At no point would you have put money on them but, however unlikely it seemed when they were 8-0 down after six minutes and 40-33 down with three minutes to go, Polonia Phoenix somehow managed to pip Edinburgh Kool Kats 41-40 at the Crags Sports Centre yesterday to keep their unbeaten record at the top of the Scottish Women’s Basketball League.
It may not have been pretty but it was a performance full of character from the home side, particularly from Ali Mitchell, who scored the last seven points, and it may still have a big bearing on the destination of the title.
Kats will still be wondering how they managed to lose a game they so dominated at the start, although their shooting left a lot to be desired.
Not that Phoenix were that much better, with no player from either side in double figures.
“It was all too frantic,” said Polonia coach Stewart Harris. “But it was an important win.” Kats took the first quarter 14-6 and Polonia the second by the same margin for a 20-20 half-time score.
Polonia then edged the third 9-8 but when Emma Findlay hit a rare three to put Kats 38-33 up with five minutes left, it seemed the game had slipped away from the home side.
But Phoenix rallied, with Mitchell exploiting some space in the middle of the Kats’ defence and they came roaring back in the nick of time.
Apart from Mitchell, veteran Les Jackson took some superb boards for Polonia, for whom Beth Mackie and Claire Paxton also scored seven apiece.
The big shock in the Scottish men’s league was the 81-29 demolition of Troon Tornadoes by Boroughmuir Blaze at Stewarton Sports Centre on Saturday. Troon were without point guards Euan Campbell and Dade Thomas, but Blaze, who took all four quarters decisively – 28-9, 13-5, 26-10, 14-5 – could point to at least six absentees.
Their top scorers were Tomas Cicenas with 20, Davy Rowan with 18, Eric Van Watt with 13 and John Brown with 10.
Edinburgh Kings easily beat Glasgow Storm 85-52 helped by 26 points from Ed Rekis, 19 from Lee Reilly, 15 from Simon Flockhart and eight each from Stephen Dickson and Craig Reilly. Dickson had earlier coached Kings cadets to a 61-55 win over Glasgow Rens, the highlight of which was Findlay Wood’s 34 points.