The Lakeland Rustlers women’s basketball team will be representing the Alberta colleges at this year’s national championships.
The Rustlers took home the gold medal at the ACAC Championships on March 7.
“It’s the first gold medal for any basketball team at Lakeland and we’ve never been to nationals before so it’s a new experience for us,” Coach Chris King says.
It’s a both a big moment for the team and King as well who has been coaching the team for the past 12 years.
“It’s been a long hike to get here and get to our first national championship. We’ve been knocking on the door for the past few years. I mentioned to the girls that I got to play in that ACAC final 15 years ago and this is the first time I’ve been back.”
The Rustlers faced their division rivals Keyano College Huskies in the finals. They were able to walk away with the win with a score of 64-50.
“There’s a lot of respect between the two teams and if you look at our season we’ve played four games with each team winning two games a piece and no games was [won by] more than 8 points.”
The Rustlers are keeping a light schedule coming off their ACAC Championship win and will be scouting the Capilano University Blues, their first opponents in the CCAA tournament. King says they’ve had a solid team this past few years and will soon be losing one member, Brianne Hergott, after the championship. However, he does think they have a good chance of replicating their success next season as they will have nine players returning.
“The hope would be that we are in the same situation next year. You need a little bit of luck at the championships and to be healthy but next year’s team should have a good shot at making the ACAC final.”
The CCAA Championship will be hosted in Nanaimo, B.C. at Vancouver Island University from March 18 to 21.