Lightning Basketball teams wrap up week one
Rattlers strike first blood
It was a busy weekend for the St. Mary’s University Lightning basketball teams with both squads kicking off the regular season at home.
The competition this weekend was superb with a full slate of games, two on Friday to official start the season against the visiting Medicine Hat Rattlers and the final two games Saturday against the visitng Red Deer College Queens/Kings.
The Lightning women’s game featured two programs who have their sights firmly set on playoffs, battle it out for 40 min with Medicine Hat ending up victorious. The Lightning had a hard time defensively stopping the Rattlers and just seemed a touch out of sync offensively in their first league game of the year.
A bright note for the Lightning was guard Sydney Deighton, a fourth year History student, who led the team in scoring and shot an impressive 3-5 from the 3-point-line for the night.
The Lightning men fell victim to a sluggish start and saw Medicine Hat jump out to an early lead, one they would never relinquish.
“Defense is desire, you have to want to stop the man in front of you and be willing to use your body to accomplish it,” said Lightning men’s basketball coach Nathan Ruff. “We just weren’t willing to do that today and it ultimately cost us the victory.”
The men’s team never really got going until the second half in which they outplayed and outscored the opponent, however it was too little too late for the Lightning who ended up losing the game by a score of 93-81.
A strong second half performance gave coach Ruff and his team a glimpse of what the squad is capable of, as they look to take this performance and build upon it in the upcoming weeks.
The second set of games over the weekend saw both Lightning teams square off against the visiting Red Deer College Queens/Kings on Saturday, October 21.
Playing in their second game of the weekend, the Lightning women’s basketball team looked to have settled into forms. Lead by fifth year captain Montana Romeril, who poured in 24 points on the night, the Lightning women’s team secured their first victory of the young season with a final score of 67-55.
“This was a good bounce back performance from their previous night,” said Ruff. “The ladies showed more energy and enthusiasm throughout the evening and got the result they deserved.”
The third quarter was the difference maker which saw the Lightning storm the court and win the quarter by 10 points, led by the strong performance of Romeril who poured in 15 of her game-high 24 points after the break.
The Lightning men’s game featured a tight match up all night but ultimately ended with the lightning falling 89-80 in their second game of the season.
The men were a little out of sync to start once again, only managing to score 28 points in the first half, but just as demonstrated the night before, came out swinging in the second half and drained 52 points in the second half.
Third year guard Averie Armbrister lead the way for the Lightning and had a game-and-team-high 30 points, 24 of which came in the second half.
The Lightning also saw strong play from fourth year guard Cordell Minnifee and second year forward Jordan Britton, both of whom gave coach Ruff encouragement for the season going forward.
“Slow starts in both nights dug a hole too big for us to climb out of,” said Ruff. “We have to do a better job being prepared and ready to play right from the jump.”
With opening weekend in the books, the season looks bright for both our Lightning Basketball squads as they start the 2017-18 Basketball season. Basketball has a bi-weekend on October 28 and 29 but the Lightning athletes are still in competition as the Cross-Country team heads to Red Deer for the Cross Country Provincial Meet.