Scotland defeated England twice in men’s challenge games at Meadowbank at the weekend in the climax of the Summer Slam, a full weekend of international games at various age groups.
Beating England any time is an achievement and while the first victory – an astonishingly large 83-59 success – might have been put down to a fluke, the second, a 74-66 win yesterday, was much more impressive because England had certainly turned up to play.
Great Britain Olympian Kieran Achara was the best player on both days, intimidating the visitors whenever they dared entered “the paint” (the area round the basket).
In captain Gareth Murray (Glasgow Rocks), the former Falkirk Fury junior Ali Fraser, who has just completed three years at the University of Maine, and his former clubmate Jonny Bunyan, he found three able lieutenants, while Fraser Glass (St Mirren), the fifth member of the starting five, was a revelation at off-guard.
Scotland took an early 10-0 lead in the first game, were 28-9 up after the first quarter and 50-24 at half-time.
Fraser, working the “pick and roll” thanks to great service from Bunyan, top-scored with 24 points, Bunyan adding 20, Achara 11 and nine rebounds, Glass eight and Nic Collins eight, while Orlan Jackman replied with 27 for England.
In the second game, Scotland came from 20-24 down to lead 44-41 at half-time and 56-48 after the third. Bunyan led with 17, Achara added 14, ten rebounds and four massive blocks, Fraser 12 and ten rebounds, Murray 11 and ten rebounds and Glass ten.
A delighted coach Iain Bull Maclean said: “There’s a lot more to come – I’ll be really disappointed if we don’t go on and win Euro C next year.”
Scotland women’s “Futures” squad gave Austria two close games, going down 94-83 and 68-64 yesterday.