Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorn Athletics
Lethbridge – Setting a high tempo from the opening tip until the final buzzer, the Lethbridge Pronghorns completed a season opening sweep of the Brandon Bobcats with a 100-89 victory.
Once again, Oakland, California product Dejon Burdeaux led the way for the Pronghorns, leading all scorers with 27 points, while adding eight steals, six assists and five rebounds. The trio of Kyle Peterson, Saren Westrop and Zack Overwater each had 17 points in the win. Westrop also had 11 boards to record his first career Canada West double-double.
Jonathan Range led the Bobcats with 18 points, while Tyvon Cooper chipped in with 13 points and Steven Chieng added 12 points. John Paul recorded a double-double with 10 points and 17 rebounds.
"We played with better defensive energy tonight," said head coach Mike Hansen. "Our bigs really protected the rim which allowed our guards to get up and pressure the way we want."
"Dejon and Kyle controlled the game from end to end."
After a sloppy season opener Friday night both teams found their rhythm early, leading to a track meet in the opening half. In the opening quarter, the two teams combined for 54 points, leaving the Pronghorns with a 30-24 advantage.
The Bobcats responded to start the second with a 15 to 4 run to take a lead but the back-and forth action continued for the rest of the quarter with neither team separating themselves from the other by more than four points. A Awak Piom three late in the half gave the Pronghorns a 51-48 lead at the break
In the opening half, the Pronghorns shot the ball at 54.1%, while the Bobcats hit on 45.5% but were 7 for 13 from long range.
Piom and Dejon Burdeaux each had 12 points in the half, as did Bobcat Jonathan Range to lead their respective teams.
Following a slow start in the third by both teams, the Pronghorns exploded 34 points, while the Bobcats couldn't keep up the torrid pace, only putting up 16 points, then finding themselves down 21 points with 10 minutes to play.
In the quarter, the Pronghorns shot an amazing 61.9% from the field, while the Bobcats only hit 5 of 16 shots in the quarter.
Facing foul trouble in the final quarter, the Pronghorns had to platoon players in and out. Early in the quarter, the Pronghorns had three players with four fouls and two others sitting with three.
Taking advantage of the Pronghorns rotation, the Bobcats cut into the gap in the fourth be never truly threatened the Pronghorn lead.
Shooting the ball well all night, the Pronghorns finished the night hitting on 49.4%, while the Bobcats finished at 41.8%, including 12 threes that kept them in the game early. Turnovers plagued the Bobcats in the second half and finished the night with 25 compared to the Pronghorns 14.
The Pronghorns will head out on the road next weekend, traveling to Edmonton to face the MacEwan Griffins. Next up for the Bobcats is a home date with the Victoria Vikes.