Kings and Kats boost title hopes by defeating Fury

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Edinburgh Kings and Kats strengthened their basketball title tilts with nail-biting wins over Falkirk Fury in the Scottish League at Portobello HS.

For the second week in a row Paddy Campbell bagged a double dozen for Kings as they fought back from 21-7 down in the first quarter to inflict a 70-67 first defeat of the season on champions Fury.

Campbell scored 17 first-half points alone as Kings dragged the deficit back to 36-39 at half-time.

Ali Mackay probably had his best game since his return to the club, scoring 19 points and dominating the centre while Garreth Lodge had an impressive seven assists.

Craig Reilly added 12 points, including a vital three with just more than a minute remaining, and Calum Nicol 11.

What was the secret of the home success? “Defence,” insisted coach Craig Nicol.

Fury’s Austrian three-point ace Adam Hammerschmidt was contained to 16 points, Ross Gibson adding 14, Bryan Munnoch and Eddy Leginus 12 each and Greg Foussas 11.

Fury women confirmed their recent improvement by giving Kats a real fright, leading 34-26 at half-time before succumbing 66-58 after overtime.

It was a topsy-turvy game with Kats shading the first quarter 16-13, helped by two long-range threes from Emma Findlay, only for Fury to dominate the second 21-10, aided by the rebounding power of Laura Nimmo.

Back came Kats to take the third 23-7 only for Fury to regain control in the fourth and it was Nimmo who scored with under two seconds left to tie the scores 54-54.

But, with Fury captain Jennifer McLaren fouling out, Kats took the final five minutes 12-4 to maintain their unbeaten record.

Findlay scored 19, Leanne Paige 15, Annie Rowan 11 and Tracey Phillips 10 for Kats, and Nimmo 16 and Shannon Flippard 13 For Fury.

But the best individual performance of the season so far has come from Polonia veteran forward Julie Ritchie who scored 37 points in their 87-66 away win over St Mirren.