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Devils Lake Journal - Devils Lake, ND
  • More home games for LRSC men's, women's hoops

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  • LRSC basketball will enrtain yet another quartet of home games this weekend at the Devils Lake Sports Center with games scheduled to be played Saturday and Sunday evening.
    The men, who sustained their first loss of the season against No. 8 Iowa Western last Friday, have rebounded nicely with two consecutive wins since that game, and they'll be hoping to make it four after this weekend.
    The Lady Royals, who have yet to lose a game this year, also expect to come out the other side of this weekend still undefeated as they prepare to take on Jamestown JV and Fort Berthold, teams that LRSC has already handily beaten this season.
    It should be an entertaining weekend for Lake Region basketball fans as both teams attempt to continue the strong starts they've enjoyed so far in 2013-14.
    LRSC men's head coach Joe Kittell believes his team is ready to take the next step in their season, again alluding to "the process" that his players are expected to adjust to.
    According to Kittell, so far, so good, but he knows that the team's upcoming schedule will only become more challenging.
    "I think we're right on pace," Kittell said. "This weekend will be a good test for us, two home games, and we'll do what we have to do to survive.
    "We're moving into phase-two of our season. The games start getting harder, and then we move into the conference season, and the games start to matter just a little bit more. So, we're getting close to that second stage, but right now, we're gonna try and finish off stage one as well as we can."
    The Royals will take on Minot Air Force Base at 7 p.m. Saturday night at the Sports Center, and they'll back that up with another game the following evening, another home tilt against Cankdeska Cikana Community College.
    Cankdeska Cikana is currently riding a three-game winning streak and can seemingly score with any team. They've scored more than 100 points in a majority of their contests this season.
    The LRSC men have one injury concern in the form of freshman post Malik Durant-Haines, who sustained a sprained ankle in practice this week. Durant-Haines is expected to miss out on this weekend's games, but according to Kittell, should be back at practice on Monday. Durant-Haines is currently averaging 10.2 points per game along with averages of 5.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.
    On the women's side, the Lady Royals know that they have a great opportunity to come out the other end 8-0. They play Jamestown JV and Fort Berthold, teams that LRSC has already defeated this season by a combined 51 points.
    Head coach Duane Schwab knows that he'll have the more talented team for this weekend's action, but he knows that hard work will be required as well if they're to sweep their games.
    Page 2 of 2 - "If we play like we're capable of, we'll still be undefeated," Schwab said. "In every game, we have to improve in one facet. I think we've started OK, and it's gonna get tougher for us."
    Though the Lady Royals haven't lost yet this season, that isn't to say that the team has coasted in each of their games.
    Last weekend, against Northern State JV on Nov. 8, LRSC found themselves down by 11 with fewer than eight minutes to play. The Lady Royals rallied back in that game to win by 11, 68-57, which goes to show how good the team can be when firing on all cylinders, but the fact that they were down by so many is just as indicative of LRSC's need to stay focused throughout an entire 40 minute game, not just for the last eight.
    The team's 68 point output in that game was their lowest of the season so far, and Schwab knows that there will always be nights when shots don't fall for a team. However, according to him, good defending can always make up for a lack in offensive production.
    "Defense is what wins games," Schwab said. "There are nights that you're not going to be good offensively, but if you're hustling on defense and making things happen, you can make up for that."
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