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Kodiaks shake up Rattlers

The Lethbridge College men’s basketball team continued to prove they are top dogs in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference by sweeping the Medicine Hat Rattlers in a home-and-home affair over the weekend.

On Friday, in front of a near capacity home crowd, the Kodiak men delivered a solid 40-minute effort, taking the lead from the initial tip off and progressively building it to a 102-67 victory.

“Everyone just came in and played really well,” said Kodiaks head coach Mike Hansen. “Dom Coward carried us in the first quarter."

“The guys came in and got the tempo going in the second and that allowed us to open up the game a little bit there in the second. Then in the third, they tried to make a push and we pushed back and extended that 20-point lead to 35.”

All eyes were on Coward in the first quarter, as the Kodiak forward was unstoppable on the glass and offensive side of the court, notching a double-double within the first 10 minutes of play.

“All my buckets were pretty easy. I felt like they weren’t boxing me out,” said Coward, ACAC player of the game.

“They weren’t making it hard on me and if you don’t make it hard on me, then I am just going to get the rebound and put it in.”

Despite the Kodiaks early 19-9, lead the Rattlers tried to strike back, nailing two three-pointers in a row to pull themselves within four points. This forced Kodiaks coach Mike Hansen to take a timeout with just over five minutes left in the quarter.

After the timeout, the Kodiaks defense shut down the Rattlers offence for the remainder of the quarter, going on a 7-0 run to end the quarter at 28-15.

The Kodiaks defense did not let up in the second frame, as they limited the Rattlers to only 10 points for the entire quarter. It wasn’t until three minutes into the second quarter that the Rattlers finally broke the Kodiaks eight-minute 12-0 scoring run.

Josh Watson was a key contributor for the Kodiaks in the second, making a couple of steals and turning them into fast-break points. This helped push the Kodiaks lead to 51-25 at the end of the second quarter.

Dom Coward finished the first half with 17 rebounds and 18 points, shooting eight for 10 from the field.

With the game already in hand, Kodiaks coach Mike Hansen decided it was a good time to start resting his starters and give the remaining players on the team a chance to play the rest of the game.

“To me at this point in the year, it’s a good trade off,” said Hansen.

“We get to rest some guys, who don’t normally get to rest and so that’s some good experience for them (remaining players) to get in there and play.”

The bench would maintain its lead and actually extend it by 30 as the third quarter concluded 81-51.

The fourth quarter played out similar to the third, as the Kodiaks spread the ball offensively. This allowed a chance for everyone on the offensive side to contribute until the game ended. 11 of 12 Kodiaks notched at least one point.

“I couldn’t be more happy with the team to be honest,” said Denver Corbiere, Kodiaks assistant head coach.

“It is so much fun to be a part of a team that executes properly and that is extremely motivated and plays together,” said Corbiere.

“There are no egos, nobody is worried about their stats and everyone is just having fun.”

Saturday’s game in Medicine Hat was a tougher contest for the Kodiaks but they still came out on top with the 96-84 victory.

The Kodiaks currently sit first in the ACAC with a 13-1 record.

 

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