THANKS to a last-gasp three-pointer by Gareth Lodge, which went in off the glass, Edinburgh Kings rescued their Scottish Basketball League title hopes with a 65-64 victory over Glasgow University at Portobello High School.
Having pulled the scores level at 60-60 with a driving hook-come lay-up with 1:15 left, Lodge again had possession after Glasgow took the lead 64-62 with 19 seconds left and fired off a shot which he admitted appeared to be off target. A helpful backboard saved the day, though, and maybe the season for Kings – who already have two defeats. The students had been 11 up at the end of the third quarter – which they took 26-15 – and will rue the profligate way they gave up their advantage with hasty shots, missed free throws and turn-overs.
In fairness, Kings did step up their intensity – not least their big centre, Simon Flockhart, who came awake with 14 of his 18 points in the last quarter, while Lodge had 15 points and Craig Reilly 14.
“We have to start our games better – we’re giving teams starts,” said home coach Doug Reilly, who praised juniors Neil Rowan and Matt Wilcox.
Boroughmuir Blaze also reached the cup quarter-finals, beating Stirling Knights 90-72 at the Crags Sports Centre yesterday.
It was non-league Edinburgh University who achieved arguably the best result, beating Dunfermline Reign 77-50 at the Pleasance on Saturday to earn a quarter-final clash with Blaze. Taking the first quarter 25-8, Edinburgh were always in control, with Michael Kirkpatrick top scorer with 22 points and Gert Marisalu adding 14.
It was a bad weekend, however, for the Capital’s top two women’s teams, with Kool Kats going down 63-57 at home to Glasgow Rocks on Saturday, and league champions, Polonia Phoenix, losing another cliff-hanger 59-57 at Arbroath yesterday, despite a great fight-back from 12 down.