Defence hailed as ruthless Kings put out Blaze

Simon Flockhart. Picture: Bill Henry

Simon Flockhart. Picture: Bill Henry

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A RUTHLESS first-half defensive display by Edinburgh Kings and a breakout second-half shooting display by Simon Flockhart, who had 24 points, ensured there would be no Scottish Basketball Cup glory for Boroughmuir Blaze this season.

And there was no fairy-tale ending for Edinburgh University men who, without four players, went down 66-50 to St Mirren in Paisley.

Kings cruised into the last four with a 64-39 win over Blaze at Portobello High, leading 15-2 after the first quarter and 27-10 at half-time. and will now face St Mirren at the Lagoon Centre on Friday, December 20 for a place in the final, while Falkirk Fury will be away to Glasgow Rocks.

“I said to them beforehand that we’d win this by good defence and so it proved,” said Kings coach Doug Reilly.

With Blaze unable to get any good looks at the basket, not one of their players reached double figures, though they at least made the final score a little more respectable in the second half.

A game which never looked like reaching any great heights was not helped by an unfortunate injury when Blaze centre Rob Jansson lay on the floor for several minutes near the end of the first half before being helped to the side with what was later diagnosed as a badly torn rotator cuff.

Apart from Flockhart, Kings were also well served by their sometimes irascible Lithuanian Audrius Ciapas, who made two spectacular plays, a storming driving dunk and a block jammed on the back board as well as showing a deceptive soft shooting touch for 15 points.

Craig Reilly was next with nine points which was matched by Tomas Cicenas for Blaze.

Blaze coach Simon Turner praised the Kings: “They fully deserved their win. Their big players defended the basket very well but we learned a lot from the game and can use it to help us improve.”

On a brighter note for Blaze, they won the junior cup match 82-71. Both clubs’ cadet teams made the semi-finals, Blaze beating Glasgow City 88-80 away and Kings mauling Grampian Flyers 113-41 in Aberdeen.

Edinburgh Kool Kats beat St Mirren 62-43 in Paisley in the league helped by 14 points each from Tracey Phillips and Hannah Peacock and 11 from GB Olympian Rose Anderson.

Compared to their cup win over Saints when they had only six players, coach Ben Gunn could afford the luxury of subbing five players for five after taking the first quarter 19-6. “Rose is gradually getting fitter and sharper,” said Gunn.