OLDS, AB – An early deficit was too much of an uphill battle for the Medicine Hat College Rattlers women’s basketball team in Olds, suffering their first loss of the 2018-19 season on Friday.
Medicine Hat mounted a furious comeback in the fourth quarter against the Olds College Broncos, but fell three points short in an 84-81 loss.
Olds’ Brittney Thibeaux dominated the opening quarter, posting 12 points on the Rattlers over the opening 10 minutes to put the Broncos comfortably ahead 27-14.
The Rattlers shot better in the second quarter with six of their field goal attempts dropping, led by five points each from Kendell Kuntz and Morgan Muir to cut the deficit to 40-30 at halftime.
Still chipping away at the Broncos lead, the Rattlers added another 21 points to their total in the third quarter but were still down by seven points heading to the fourth quarter.
Kuntz was a one-woman wrecking ball in the fourth with a trio of baskets from beyond the arc and 11 points in the quarter, but the comeback attempt fell just short to hand the Rattlers their first loss.
Katelyn Rozdeba was one rebound away from earning a double-double on the night, while Kuntz had a team-high 20 points in the defeat.
ACAC scoring leader Thibeaux continued her hot play out of the gate, going 12 for 18 from the field for 32 points to lead all players.
Now holding a record of 4-1 through five games, the Rattlers trail just the Broncos for first place in the South Division with eight points.
Fortunately for the Rattlers men’s basketball team, they had a much better result on Friday with a powerful 81-59 victory over the Broncos in the late game.
Medicine Hat struggled to hit their shots in the first quarter against Olds College, but were able to convert perfectly at the line with all eight of their free throws falling to head to the break tied 19-19.
Spreading out their offence in the second quarter, Medicine Hat got points from seven different players to see the Rattlers take the lead 39-35 at the half.
Rested after the break, the Rattlers came out in the third quarter firing with Jaamel Slack driving the offence to a 64-45 Medicine Hat lead thanks to his 10 points in the quarter.
The Rattlers tacked on another 17 points in the fourth quarter led by seven from veteran Jon Sappleton, rolling comfortably to an 81-59 win in Olds.
Slack, Sappleton, and DeAngelo Ashley all had 16 or more points on the night, with both Sappleton and Ashley picking up double-doubles on the boards.
Getting back in the win column, the Rattlers now hold the same 4-1 record as their female counterparts and sit third in the highly competitive South Division.
Medicine Hat’s month-long road trip keeps rolling on Saturday afternoon, with the Rattlers teams facing Red Deer College for the first time this season.
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