Women's action Friday in Calgary:
While going into the 4th quarter the Lions trailed the Rattlers by 2, it wasn't their night tonight as Medicine Hat was able to close out the game with a strong 4th quarter, outscoring the Lions, 19-7.
The Lions came out of the gate really strong and played some of their basketball of the season in the first half of tonight's contest. Ambrose ran out to an 11-0 lead before Tatiana Dutka (P.O.G.) got the Ratters on the board with a couple made free throws. Dutka would add another 4 before the quarter would come to a close, helping Medicine Hat get back within 1 at the break.
Going into halftime, the Rattlers had a slim 2 point lead over the home Lions. An even 3rd quarter set up a dramatic final 10 minutes.
In the end Paige Cooper had a terrific 4th quarter scoring 11 points, shooting 5/5 from the field as well as making her only free throw. The height and physicality of Cooper and Rozdeba ultimate broke down the Lions defense and they weren't able to make up for some defensive lapses on the offensive side.
Free throws didn't help the Lions either as while MHC shot 16/18 from the line, the Lions only made 2 of their 10 attempts.
While Ambrose struggled from the charity stripe, they did shoot really well from 3 as they went 5/11 from beyond the arc while holding the Rattlers to only 1/6. Dora Tasovic (P.O.G.) led the way for the Lions in this category as she shot 3/5 from 3
On Saturday in the Snake Pit:
The Ambrose Lions headed South to the Snake Pit to face off in the second half of a home and home with the Medicine Hat College Rattlers. The Rattlers got off to a hot start at home taking an early lead with the help of a plethora of Ambrose turnovers. With 3 shot clock violations in the first 5 minutes the Lions struggled on offence. They were able to stay with the Rattlers who were having their own issues finding the basket. The Rattlers held a 1 point lead, 98 with 4:00 on the clock. The Rattlers extended their lead with a basket inside only to be tied up at 11 from another Ambrose 3. At the end of the first quarter the Ratters led by 2, up 15-13 in a low scoring game.
The second quarter started with the teams able to score early matching each other at 19 within 2 minutes of the start of the quarter. With 6:51 on the clock the Lions took a timeout with the score still knotted at 19 and the Rattlers going to the line. Paige Cooper hit both for medicine hat as they restored their one basket lead. The Lions were able to respond right away tying it at 21. The Rattlers were able to score a quick 4 points from here opening up a small lead. The lions seemed to only be able to respond when the Rattlers scored, not able to take the lead away. They finally took the lead 27-26 with 2 Rattlers mistakes leading to Lion points. The teams traded baskets and the lead as the score flipped again with the Rattlers taking over the lead. The Rattlers scored twice late and took a 32-29 lead into the half.
The second half started with the lions narrowing the Rattler lead to 1 while both teams struggled to find the basket. The Lions took an early timeout down only one with 7:15 on the clock. Neither team was able to find the basket for the next minute as both teams missed 2 on each end. The teams traded baskets with the Rattlers still holding a 1 point lead. The Lions scored 2 straight and took a 36-39 lead with 3:48 on the clock they held this lead as the Rattlers could not score efficiently at all. The Lions added to their lead going up 43-38 with less than 2 minutes on the clock. The Rattlers hit a late 3 to cut into the lead. They hit both on an unsportsmanlike foul to tie the game and took the lead late on a layup. The Lions got to the line with 3 seconds left with a chance to tie it up. Missing one of two the Rattlers held a 45-44 lead going into the fourth.
The Lions came out quickly in the fourth to take the lead, only to be answered by the Rattlers on their next trip down the floor. The Rattlers were able to take back their lead they jumped out to a 52-46 advantage going on a big run. The Lions went cold on the offensive end the finally got going offensively but the Rattlers were able to match, going up 57-50 as the midway point of the quarter ticked by. The Rattlers hit again on their next trip opening up a 9 point lead their biggest of the game. They hit a single free throw and increased their lead to 10. The Lions came back to cut the Rattler lead to 6 scoring the next two baskets. The Rattlers responded and led by 8 with 1:20 on the clock. The Rattlers were able to extend finishing the game with a 66-54 victory sweeping the weekend.
