The Olds College Broncos men's basketball team lost 99-77 to the Medicine Hat College Rattlers in the Make Some Noise for Mental Health Game Friday, Feb. 7 at the Ralph Klein Centre.
It seemed apparent within the first few plays that defense was going to win this game. The Broncos played a zone defense with two aggressive guards at the top which looked to transition if possible. The points the Rattlers were looking for early on were inside but with everyone collapsing on the inside plays it was going to be tough to rely on this and which led to a few turnovers earlier on when the ball was being forced when the space wasn't there. The Broncos also looked to press just before half earlier on when possible which would be successful against the Rattlers break. The Rattlers ultimately got most of the few points they would get from free throws. Halfway through the first period of play the Broncos had a solid 11-4 lead. The Rattlers began to chip away at the deficit until the teams were even. Their offensive aggressiveness was key with number 23 sinking a few key mid-range shots and their big men grabbing many important boards on both sides of the court. The most notable plays of the quarter was Landon Parrington's dominant block with two minutes left just after Bailey Walz and him started to lead the Broncos back into the lead later on in the period, and number 4's buzzer beater three-pointer for the Rattlers to make the score 20-17 going into the 2nd quarter.
The Rattler's were starting to gain success from taking the ball inside and forcing the Broncos to foul or make a tough defensive play. This is where the game started to take an aggressive turn in general with without fouls from both sides. The Broncos were down 29-19, minutes into the quarter when they started to find their rhythm defensively, and were creating problems for the Rattler's defense but sometimes failing to convert. Landon Parrington was starting to help the Broncos offensively getting half the Broncos points halfway through the quarter and grabbing many boards in close to help make these baskets possible before being subbed out. Neither team giving up anything easy but not changing the Rattler's lead of nine either. The Rattlers were doing a great job of moving the ball around the 2-3 zone but not being able to find very many easy passes inside thus resorting to most of their points coming from half open mid-to-long-range shots. The Broncos were having their most success with moving the ball down the floor quickly and keeping up the aggressive fast play with their passes and cuts into space to look for the highest conversion rate possible through the middle. Ben Nelson was giving the Broncos the X-factor they needed on the wings by making the defense respect his perimeter game and often looking to move and pass inside as well as creating baskets on the inside through fast break and inside passes to the open man. With the seconds dying down Muktar Mohamed forced Medicine Hat to take their 5th foul of the quarter and converted his free throws to keep the game within reach at 42-35.
Throughout the second half the points went back and forth with Medicine Hat getting the most of them. five minutes into the 3rd quarter Medicine Hat had extended their lead to 20 and were still pushing hard. It was beginning to be clear that it would be tough to have the same amount of success as the first half without their starting center Alec Hillman. Medicine Hat just had that much more room to work in the middle and three on Medicine Hat was forcing many of his defenders out of position with his on ball movements creating space for him to take it in or to dish it to one of his teammates late. Another quarter with bonus as the Broncos earned five with a few minutes left and the Rattlers not far behind with three but eventually ended the quarter in bonus as well. The Broncos continued to fight however but resorting mostly to individual efforts to get inside for the layup.
The Broncos would need something special to earn back the lead, but they were starting off really well with strong aggressive defense and looking for unselfish distribution until someone was open enough for the shot. The game went back and forth with the Broncos going on a couple scoring runs but the Rattlers eventually answering enough to keep the lead to 20. Landon Parrington and Muktar Mohamed were leading the offense combining for 40 points with 5 minutes left in the fourth. With 4 minutes left the Broncos were still in the game only down by 14 and putting on the lineup to have the best chance at taking the game from the Rattlers as well as forcing them into bonus. The five on the floor started hustling more than anyone had most of the game from looking to press to transitioning defensively after turnovers. With just under three minutes left the Broncos called a timeout with a score of 90-72 for the Rattlers. The final score was 99-77.
The Player of the Game for the Rattlers was Josh Magpantay with a game high 11 assists, eight points, seven rebounds and six steals. Your Broncos Pit Barbeque Player of the Game with 14 points, a game high 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals.
The Broncos led the game in in blocks 4-2, while Medicine Hat held the edge in rebounds 40-36, assists 22-18 and steals 23-9. Game leaders for the Broncos were Muktar Mohamed with 22 points and Landon Parrington with a game high two blocks.
The Broncos host Medicine Hat College again Saturday, February 8 at 1:00 pm for Make Some Noise for Mental Health weekend.