Caledonia Pride crush champions but ‘can play better’

Caledonia Pride coach Bart Sengers
Caledonia Pride coach Bart Sengers
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Head coach Bart Sengers says Caledonia Pride can still play better despite opening the new Women’s British Basketball League season with a stunning 78-64 victory over reigning champions Nottingham Wildcats at Edinburgh University.

Pollyanna Storie made her senior debut at 16 as Pride turned a six-point deficit into a 35-32 half-time advantage. Pride were pegged back going into the closing ten minutes, but Shawnisay Millar and Hilary Wood stretched the lead to 65-53 and there was no way back for Wildcats as Sarah Thomson and Tricia Oakes kept Pride in control. American summer signing Rosanna “Rosie” Reynolds top-scored with 15 points and added 17 rebounds.

“Rosie played the perfect role and did everything she needed to do for the team. She’s tremendous team player,” said Sengers.

“They tried to keep us away from the basket, but we have players who love to hit three-pointers.

“We started the fourth quarter only up by one point, but we outlasted them condition-wise.

“We made some big plays, but I think we can still play even better.”

Meanwhile, in the Scottish men’s league, City of Edinburgh Kings lost a top-of-the table thriller with champions Falkirk Fury at Grangemouth Sports Complex.

Kings trailed by 16 points at one stage yet rallied superbly to lead 68-63 with time running out. Fury then drew level and Kings coach Craig Nicol called a timeout in a bid to stem the tide, but Falkirk landed the decisive basket with just 17 seconds left and clung on to win 73-69.

City of Edinburgh Kool Kats took revenge over Fury in Sunday’s women’s fixture, winning the final quarter 14-0 and the match 52-40 to post their fifth straight victory in the league. Leanne Page was their leading scorer with 15.

In other women’s matches, Edinburgh University defeated Tayside Musketeers 62-47 in Dundee and Polonia Phoenix lost 68-49 at home to unbeaten Lady Rocks.

Back in the men’s league, Boroughmuir Blaze trounced Stirling Knights 92-58 at The Peak, with six Blaze scorers, led by Jordan Greene on 20, hitting double figures. Coach Simon Turner was equally pleased that his miserly defence restricted Knights to just 19 second-half points.

Edinburgh University missed out on a third straight win when they squandered an eight-point half time lead before going down 75-72 at home to St Mirren.