Gutsy effort from Garcia-Bernal brings Queens within striking distance of Clippers

Red Deer, AB – In a relatively even contest, the RDC Queens outscored the Briercrest College Clippers in two quarters and couldn't complete the comeback, dropping a 77-69 decision at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

In a quarter that featured runs from both sides, the Clippers opened 7-0. Then the Queens responded with a 12-2 stretch of their own which included successful free-throws from Lauren Cardinal and Samantha Wade to jump ahead 12-9.

In a back-and-forth second, Paige Schultz hit a three-pointer from the right and Mallory Uskiw spotted Sandra Garcia-Bernal under the basket to give RDC a 29-25 edge. But at the half, the Clippers snuck ahead 32-31.

In the third quarter, Paige Schultz started heating up from the outside, hitting a pair of triples. Later, Mallory Uskiw drove the lane and found the basket off the glass. Eventually, Briercrest College gained some momentum and held a 10 point lead (61-51).

The Queens worked hard in the fourth and forced the Clippers to foul or give up a quality opportunity. Katie Ballhorn and Harneet Sidhu capitalized on their chances at the free-throw line. Despite the Queens outscoring the Clippers 18-16 in the quarter, the clock ran out and Briercrest College picked up a 77-69 win.

"There were a few too many dips in technical basketball, so things like boxing out and finishing at the rim," says Ken King, Queens Head Coach. "I thought that our energy and effort was high for the majority of the game but the technical stuff is really what hurt us in key moments."

Sandra Garcia-Bernal was selected as the Queens Player-of-the-Game, totaling 9 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Garcia-Bernal played with energy, providing her team with a spark down the stretch. Adriana Beck received the honour for the Clippers, contributing 29 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds.

"Sandra exhibited her toughness, getting cut in the mouth and she went off for some of the first half. She came back and contributed 13 rebounds, as probably the second smallest person on the floor," says King. "We go with her. When she's flowing and scoring, rebounding and getting steals, it makes it easy for the other girls to follow that energy."

The Queens have seen an aspect of their training transfer to competition. "We've been seeing some of the fruits of competing against bigger defenders in practice, where we are finishing with contact but unfortunately there a few still struggling with it," says King. "But some of those players are contributing in other ways – on defence, on the glass and passing the ball well, but they also have to put the ball in the hoop. So cleaning that up will be key."

Harneet Sidhu picked up 16 points and 9 rebounds. Paige Schultz had 16 points and went 4-for-9 from behind the three-point arc. Lauren Cardinal scored 11 points and Mallory Uskiw finished with 8.

The RDC Queens were the stronger team on the boards (63-56).

On Friday, November 9, the RDC Queens will compete against the SAIT Trojans in Calgary at 6:00 p.m.