Edinburgh Kool Kats retain Scottish women’s basketball title

Edinburgh Kool Kats (library picture)
Edinburgh Kool Kats (library picture)
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City of Edinburgh Kool Kats retained their Scottish women’s basketball title despite losing on Saturday and they also won the junior league, but there was disappointment for the Capital clubs as St Mirren clinched the men’s championship.

Kats ran into an inspired Edinburgh University team fresh from their Scottish Cup triumph the previous weekend, and as the students stretched their unbeaten run to more than three months at Portobello High, Kats suffered only their second loss in 13 league games.

Having already beaten the university 58-50 last September, Kats would retain the title even if they lost the game but by less than eight points, and they were content to minimise risks and settle for a 71-67 loss. Emma Findlay was their top scorer with 22.

The Kats under-18 girls squad completed a league and cup double when they outclassed West Lothian Wolves 68-41 to maintain their 100 per cent record this season.

The destination of the senior men’s championship had been tilting St Mirren’s way in recent weeks, and the Saints duly wrapped things up with two matches still to play after defeating closest challengers Boroughmuir Blaze 107-99 at Paisley’s Lagoon Leisure Centre.

Blaze looked set to extend the title race when they led 61-51 at half-time, but they were then outscored by 27 points in a disastrous third quarter, allowing St Mirren to use their bench and coast through the last ten minutes. It completed a wretched week for Boroughmuir following their Cup Final defeat by City of Edinburgh Kings.

Kings themselves raced into an early 14-0 lead as they beat their bottom of the table city rivals Pleasance Basketball Club 68-39 at Portobello High, but St Mirren’s victory in Paisley ended Kings’ faint hopes of a league and cup double.

Defending champions Falkirk Fury also had to give up their title challenge despite overcoming Edinburgh University 91-64.

Meanwhile, Caledonia Pride succeeded where Scotland’s rugby team failed as they won 73-63 in Cardiff on Sunday.

The Edinburgh women’s side bounced back strongly from last week’s WBBL Cup Final defeat in Birmingham, and they led Cardiff Archers 21-15 at the end of the opening quarter.

Two late three-pointers from Hannah Robb saw Pride safely home as they defeated Archers for the third time this season. A fifth league win keeps them in seventh place to boost their hopes of making the end-of-season play-offs.

“It was a great response from the girls (after losing the Cup Final),” said head coach Bart Sengers. “There was some good team play and it was an enjoyable game for us.”

Robb top-scored with 20 points, while American Tricia Oakes contributed 15 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks.