Skipper Robyn Lewis, point guard Sarah Thomson and head coach Bart Sengers were today celebrating Caledonia Pride’s Women’s British Basketball Cup semi-final victory over Team Northumbria in Newcastle on Sunday.
The Edinburgh pro side will play Nottingham Wildcats in the final at the Birmingham Arena on January 28 after avenging Friday’s league defeat to Northumbria.
Less than 48 hours after losing 69-59 at the same venue, Pride raced into a big early lead and found another gear when the home team levelled with three minutes remaining. Summer signing Claire Paxton top-scored with 23 points and American Tricia Oakes celebrated her 28th birthday with 15 crucial rebounds as Pride won 66-63.
Lewis’ late three-pointer clinched victory and she admitted: “I was pleased to see it go in, but that last minute seemed to take forever. We came into the game with nothing to lose, and we showed a lot of mental strength to see it out after losing that early lead. I don’t think we’d have shown that character last season. We have a couple of weeks off now to enjoy this and spend time with our families.”
Thomson added: “It’s just amazing to have taken the club to a cup final in only our second season. This is for everybody who works so hard and keeps buying into what we’re trying to achieve.”
Sengers said: “We learned from Friday’s game and made sure we were better. I’m so proud of the girls and so happy that they’ll get to experience a cup final as a reward for all their hard work.”
Meanwhile, in the Scottish Men’s League, Boroughmuir Blaze will enter the new year a single point clear of defending champions Falkirk Fury at the top of the table after rounding off 2017 with a 110-106 overtime win over Dunfermline Reign at The Crags Centre. Sam Stott led the scorers on 32 with captain Eoghann Dover contributing 25.
Seventh-placed Pleasance Basketball Club went down 85-42 at home to Glasgow Storm, while in the women’s Premier Division, Polonia Phoenix posted only their second win of the season when they beat West Lothian Wolves 70-45.