Basketball: Blaze success in Glasgow lifts them off bottom rung

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After a dour, defensive struggle, Boroughmuir Blaze emerged to record only their second Scottish Basketball League win of the season in beating Glasgow University 56-52 at the Stevenson Building, Glasgow.

The success takes the Capital club off the bottom rung of the league table, above Glasgow Rocks, who have still to win, and Dunfermline Reign, who have won once but were thrashed 104-56 at home by champions Edinburgh Kings.

Blaze coach Simon Turner praised his team’s work rate. “We played solid defence throughout with Kevin Anderson top-scoring with 15 points.” Turner also picked out Edinburgh University student Ben Warrington for his “great rebounding”, Warrington, an ex-Perth junior, also scoring nine points.

But another factor as Blaze controlled the game in the final quarter after building up a 47-37 lead at the end of the third was the introduction of Scotland guard Laurie Costello for his first appearance in the ’Muir back court since his transfer from Kings at the start of the season. Costello, who is still suffering from a hand injury, undoubtedly steadied the ship as Glasgow narrowed the gap to three points with just over a minute left.

His former club meanwhile were having little difficulty disposing of Reign, who began brightly to lead in the opening minutes before Kings picked up the pace, particularly in the third quarter, which they won 33-12.

In an impressive spread of points, Edgars Rekis again led with 24, Audrius Ciapas added a season’s best of 23, Lee Reilly had 18, Paddy Campbell 13, Simon Flockhart 11, Craig Reilly nine and Kevin Will four, with Mike Murray and Lewis Neil both contributing despite having already played in a morning Lothian League game.

For the second week in a row, however, Kings juniors lost away to Falkirk Fury by one basket, this time 61-59 in the league, though the cadet men won 66-45 at the Mariner Centre.

Edinburgh Kool Kats were untroubled by Fury, winning the senior women’s game 71-43, the junior women’s game 73-52 – after trailing 27-29 at half-time – and the cadette women’s 47-45.