Boroughmuir Blaze, Edinburgh Kings and Edinburgh University men are all through to the third round of basketball’s Scottish Cup but it was Blaze, away to Grampian league side Portlethen Panthers, who surprisingly had the toughest task before winning 89-70.
Veteran American entrepreneur Donald Sampley, who transferred from Ayrshire Tornadoes at the start of the season, stepped up with some deadly shooting – six threes in his 21-point tally – to fan the Blaze, who were without top guard Eoghann Dover.
Sam Stott had five threes in his 18 points, a total matched by Matt Kruczynski, but overall top scorer was ever reliable Tomas Cicenas with 23.
Panthers were level after the first quarter, 22-22, and just one behind at half-time, 42-43. But Blaze came alight in the final quarter which they took 21-11.
Edinburgh University also won away, beating Tayside Musketeers 65-45 at Broughty Ferry where they led 42-19 at half-time.
A brief revival by Muskies, who took the third quarter 21-8, was quickly countered by EU who were back in control with a 15-5 final 10 minutes. Rodrigo Colorado led EU with 16, Alex Steffen adding 15.
Kings won a stodgy tie against Glasgow University 52-44 at Holy Rood High where the home fans had little to cheer apart from a sprightly shooting spell from Simon Flockhart (11), though Ali MacKay led the scoring with 17.
Caledonia Pride showed improvement in their away WBBL game to Manchester Mystics, who had beaten them previously in the Cup. Pride led after the first quarter and were only seven down at half-time before losing 77-52.
Tricia Oakes again led their scoring with 13 points and added seven rebounds and a huge six blocks while former Muskie Hannah Robb scored 12 points, Natalie Bastian 10, and captain Robin Lewis nine points with five assists.
Polonia Phoenix had two important wins to move into fifth place in the Scottish Women’s League, coming from nine behind to beat Blaze 62-57 at the Crags and then from 10 down to beat Muskies 49-45 at Gracemount where Julie Ritchie scored 16.
EU women repelled Glasgow Rocks 70-61 at the Pleasance to stay second behind Kool Kats who had no game.