Basketball: Edinburgh Kings keep up chase; Boroughmuir Blaze push St Mirren

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On the final weekend’s action before the Christmas break, City of Edinburgh Kings maintained their Scottish Basketball League title push with victory over Edinburgh University, while Boroughmuir Blaze narrowly failed to upset reigning champions St Mirren in Paisley.

Unbeaten Dunfermline Reign will enter the new year at the top of the table with a perfect 10-0 record but Kings, St Mirren and Falkirk Fury are all hot on their heels with nine wins apiece.

Having licked their wounds for a fortnight after losing in Dunfermline, Kings responded with a 71-54 home victory over a University side that was still celebrating its first win of the season against Edinburgh Lions. The students were highly competitive until the third quarter when Kings opened up a decisive 15-point advantage.

Blaze lost a desperately close Scottish Cup quarter-final to St Mirren last month, and they very nearly took revenge at Paisley’s Lagoon Centre on Sunday. There was never more than a few points in it, but the Cup finalists eventually scraped home 94-89 despite 18 points from Boroughmuir’s Cameron O’Donnell.

Edinburgh Lions have been going through a rocky patch since their last win at Stirling in October, and they will probably welcome the respite of a four-week festive break after mid-table Glasgow Storm beat them 74-65 at Broughton High.

In the Women’s British League, Caledonia Pride took on the unenviable task of trying to end the unbeaten run of reigning champions Sevenoaks Suns on their home court in Kent. Suns duly dominated from the tip-off and led 50-19 at half-time on their way to an 89-42 win.

Pride stayed true to their policy of developing young talent by giving 15-year-old Ella Doherty a run-out in the lion’s den, but head coach Bart Sengers was mainly dissatisfied with his team’s performance.

“I expected us to be better,” he admitted.

“A loss isn’t a surprise, but how you lose is important. We didn’t focus and communicate well enough to start.”

Pride face a crucial pre-Christmas fixture this Saturday when Cardiff Archers visit Oriam.