Rattlers Clinch Playoff berth in Final Game

The St. Mary's Lightning made their way down the transcanada highway to Medicine Hat to take on the Rattlers. The Rattlers held a 2nd place tie and needed a win to guarantee a playoff berth. The Lightning hoped to play spoiler and potentially knock the Rattlers out of contention. The game started slow with both teams missing on their first possession. The Rattlers opened the scoring with a drive from Jaamel Slack. The Lightning answered right away hitting a 3. The Rattlers scored the next two baskets and took a 6-3 lead. St. Mary's answered and the lead was down to 1. The pace of the game was quick, with both teams trying to sprint down the court. The Lightning took the lead on a Rattlers turnover and took their first lead of the game. The Rattlers responded by getting to the line and making both. The Rattlers caused a turnover and took back a 3 point lead after running the floor. The Lighting were able to come back and tie the game at 13 as the midway point passed. The score stalled here as both teams missed chances. The Rattlers finally broke through on an Arthur Rosa end to end rush. St. Mary's once again answered knotting the game at 15. Again the Rattlers were able to pull ahead just a little leading 21-15 with 1:30 left in the quarter. Both teams hit late and the Rattlers led at the break 22-18.

The second quarter started with a Lightning miss followed by a Rattlers basket, increasing their lead. the Lightning responded quickly with a trip to the line. The scoring slowed down as both teams rushed shots and missed opportunities. The Lightning started to chip away at the lead as the Rattlers struggled on the offensive end and were turning over the ball on homerun passes. They were fortunate enough to maintain their lead as the lightning failed to capitalize on the Rattler misses. The Rattlers continued to struggle on offence making simple mistakes costing them opportunities. The Rattles were once again able to hold off the Lightning comeback keeping them just far enough away to maintain their lead. as the clock ticked down in the half the Rattlers held off the Lightning to lead 38-32.

The second half opened with the Rattlers in possession. They started with a quick two points inside from Kieron Burgess who got back and caused a turnover on defense. Burgess went back down the court for another 2 to extend the rattler lead to 10. The Lightning were able to respond with back to back 3's cutting the lead to 4. The Rattlers were able to hold the Lightning off and keep a 4 point margin. They again increased this lead to 7 with back to back steals. The Rattlers Brady Resch hit a 3 off the bench to maintain this lead. Neither team was able to gain momentum in the game as the clock continued to wind down. The Rattlers finally exploded utilizing a high pressure defense and were able to open up a 15 point lead. down 60-45 the Lightning used their first timeout in an effort to regroup. The Lightning were able to hit a 3 pointer coming out of the break shutting down the offensive outburst from the home side.  The Rattlers gained the momentum back on a big putback from Nick Murschell injecting the gym with energy. With both teams in bonus the last minute stalled as the teams both earned trips to the line. The quarter ended with the Rattlers leading 66-49.

The 4th quarter started with the Rattlers forcing a turnover and getting the ball inside for a quick bucket. The Lightning responded quickly and scored right away to not fall further behind. The teams continued to trade baskets with the Rattlers lead remaining double digits. The Lightning started to cut into the lead with Cordell Minnifee hitting back to back 3's. The Rattlers responded to this by driving inside and cleaning up in the paint. They extended the lead to 20 forcing the Lightning to take a timeout. out of the timeout Jevon Fray-woodbine scored another 2 second chance points for the Rattlers. Again the Lightning started to chip away as the clock moved under 3 minutes. As the Lightning bench but it "we were never in this game with all the dumb turnovers." Any time they gained any momentum they gave it away and the Rattlers were able to keep their lead. As the clock ticked down to 0 the Rattlers were able to take it 90-72 clinching a playoff berth.