the foundation down low and she ended up with 13 rebounds. She really had a good game defensively.”
Westrop also had two assists and one steal.
“How I feel about my game performance is probably based on my defence,” she said. “I missed some free throws I was frustrated about, but then I got two rebounds after that and I thought that made up for it.”
With the win, the Kodiaks start the second half of the season tied for first in the South.
“We had a goal to have a good start and we did, we were 5-1,” said McMurray. “Now we’re just trying to build on that one weekend at a time. We have Briercrest coming up. I don’t know a ton about them, but we have to play good defence and play together. Our shot selection (Saturday) wasn’t terrific, but we’ll work on some things and get the ball moving a little bit better and hopefully we can carry on.”
Even with the layoff, Westrop noted a good week of practice leading up to Saturday’s match to get them back in game shape.
“We’ve all been working really hard in practice, so I was really happy with how we stepped up on defence.”
Courtney Deemter led the Kodiaks with 20 points and 10 rebounds for the double-double and four assists, while Emily Hall came off the bench and hit for 10 points.
In the men’s game, Orin Porter and Chris Schlauwitz topped the 20-point mark with 23 and 21 points, respectively.
Taylor Barfus added 13 and Jack-Henry Fox-Grey hit for 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
Tomoya Owens had seven rebounds and six assists.
The Kodiaks basketball teams are back at the Val Matteotti Gymnasium Friday and Saturday as they host the Briercrest Clippers.
The Clippers men are 1-5 and the women are 0-6.
Game times Friday night are 6 p.m. for the men and 8 p.m. for the women and Saturday at 1 p.m. for the men and 3 p.m. for the women.
The Kodiaks volleyball teams head to Caronport, Sask. Friday and Saturday to take on the Clippers.
The Kodiaks women are coming off a 3-1 win over SAIT Friday night that improved them to 5-2 and into a three-way tie for second in the ACAC South with 5-1 Clippers and the 5-3 Calgary Ambrose Lions.
The Kodiaks men’s team had their Friday game against the Trojans postponed due to COVID and are currently 4-2, tied for third place in the ACAC South with the Trojans and four points back of the 6-0 Clippers, who they’ll try to gain some ground on this weekend.
Game times are 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday for the men and women, respectively.

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