Blaze and Kings impress to remain in the chase for title

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Both Boroughmuir Blaze and Edinburgh Kings were short of key players for their stern Scottish League basketball tests at the weekend but still won to stay in the title race.

Blaze emerged the more satisfied with their 85-77 home win over St Mirren at the Crags SC.

“We’re delighted to have beaten such a good team. It’s a credit to our whole squad with Ronan Mullan, Sean Cole and Simon Ferriman stepping up and making a great contribution,” said Blaze coach Simon Turner.

Without Tomas Cicenas and Sam Stott, two of their top scorers this season, Blaze started poorly and were 12-2 down at the start and 20-13 after the first quarter with Fergus Harte (18) hitting two early threes for the visitors.

But then Blaze stepped up a gear with captain Eoghann Dover, John Browne and Jordan Green catching the eye as they took the second quarter 26-10.

Still they went on with Ronan Mullan hitting two threes as they took the third 22-12.

Just when it seemed they would turn round the 13-point deficit from their first league clash in Paisley, Blaze faltered and allowed Saints to take the last quarter 35-29. Browne finished with an excellent 27 including three threes while Dover had 18 including two threes, Mullan 12 and Green 11. Chris Barron led Saints with 14.

Kings beat Edinburgh University 62-60 at the Pleasance with a disputed basket which was awarded despite being clearly shown to have missed on the match video.

Kings coach Craig Nicol was kicking himself for running his bench too early after a dominant first quarter.

Centre Ali MacKay scored the decisive two free throws for victory but Calum Nicol top-scored with 16, Garreth Lodge adding 13.

Caledonia Pride got off to a splendid start leading 8-2 against Manchester Mystics in their WBBL Trophy game at Oriam.

And they staged a spirited finale, after going well behind in the third quarter, to narrow the gap to 48-53 with two minutes remaining, just missing a three which would have shaken the Mystics.

But in the end they went down 59-50.

Tricia Oakes had a fine double double with 16 points and 13 rebounds, well supported by Natalie Bastian with 11, and Hannah Peacock and Sarah Thomson both with nine, Peacock adding eight rebounds and Thomson seven.

Edinburgh Kool Kats dominated throughout in their 65-37 win over Edinburgh Uni in the Scottish women’s league, American Dori Lansbach making her comeback for EU after quitting her club spot in Barcelona.

Boroughmuir Blaze women found St Mirren too sharp, going down 78-57 at the Crags.