MEDICINE HAT, AB — It's a date the Medicine Hat College Rattlers have had circled on their calendar for a while.
Friday night marks the last bit of game action any Rattlers squad will play at the Snake Pit this semester.
Both the men's and women's basketball teams will be cast in the spotlight, hosting the St. Mary's University Lightning. Women's action kicks off at 6:00 p.m. followed by an 8:00 p.m. start time for the men's match.
Let's take a look at five members of the Rattlers who are sure to leave a lasting impression to wrap up regular season play.
1. Kendell Kuntz #5 (women's basketball)
The fifth-year guard for the women's team is eying up several milestones to close out her ACAC career. Kuntz needs to drop four buckets from beyond the arc to finish second in the ACAC's all-time list for most threes. That's not all — another seven steals would bump the business student into the ACAC's top 15 all-time. Expect head coach Clayton Nielsen to give Kuntz plenty of opportunities to reach both milestones in what's sure to be an emotional final game at the Snake Pit.
2. DeAngelo Ashley #22 (men's basketball)
Ashley, one of two men's players dressing for their final games at the Snake Pit, a master on both ends of the court. The California-native currently sits second in the ACAC with 21 blocks, and routinely throws up double-digits in points. Head coach Rich Humphrey noted he's excited to watch his graduating forward soak it all in for his final game, and he's sure to receive quite the ovation in honour of his college career.
3. Jaamel Slack #8 (men's basketball)
It wasn't an easy decision for Slack to leave his hometown of Victoria, B.C. five years ago to join the Rattlers. Today, he considers it one of the best decisions he's ever made. Slack is the second men's player entering the last game of their careers. After suiting up for the Rattlers in his first three seasons, Slack returned home to the west coast for his fourth year of play. While many would assume he'd wrap up his career in front of friends and family, Slack decided to spend his farewell tour with a Rattlers team he considers his second family. He's also working on a nine-game double-digit point streak.
4. Morgan Muir #8 (women's basketball)
Setting records at any level is never easy. Don't tell that to Morgan Muir. The fourth-year Aussie absolutely demolished the Rattlers single-season steals record with 91 and counting. This shatters the previous record of 60. Any further steals the child & youth care student accumulates will add to the record. Muir's 91 take-backs also tops the ACAC charts this season, 24 clear of Ambrose College's Caitlyn Hetrick.
5. Head coaches for both teams
Go ahead and say it, this is technically two members. A lot of the focus tonight is, of course, on the players. But there are also playoff implications on the line. Although the ladies have already booked their ticket to provincials next week, Nielsen will eagerly check the scores from around the league as the evening progresses. A win for the women's team would clinch top spot in the South, lining them up against the fourth-seed in the North to open provincials. A loss, combined with two wins for Olds College this weekend, would bump them into second place and create a more difficult opponent in provincials. Humphrey and company can clinch a playoff spot if Lethbridge College loses to Olds College on Friday, regardless of a Rattlers loss. They may also shed a few tears when their graduates are called to the front, so keep an eye out for that.
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