Men's Friday night action in Calgary:
While Medicine Hat has struggled in the first semester, veteran players including Josh Magpantay & Kieron Burgess still have the skill to upset a team if they don't take them seriously. Coming off a two extremely close loses to the Lethbridge last weekend, this did have the makings of a "trap game" for the Lions.
While the Lions, did look shaky in the first couple of minutes, a strong first quarter set the Lions up for the rest of tonight's contest vs the Medicine Hat Rattlers. Thanks to 12 points in the first quarter on 4/5 - 3 point shooting, Linden Jackson, led his team to a 32-20 lead.
Throughout the night, Medicine Hat struggled from 3 point range only making 2 of their 18 attempts, dampening their chances of an upset.
When asked about how his team played tonight, Head Coach, Neil Nystrom commented that he was happy with the adjustments his team made at halftime. "Medicine Hat is a well-coached team and they took us out of what we wanted to run a lot, pressuring the ball and causing us to turn the ball over. In the 2nd half we settled in and moved the ball really well on offence which enabled us to get some really good looks and good shots."
Nystrom also had lots of praise for his Player of the Game, Linden Jackson and guard Riley Cordwell. "Linden played really well, keeping us in the game in the first half with his shooting which stretched the defense quite a bit. We really liked Riley's game as well where he almost got a triple-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists."
Saturday in the Snake Pit:
The Ambrose Lions headed south to take on the Medicine Hat College Rattlers in the Snake pit for the second half of a home and home. The Rattlers hoped for a better result than the night previous and the Lions looked to sweep the weekend. The game started with both teams taking advantage of second chance points early. The teams were balanced early with neither taking any real advantage early. The Lions seemed to be taking their shots from deep while the Rattlers looked to get to the basket. The Lions led 12-11 with 4:00 on the clock. Ambrose added another bucket only to be answered by Medicine Hat. The teams remained close as the quarter drew to a close the Lions were up by 3, 18-15.
The second quarter started with the Lions missing on their first possession, the Rattlers got to the line and narrowed the lions lead to one. The Rattlers tied the game at 21 with the help of some second chance points from Zavier Croft. The Lions re-took their 3 point lead on a deep 3 pointer. Adding a quick bucket they increased their lead to 5 forcing Medicine Hat to call a timeout with 5:40 on the clock. The Rattlers started to again hit on offence but the Lions were able to hold on to a slight advantage. With 3:04 on the clock, the Rattlers took their second timeout down 31-28. The teams went cold with only the lions scoring 2 in the next minute thirty. With 1:27 left in the half the Lions took a timeout up 33-28. The Lions scored again twice to open up a 9 point lead late in the half. The Rattlers trailed 29-37 at the half.
The third quarter started with the Rattlers chipping away quickly at the Lions lead. They had cut the lead to 5 quickly and looked to continue to execute. The Lions got a few fortunate calls and were once again able to pull ahead up 45-37 with 5:50 on the clock. The Lions were able to stay ahead with the help of some strong defense. They increased their lead to 10, up 43-53 with 2 minutes on the clock. The Rattlers were ice cold for the last few minutes of the quarter with only 2 points for a stretch but were able to close out the quarter with a bucket to bring the Lions lead to 8, 55-47.
The Rattlers started the fourth on a run. In less than a minute they brought the Lions lead to 4, trailing 51-55. This outburst forced the Lions to use their first timeout. The Rattlers got the game within 2 on their next possession, but with both teams trading misses, the Rattlers took their first timeout with 7:08 on the clock. The Lions scored on their next possession bringing their lead back to 4. Medicine Hat answered once again to bring the score back within 2. The battle intensified as the teams were battling for every ball and point. The Lions still held their small lead until a 3 from Rattler David Kent-Canalejo tied the game at 64. This is where it was with 2 minutes on the clock in a very close contest. The Lions re-took a 2 point lead on a pair of free throws going up 66-64 with 1:38 on the clock the Rattlers tied it at 66 on the next possession making a tight game even tighter. The Lions went up 68-66 then a steal and a trip to the line gave them a chance to extend. They hit one for two and were able to increase their lead to 3. With a Rattlers miss the Lions had a good chance to ice the game and were able to increase the lead to 4 the final result of the game Lions 70, Rattlers 66.
The ACAC players of the game were Nhial Phillip for Ambrose and Josh Magpantay for MHC