Basketball: Kings cock-a-hoop as they brush aside loss of key players to defeat St Mirren

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Understrength Edinburgh 
Kings kept their season’s 
unbeaten record and took a 
significant step towards their 
retaining their Scottish Basketball League title when they beat St Mirren 79-65 in Paisley.

By contrast Capital rivals Boroughmuir Blaze, short of as many as eight players, plunged to an 87-80 defeat at 
Dunfermline Reign. With 
holders St Mirren also their 
opponents at Portobello on 
Saturday when they meet in the first round of the Scottish Cup, Kings gave themselves a 
considerable morale-boost.

Not only were they without centre Simon Flockhart, they also had to do without Audrius Ciapas, Tony Hogg and Pete Lyons and coach Doug Reilly claimed his side was seriously “undersized” with a starting five of his sons Craig and Lee Reilly, Paddy Campbell, 
Garreth Lodge and Ed Rekis.

Yet at half-time Kings led 
36-33 thanks to “great fight and determination in defence,” said the coach.

Reilly saved his main praise for cadet coach Steven Dickson and Jamie Malcolm, a former Kings junior who has been in the USA on an exchange programme. “Steven and Jamie did a great job,” said Reilly. With Lodge back in the team after a year’s absence and making several steals, Kings broke the game open with an 11-0 run in the third to take it 28-11 and lead 64-44.

Edinburgh Kool Kats had no league games at the weekend but travelled to Manchester to play Manchester Mystics and Bury, losing 74-51 to Mystics on Saturday and beating Bury 85-44 yesterday.

“They were two good games and it was a very worthwhile trip,” said coach Ben Gunn.

Polonia Phoenix won two of their three home games against Tayside Musketeers at the Crags SC.

They dominating the Muskies 85-36 in the senior game in which four Edinburgh University freshers featured, notably Claire Paxton, who scored 21 points and took 11 rebounds in an athletic display, and Hilary Wood, who scored 14 points and looks fully recovered from the ankle injury which bedevilled 
her progress last season.

Katie Brown, who has joined Phoenix from Perth Phoenix and Beth Mackie, who has come from St Mirren, both look useful acquisitions for the students as well.

Julie Ritchie added 13 points and 14 rebounds for Polonia, Edinburgh University stalwart Ali Mitchell added 11 points 
and 11 rebounds, and Lynsey Campbell struck ten points.