Boroughmuir Blaze will go into the new year in second place in the Scottish Basketball League just one point behind the unbeaten champions Falkirk Fury.
Blaze held off a determined and generally improved Tayside Musketeers 88-72 at Grove Academy, Broughty Ferry on Saturday to overtake St Mirren and, with only one defeat on their record, they are certainly not out of the title race.
But senior player Liam McCabe warned they were taking nothing for granted about how high they would finish. “We have a lot of big games coming up in the New Year so let’s see where we are at the end of February.”
The Capital side got off to a whirlwind start and took the first quarter 25-13 helped by some sharp shooting by Scotland point guard Eoghann Dover. Their form continued and they turned round 47-37 up at half-time. But Muskies narrowed the gap to single figures several times with Canadian guard John Bustin nailing 17 first-half points and 31 in all including 11 from 11 from the free-throw line.
Blaze finished on a ruthless note, however, piling on the points in the last two minutes with Tomas Cicenas prominent on the boards and outside shooting, Edgars Damlicks nailing two big threes and John Browne making sharp steals and hitting shots as well. Dover finished with 26, Cicenas 18, Browne 14 and Damlicks 11.
In the only other men’s game of the weekend Glasgow Storm beat Dunfermline Reign 109-67 in a vital relegation battle.
In the women’s league, Edinburgh Kool Kats defeated Tayside Musketeers a whopping 90-60 at Grove Academy yesterday to ensure they finished the entire calendar year unbeaten and in a strong position to retain their Scottish League and Cup titles this season.
Though they were on two defeats, Muskies could have gone top had they beaten Kats yesterday but a devastating 28-13 second quarter from the visitors ensured there would be no upset.
Kats led 53-33 at half-time and 69-49 after the third.
They were led by Hannah Peacock with 30 points, Leanne Page with 21 and Tracey Phillips with 11.
Laura Hare and Cara Black scored 19 each for Muskies for whom Yhana Van Wees picked up four fouls in the first half and ten points in total.