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Rustlers dominance continues

Rustlers dominance continues

Posted in By Colin

By Robb Fenton
Everyone in the ACAC is probably saying it’s not fair.
It’s not fair that the Lakeland Rustlers men’s basketball team can dominate the league and it’s not fair that even though they battled one of the traditionally best teams in the conference, the Rustlers walked away with two more wins.
The Rustlers embarrassed the Lethbridge Kodiaks Friday night, winning 119-60 and followed that up with a convincing 91-69 win over Mount Royal University, who has the second best record in the ACAC.
Rustlers head coach Peter Sambu said no game is easy, but his team is executing in all aspects of the game and the results speak for themselves.
“Friday night we got on a bit of a roll and got going and Saturday night we knew we had the number 10 ranked team in the nation coming here, they’re a very well-coached team, so I’m very happy with the turnout,” Sambu said. “Our guys played a full 40 minutes.”
Sambu said when his team plays as a unit and plays the systems, the game comes simple to them because they’re so talented and athletic.
That was the case in the two wins on the weekend, it was a total team effort and the Rustlers likely sent a message to the rest of the league, if not the country.
“They had a hard time matching our energy for the entire game. Our guys didn’t let up, we made some shots, we shared the ball and defended and rebounded. All the things we had in our plan,” Sambu said.
Friday, the Rustlers had six players hit double digits in scoring, with Kevon Parchment leading the way with 29.
The depth and balance of the Rustlers offence was definitely showcased in the opening game of the weekend.
Saturday, four players found their way to double digits, with Parchment putting up another 20 points and Njuguna Waiganjo leading the way with 21 points, his seventh straight game with at least 20 points.
Waiganjo only has two games where he hasn’t hit the 20-point mark and hasn’t scored fewer than 17 points this season.
Kadeem Willis had a strong game for the Rustlers Saturday, putting up 11 points and five rebounds.
He said his team’s preparation helped a lot in the success they had on the weekend.
“We had hard practices, did a lot of team building. We have our family, so we really got focused and knew that Mount Royal and Lethbridge were going to bring their ‘A’  game,” Willis said. “Like our coach said, we have everything to gain.”
Saturday’s game was a matchup of the two division leaders, so Willis said it was good to see where his team sits in terms of the entire league, not just the North Division.
And it’s safe to say, the Rustlers are at the top of the entire ACAC.
“They’re first in the South and we’re first in the North, so this was big for us. Coming out with the victory was even better. We were mentally prepared and physically ready,” Willis said. “Overall, they played a good game and we played a tremendous game too.”
Sambu said one of the things he wants to see improve – and it has – is his team’s play defensively.
Giving up just 60 points on Friday and 69 Saturday proved the team is heading in the right direction when they don’t have the ball.
“This weekend definitely. Our defensive challenges were better, our blockouts were better, all the things we’ve been harping at,” Sambu said. “All the things I told you I wasn’t so happy with in the first half, it’s beginning to mature and (is) getting better, so I’m excited.”
The Rustlers (12-0) will get back to work right away as they now shift their focus to Augustana (5-7) for a home-and-home this weekend.
The Rustlers are on the road Friday and return to Lakeland Gym Saturday night at 8 p.m.
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