There was blood on the floor during both senior and junior men’s basketball derbies between Edinburgh Kings and Boroughmuir Blaze at Portobello High School at the weekend.
Two hard-fought physical battles produced toil and spoil aplenty with the Kings men turning up the intensity to emerge 84-65 winners of the senior clash and Blaze just holding on to take an error-strewn junior tussle 49-43.
The men’s game proved a triumph for Kings’ Lithuanian power forward Audrius Ciapas, who has had his problems with referees in the past but devoted all his energy in a positive direction to top-score with 22 points, the highlight of which was a spectacular dunk.
Kings’ usual mainstay “big man” Simon Flockhart was able to cruise through the game, scoring seven points.
Home coach Doug Reilly had one word for their success: “defence” and he pointed to Kings’ 11-0 run straight after half-time when they led 44-35 after a 23-24 first quarter. Reilly’s son Craig scored 18 points in one of his best games of the season though the visitors were not happy that his shoulder appeared to come in contact with the face of Blaze guard and former Kings junior Eoghan Dover, who made a hurried exit to seek first aid.
Kings’ Polish forward Matt Kruczynski scored 12 points and Garreth Lodge added 11.
Tomas Cicenas led Blaze with 17, Dover adding 13, but Scotland squad member John Browne failed to score while junior hot-shot Malcolm Winning was kept to eight.
With Glasgow University shocking St Mirren 99-65 at home the runners-up spot is wide open again with Kings and Saints on three defeats behind unbeaten Falkirk Fury who had Jonny Bunyan helping them in their 95-67 win over Glasgow Rocks
Hannah Peacock scored an outstanding 25 points as Edinburgh Kool Kats mauled Tayside Musketeers 102-44 at Portobello, Leanne Paige adding 19, Rose Anderson 13 and Emma Findlay 12.
Kats stayed unbeaten at the top of the junior women’s table, beating Tayside 65-41.