To say it was a weekend of success for the Briercrest College Clippers in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference action this past weekend would be a bit of an understatement.
With both basketball and volleyball teams in action against the Medicine Hat Rattlers, Clippers teams would win five of six games, including sweeps in both men’s and women’s volleyball.
But the biggest win of the weekend came on Friday night at Margaret P. Reimer gymnasium in Caronport, as the Clippers battled to an 87-86 victory over the Rattlers in front of a raucous crowd.
The win was as dramatic as they come, too, as the Clippers trailed 69-57 heading into the final quarter and looked to be on their way to another tough loss. Instead, what they got was a comeback for the ages.
The Clippers would outscore Medicine Hat 30-16 over the final 10 minutes, with a Brolin Simes shot pulling Briercrest within three with 30 seconds to play and Riley Seaborn making a free throw seconds later to pull his crew within two.
That all set the stage for Vanier grad Danny Mullens to come up with the biggest shot of the game, getting the ball after a Medicine Hat turnover with eight seconds to play and draining a three-pointer to give Briercrest the one-point win.
Mullen capped his night with 11 points, including three three-pointers, to go along with 11 rebounds.
Fellow Moose Jaw product Seaborn had 14 points, 10 of those coming in the fourth quarter as the Clippers staged their rally. Central grad and Clippers rookie Kaedyn Banilevic enjoyed his best game of the season with 11 points, while Briercrest’s balanced attack saw Matthew Bryant finish with 15 points and Oroma Bongomin adding another 14.
Things didn’t go as well on Saturday afternoon, as the Clippers took a 59-58 lead into the fourth quarter but would fall 87-76.
Seaborn had a stellar contest with 25 points and 12 rebounds, while Bryant scored 20, Bongomin 15 and Simes 12.
Cooper Ward led Medicine Hat with a 40-point outing and 13 rebounds.
The Clippers are now 2-12 on the season and in seventh place in the ACAC South Division.
The Clippers women’s basketball team picked up a pair of wins over the Rattlers, winning 85-40 on Friday and holding on for a 65-63 win on Saturday.
Briercrest roared out to a 42-21 lead at halftime in the opening contest and never looked back. Six Clippers hit double digits in scoring on the night, including their entire starting five -- Amber Fichtner put up 17 points, Melissa Ellis 14 and Sydney Latrace 12 to go along with 10 each from Brooklyn Martens, Dori Sunderland and Maddison Beattie.
Moose Jaw product Nylah Seaborn led the Rattlers with nine points.
Things were far closer on Saturday, as Medicine Hat scored 12 points over the final 2:14 before the Clippers secured the win.
Fichtner had 24 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Clippers, Beattie added 14.
Seaborn had four points for the Rattlers.
Briercrest is now 7-7 on the season and sits tied for fifth, two points out of third, in the parity-filled ACAC South Division.
The Clippers men’s volleyball team didn’t have a lot of difficulty in their two matches in Medicine Hat, winning 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-18) Friday and 3-1 (25-23, 25-19, 22-25, 25-19) Saturday.
Both contests featured Clippers milestones, first with head coach Nigel Mullan recording his 200th career victory in the opening win. Karym Coleman -- more on him later -- led the Clippers with 19 kills, while Davis Borden and Jeremy Martens each had seven digs to lead the defence.
One day later, it was Coleman’s turn to hit a major milestone, recording his 1,000 career ACAC kill in the four-set win. The 6-foot-5 fourth-year veteran out of Belize hit the mark early in the fourth set and would finish with 20 kills on the afternoon. Borden added 14 kills and Jackson Anderson 11. Brady Wachtel had 10 digs, and Coleman was also solid defensively with nine digs of his own. Martens had a stellar game setting everyone up, with the veteran setter finishing with 51 assists.
The Clippers improved to 8-5 and sit in third place in the South Division.
The Briecrest women’s volleyball team had a similar level of success against the Rattlers, winning 3-1 (25-18, 23-25, 25-16, 26-24) Friday and taking a 3-0 (25-12, 25-19, 25-15) win in the rematch.
Faith Buhler had 13 kills and Rachel Stead 11 to lead the offence Friday, while Jess Zacharias had 41 kills to go along with 10 digs. Peacock grad Summer Okerstrom had three kills and two digs.
Kelsey Simes was the top offensive player Saturday with 10 kills, while Jaryn Janzen led the defence with six digs. Okerstrom picked up four kills.
The Clippers are now 6-7 and fifth in the South Division, two points out of second.
All five Briercrest teams are in action during the Jan. 27-28 weekend, with men’s and womens basketball at Old’s College, men’s and women’s volleyball hosting Old’s College and men’s hockey at University of Alberta Augustana.