Edinburgh basketball to the four in Scottish Cup

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It was doubles all round as four out of the six trophies came back to the Capital after the weekend’s Scottish Basketball Cup Finals at the Lagoon Sports Centre in Paisley.

Edinburgh Kings and Kool Kats both triumphed in the senior finals, while Boroughmuir Blaze, victorious in both cadet and junior men’s finals, enjoyed their first national cup success since the seniors took the last of their trophies in 1976 and their first double since 1968, a year they won both senior and junior cups.

St Mirren kept the other two trophies in Paisley.

Kings men won the senior cup for the seventh time with an 81-62 win over first-time finalists Glasgow University in a game which died after half-time as the city side tightened their defence. The students certainly made an early fight of it and led 21-17 after the first quarter, with Calum Nicol hitting 11 points against his old club, but he was able to add only five more as the West challenge faded.

Kings took the second quarter 25-9, were 42-30 up at half-time and 61-41 ahead and cruising after the third.

“I didn’t expect us to start as slowly as we did, but did expect the University to come at us and all credit to them,” said coach Doug Reilly, who thus added a first senior medal to his successes with the Kings cadets and juniors.

Kats beat Tayside Musketeers 77-62 in one of the more entertaining finals of the weekend, enlivened by a 30-point, 15-rebound contribution from the Muskies’ Most Valuable Player (MVP) Yana Van Wees and marred by injuries to Kats’ Leanne Page, who had to have five stitches in a head wound, and Sarah O’Brien.

“We should have won by more,” said coach Ben Gunn, who used all 12 players and often subbed five for five.

Junior centre Hannah Peacock top-scored with 19, closely followed by Lauren Walker with 18

Peacock had scored 27 and taken 15 rebounds against St Mirren to no avail in the junior women’s final, Saints winning 72-46.

Boroughmuir Blaze were always on top in the cadet men’s final on Saturday, leading 39-25 at half-time and 62-41 after the third in an error-strewn game in which there were 69 turnovers.

Sam Stott, also named MVP, top-scored with 23, Tom Skinner added 19, Brendan Mullan 18 and Alan MacDonald ten.

Blaze then provided the biggest upset of the weekend when they deservedly beat junior favourites Tayside Musketeers 63-51, leading 13-0 after the first five minutes and 31-20 at half-time.

Though Tayside actually came back to lead 46-45 at the start of the fourth, Blaze showed remarkable maturity against the previously unbeaten national league leaders and controlled the final five minutes.