Defending men’s champions City of Edinburgh Kings suffered a shock defeat in the Scottish Basketball Cup, but women’s holders Edinburgh University cruised through to next month’s semi-finals.
Kings had won all seven games this season following last weekend’s miraculous comeback against Boroughmuir Blaze, and even though they fielded a depleted side against unbeaten Division Two leaders Ayrshire Tornadoes, nobody could have predicted what unfolded in North Ayrshire. An inspired home team lived up to its name, blowing away the shell-shocked visitors 95-76 to record its 11th straight victory.
“We were missing a lot of players, but Tornadoes hit 18 three-pointers, to be fair to them,” said Kings coach Craig Nicol, who must now rally his troops for Friday night’s league clash with champions St Mirren in Paisley. Before that, Saints play Boroughmuir at The Crags in Tuesday’s remaining cup quarter-final, with giantkillers Ayrshire awaiting the winners in the last four.
Edinburgh University’s women squandered a 13-point lead when losing to Lady Rocks last week, but the cup holders were utterly ruthless in a one-sided quarter-final with city rivals Polonia Phoenix at Gracemount High. A narrow first-quarter advantage grew to 26 points by half-time and the students pushed on to win 104-43. Laoise Carey top-scored with 18, while four others hit 14 or more to crown a fine team display. They now meet either St Mirren or Glasgow Fever in the semis.
City of Edinburgh Kool Kats joined them there after the league champions received a walkover when West Lothian Wolves – perhaps mindful that Kats had posted 94 points against them in September – forfeited Saturday’s tie in Armadale. Kats face Falkirk Fury.
In the Women’s British League, it was a weekend to forget for Caledonia Pride as the Edinburgh club tasted its first heavy defeat of the season, losing 76-59 to high-flying Manchester Mystics in a game moved from Oriam to Dunfermline.
Despite leading 13-10 early on, Pride missed two shots out of every three and were 31 points adrift entering the final quarter. To their credit, they “won” that last period 26-12 but it was too little too late. They now have a short break before their next fixture against Sheffield Hatters in the WBBL quarter-final at Portobello High on November 24.