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Top ranked Rustlers doing what it takes

Top ranked Rustlers doing what it takes

Posted in By Colin

By Robb Fenton
It would be pretty tough to pick out an aspect of the Lakeland Rustlers men’s basketball game that needs work.
The team is a perfect 6-0, on top of their division, on top of the ACAC, they’re the highest scoring team in the league, but they still want to improve.
Rustlers guard Kevon Parchment said his team is thrilled to be doing this well, but there is still work to do.
“I would say we have to tighten up on our defence. It’s looking pretty good so far, but we could still get better on the defensive side,” Parchment said during his team’s bye week.
As the Rustlers prepare for the King’s Eagles this weekend, they won’t be relying on the past six games, but instead, they’ll be looking to dominate even more and continue their hot start to the season.
Parchment said the fact the team has been together since August has proven to be a big advantage when it comes to game.
“Definitely it was our chemistry. We’ve been able to pull together and we’re really getting a sense of each other’s spots and tendencies,” he said.
Second year guard Adrian Curtis agreed with Parchment and said the ability of the team to play as a unit has been a big positive and has given them a lot of confidence.
“We’ve been together for a while now and I think we’re really gelling. Our team chemistry is really coming along now. We got rolling on those teams and it’s hard to stop a train when it’s moving,” Curtis said of the first six wins this season.
With the team’s speed, athleticism and overall determination, it’s easy to see why they’re 6-0.
But Curtis said he’s seen a bit of an evolution in his team over the past few weeks.
“We get open shots, not we’re hitting our open shots. It’s a lot easier to put some points up. We’re penetrating and dishing it, so the open shots are always going to be there,” Curtis said, adding they weren’t hitting them as much earlier in the year.
The big difference between the Rustlers and anyone they’ve played this season, is their strong finishes to games.
While the opposition might keep it close through three quarters, the Rustlers run away with the game in the final 10 minutes.
“This team is a lot faster, we run harder. You see in the fourth quarter, the teams we’ve played, they’re done and we almost feel like the game just started. It feels like we could go forever,” Curtis said.
The Rustlers are the top ranked team in the country and they are very proud of that fact, but they all have a bigger goal in mind and that’s being ranked No. 1at the end of the season, at the end of the ACAC playoffs and at the end of nationals, where they’re looking to hang a CCAA banner from Lakeland gym.
“It feels good. It’s the opposite of last year, last year we were number two looking to get number one, but this year we are number one already, so we’re going to try to hold it as long as we can,” Curtis said.
“Starting out, we worked hard and we knew with all our efforts it would pay off,” Parchment added.
Despite a perfect start and playing some very good basketball, both Curtis and Parchment said they know their work isn’t done and they have to continue to improve every time they hit the court, in practices or games.
“We have to stay hard at practice. We have to bring it at practice hard and prepare like we would for any other weekend so we don’t lose any steam,” Curtis explained.
The Rustlers will battle King’s University College this weekend, with the teams in Edmonton Friday and returning home to Lakeland Gym Saturday night for an 8 p.m. game time.
“We have to keep going hard and pushing each other in practice. Practice is key and we just have to go hard everyday,” Parchment said.
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