Nov. 24, 2018 – The Lethbridge College Kodiaks men's basketball team was the fourth Kodiaks to win at home on Alumni Saturday, picking up a key 90-83 victory over the Red Deer Kings.
Orin Porter Jr. continued to impress as he adjusts to the Canadian style of game in his first ACAC season. He picked up 20 points, including a thunderous fourth quarter dunk, and also added two blocks and four steals to help his team to victory.
It was a wildly entertaining back-and-forth game that thrilled the over 500 spectators in the Val Matteotti Gym. Though this years edition of the Kodiaks may lack the size of recent Lethbridge College editions, the team managed to dazzle with sharp first half three point shooting and great individual displays of skill and ball movement.
With every point crucial in the ACAC south playoff picture, both teams ratcheted up the intensity from the opening tip-off. The Kodiaks grabbed an early advantage but early foul trouble for standout forward Lincoln Anderson forced the Kodiaks into a few unconventional rotations.
The Kings came back to take a brief first quarter lead lead, but back-to-back threes from Porter Jr. helped the hosts stay even, with either team finding separation in an action packed first quarter.
The Kodiaks found their range in the second quarter, sinking three after three while building a 52-44 lead into the half. The team was six for eight from beyond the arc in the first twenty minutes of play.
That well dried up in the third, however, as the Kodiaks went 0-6 from distance while allowing Red Deer back in the game. The Kings outmuscled the Kodiaks 16-12 on the glass in the quarter and managed to trim the hosts lead to 68-64, setting up an exciting final quarter.
Tension was thick throughout the final ten minutes, with the Kodiaks unable to pull away from a determined Kings side. Red Deer pulled within two points multiple times, but the Kodiaks were able to scrap and finally got some breathing room after going on an 8-2 run with three minutes left.
Red Deer made it interesting late, draining a three off a steal to pull within five with one minute to go. Lethbridge was able to bare down to secure the win though, with the Kings unable to drain any late shots.
Anderson ended up leading the Kodiaks scoring with 22 points and 11 rebounds, despite getting in early foul trouble. Jackson Kasko had 13 points off the Kodiaks bench, while Michael Clemons had 13 assists.
Both teams have concluded their fall schedule and will return to ACAC conference action in early January.
The two teams will battle again in Red Deer on Jan. 25 and 26.
Player of The Game
Kodiaks: #6 Jackson Kasko (4-4 on free throws with 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 13 points total)
Kings: #21 Spencer Klassen (3-5 on free throws with 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 23 points total)