Capital sides march on in basketball play-offs

Edinburgh Kings coach Craig Nicol
Edinburgh Kings coach Craig Nicol
0
Have your say

City of Edinburgh’s two teams and Boroughmuir Blaze have all progressed to the play-off semi-finals in the Scottish Basketball League.

Bad weather had delayed the start of the Scottish play-offs, but cup winners and league runners-up City of Edinburgh Kings continued their sparkling late-season form as they trounced Stirling Knights 94-72 at Portobello High School.

“We were in control for most of the game,” said head coach Craig Nicol.

“We used it as an opportunity to play some of the young guys.”

Two teenagers – Ryan Armour (15 points) and Rory Milne (12) – led the attack with top scorer Paddy Campbell (21 points).

Kings will again be at home in this Friday’s semis when they and old rivals Falkirk Fury go head-to-head for a place in the final on March 24.

Blaze faced a testing quarter-final against Dunfermline Reign, and their task became even tougher when technical issues forced them to give up home advantage and travel to Fife. Despite trailing by five points at half-time, a third-quarter blitz turned the game on its head and Blaze went on to win 77-68, paced by 20 points from ex-Kings player Mateusz Kruczynski. Blaze are back on the road this Friday when they take on league champions St Mirren in the semis.

Women’s champions City of Edinburgh Kool Kats and cup holders Edinburgh University both enjoyed big wins.

Casey Morrison bagged 15 points as Kats beat city rivals Polonia Phoenix 84-57 at Portobello High, while the students thumped league runners-up Falkirk 70-41. Kats play either Tayside Musketeers or St Mirren in the semi-finals, while 
Edinburgh University will meet either Lady Rocks or Glasgow Fever.

Meanwhile, Caledonia Pride recorded a morale-boosting victory in the WBBL.

Pride had lost their previous three matches but returned to winning ways at Oriam, beating bottom-of-the-table London Lions to stay in contention for a spot in the end-of-season play-offs.

American Tricia Oakes produced a sensational individual display, contributing 20 points, eight rebounds and three assists as Pride broke clear in the third quarter and coasted home 64-46.

It was their sixth league win of the season, and head coach Bart Sengers smiled: “We played well.

“There were some good performances from our youth players as well. It was a welcome win for us.”