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Rustlers look sharp in pre-season action

Rustlers look sharp in pre-season action

Posted in By Colin
 
The Lady Rustlers went a perfect 4-0 during exhibition action this past weekend at Lakeland Gym. They’re in Calgary later this month for more pre-season games. - Robb Fenton Photo
 
 
By Robb Fenton
With four exhibition games jammed in between Friday night and Saturday afternoon, the Lakeland Rustlers women’s basketball team was very busy this past weekend, but they didn’t let their heavy workload stop them from impressing head coach Chris King.
The Rustlers welcomed the St. Mary’s University Lightning and the Olds Broncos to town for a two-day exhibition tournament and came away with four convincing wins and while that wasn’t the main goal of the weekend, it didn’t hurt.
“Offensively I’m very happy, we have a gifted group here. We have lots of girls who can shoot the ball and lots who can put it on the floor. I think for the most part our scoring can come from anywhere, we’re a pretty deep team,” King said of the weekend. “I think every girl this weekend scored at some point or gave us some scoring, so I think that’s something where we suffered last year, creating our own shots, but I think this year we  have that ability.”
The Rustlers lowest scoring game came in their first matchup Saturday when they scored 67 against St. Mary’s, but aside from that game, they put up at least 74.
The Rustlers kicked off the weekend with a 86-19 win over the Lightning and a 74-33 win over Olds.
Saturday, they topped the Lightning 67-26 and then finished the games off with a 77-58 win over the Broncos.
King said he wasn’t looking at the scoreboard very much, but was more focused with what his team was doing on the court and how they were running the systems.
“I’m pretty happy. This early in the season we’re basically just working on our man-to-man defence and man-to-man offence, but for the girls to play four games in 24 hours, it’s a lot of basketball and very physical games, so I’m very pleased with what we saw,” he said following the fourth game of the weekend. “We saw a lot of junk this weekend which we haven’t prepared for at all and we still looked pretty decent against it, so I was happy with what I saw and the girls worked hard in every game and that’s all you can ask for really.”
Both the Broncos and Lightning are in the Alberta Colleges Athletic League, which consists of eight teams.
King said other than the second half of the fourth game, where his team seemed to tire and run out of gas, their play on both sides of the ball was very impressive.
“I think the biggest thing to key (in)on is the ball movement that we have is really positive. Defensively, except for the last half was great all weekend. I think boxing out is a big focus for us, but there’s little things we can work on,” King said. “We saw a lot of good things this weekend in spurts, but our boxing out and rebounding will be something we’re going to focus on.”
Other than practice, this was the Rustlers first chance to really hit the court as a team and work together against different opposition.
“I think our team chemistry at this point is very good. Obviously having eight returnees who have played with each other and the new girls are in the mix,” King said. “That’s a big key for us, that our scoring can come from anywhere, we don’t have to rely on one or two girls. We know we can get good shots when we need them. Offensively, I’m pretty happy right now and it’ll get better once we’re used to our structure which is really exciting.”
The Rustlers are in Calgary near the end of the month for exhibition action against some of the top ACAC teams.
“We’ll get to face Red Deer, SAIT and Mount Royal who is the top team in the ACAC, so that will be a good test for us,” King said.
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