Lighting Strike Down Broncos to take Bronze

Recap provided by ACAC Championship website

The Bronze medal game took place between the Olds College Broncos and the St. Mary's University Lightning. The 8-man Lightning bench was even shorter after losing All-Star Emily Wagner to a concussion. The Broncos came in after a tough loss the night before hoping to end the season on a positive. The Game started with a quick miss from both sides before the Broncos scored on second chance points. The Lightning tried to respond quickly but missed two layups before finally having one fall tying it at two. StMU got to the line and quickly took the lead. From here the Lightning stalled staying at four for over three minutes and the Broncos scoring two quick baskets and going up 8-4. The Lightning found their usual groove and scored a quick five points, but the Broncos were able to stay out in front with some scoring by committee. The Lightning stuck late with a fast break to bring the score within two, but the Broncos responded getting to the line and making both restoring a four point lead at the break. Olds held a small 15-11 advantage as the teams retreated to the benches.

The second started with the Lightning scoring two quick baskets to level the score at 15 before Olds could respond. The Broncos quickly took the lead but again the Lightning tied the game quickly. Olds guard Dani Earl hit a three and pulled the Broncos back out in front. They quickly followed this up with an inside basket to go back up five as four minutes ran off the clock. StMU took a timeout and came out of the break to get a single on a trip to the line. The Broncos again started to pull away with some inside play from Brittney Thibeaux scoring her 16th to put Olds up 10. The Lightning responded but the Broncos came right down the floor and finished off a three point play to go up 11. The Lightning were missing Wagner's scoring touch, but the rest of the team was battling hard staying within striking distance. The Broncos were up 31-24 with 2:26 on the clock taking a timeout. The rest of the quarter went without incident as the Broncos maintained their lead 35-29 heading into the dressing room.

The second half started with the Lightning coming up with a quick steal and score to reduce the deficit to four. Another stop and a great shot from Helton, the Lightning found themselves within two. The Broncos only found the basket once in the opening 2:30 and the score read 37-35 Broncos ahead. StMU got back to the line and tied the game at 37 turning up the intensity in the gym. The Lightning went on two fast breaks scoring four quick points and taking the lead, 41-37 forcing the Broncos to burn a timeout. The Lightning were able to pull ahead hitting a high percentage of shots and getting second chance points. They moved ahead 48-39 as the clock read 2:00. Hannah Helton drove in and made a nice reverse layup putting the Lightning up 11 and their biggest lead of the game. Olds was able to come back down the court and get to the line twice in a row coming away with four points on the series. Now 44-50 the Lightning earned some fourth chance points going up 52-44 where the quarter ended setting up a tight 4th.

The Lightning were able to extend their lead early in the quarter moving the ball and playing their fast-paced brand of basketball. In the first 2:30 they went on a 6-0 run making the score 58-44. Olds continued to struggle to shoot, only scoring once right at the end of three minutes. The Broncos started to heat up after generating some momentum, quickly reducing the Lightning lead to seven, 58-51. The Lightning came back scoring more fast break points. The Lightning remained ahead, increasing their lead to 11 as the clock read four minutes left. The Broncos quickly scored on their next possession making the score 55-64. An Olds defensive stop and a quick two points saw the Broncos again narrow the margin. Finally the Lightning could respond hitting two staying in the lead by nine. With 99 second left in the game, the Lightning took a timeout out 66-57 in an effort to preserve their late lead.  The Lightning were able to score a quick basket and extend the lead. A defensive stop and another trip to the line added to the Lightning advantage. With the seconds ticking off the clock the Lightning held on for a 71- 57 win.

The ACAC players of the game were Brittney Thibeaux with 24 points and Hannah Helton with 17 of her own.

The ACAC Conference Champion all-stars were Brittney Thibeaux for Olds, Hannah Helton and Juhee Anderson for St. Mary's.

To learn more about Olds College, the Olds College Broncos and the basketball teams go to gobroncos.ca; like the Facebook page and follow @OldsBroncos on Twitter and Instagram.