Rattlers squeak out win, but lose key offensive player

A winter storm brought a foot of snow and the Briercrest Clippers into Medicine Hat to face off against the Rattlers. The Rattlers hoped to rebound from a tight loss the previous weekend while the clippers hoped to win and climb the standings into a playoff spot. A slow start saw several misses on both ends of the court with most points coming from the penalty stripe. Early in the match Rattlers guard Kendall Kuntz went down with leg injury 3 minutes into the game. It appeared serious as she was carried to the bench by her teammates. Losing a big part of their ball control and outside shooting, the Rattlers would have to adjust and find scoring in other places. At the midpoint of the quarter the Clippers held a narrow lead of 1. The Rattlers were pressing the Clippers at full court hoping to use their defensive skills to swing the momentum in their favor. The clippers attempted to utilize their speed against a bigger rattlers squad to great effect. When running the floor and driving the basket, the Clippers were successful almost every trip down the court. When the Rattlers could disrupt the rush and Briercrest was forced to run an offence and pass, Medicine Hat was shutting down the attempts. Bringing their "Big's " back on the floor, Briercrest attempted to break the offensive zone struggles by getting the ball inside to score. This was not enough as the Rattlers edged a first quarter lead, up 17-14 after the first.

The second quarter started with a big two points from the Clippers inside. This was followed up with Rattler Captain Kennedy Werre Coming back down the floor to match the score. The Clippers started taking the ball straight at the Rattlers D, in an attempt to get to the foul line. This seemed to be working as Medicine Hat was allowing them to get to the line. Medicine Hat seemed to control the majority of possession with not much to show for the dominance in possession. The Rattlers held a slim 3 point lead midway through the quarter after being unable to convert on many of their trips down the floor. Neither team seemed to find a firm grasp of the games momentum with balls at both ends of the court seeming to fall out and not in. 2 fast Rattler Turnovers allowed the Clippers to close the gap and eventually taking a one point lead in the final minute of the quarter. A late 2 from Shania Baptiste saw the Rattlers take the lead into the half, up 30-29.

The Clippers started off the second half with the ball and immediately made a 3 pointer. The rattlers wasted no time in tying the game back up. Both teams' offence seemed to work early in the quarter as the first trips down the court resulted in points by both squads. Clippers forward Dionne Martin was the Clippers key offensive player early in the 3rd accounting for 7 points. With the Clippers Bigger Lineup on the court, the Rattlers countered with size as well. A battle inside the paint was brewing with standout Rattler Kennedy Werre out battling a bigger Clippers player on both ends of the court. Werre checked out for a breather and Rattlers Rachel Sherven, Sheridan Popenia and Courtney Henry stepped up to counter the smaller speedier lineup back on for the Clippers. A matchup chess match seemed to be brewing with both teams subbing and trying to gain the best matchups constantly throughout. An even game saw the Rattlers leading by just one 49-48 at the end of 3.  

The matchup battles continued into the 4th quarter with both teams utilizing their bench early and often. Both teams had an advantage in certain formations and personnel. The Rattlers, down key players to injury, seemed to have more trouble gaining and keeping their advantages on the court. This wasn't obvious at first as Medicine Hat held the lead and possession for the majority of the game. The 4th quarter was back and forth the whole time with the Rattlers struggling to maintain a small lead. The Rattlers lead by 1 with 13 seconds on the clock. A quick inbound and foul sent Courtney Henry to the line making both shots the Rattlers ran out the clock winning by 3, 66-63. 

Players of the game were Dionne Martin for the Clippers with 6 rebounds and 15 points, and Kennedy Werre of the Rattlers with a double double, 25 points and 15 rebounds.