The Worcester Wolves have regained fifth place in the BBL Championship after beating the Rocks, to whom they lost it the night before, 83-70 in the Midlands. Its the seventh straight home win for the Wolves, a run that stretches back to the opening weekend of the season, while for the Rocks it was the first defeat in three.
Kai Williams (190-F-88, college: S.Dakota St.) led the Wolves with 19 points, while Stanley Ocitti had a big double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds. Gareth Murray (201-F-84, agency: Prossin Sports Management, college: Kalamazoo Valley CC) led the Rocks with 18 points. The Wolves gained the ascendancy in the first half, and never lost it although they didnt manage to shake off their visitors until the closing stages.
Neither side scored for over two minutes at the start of the game, until Alex Owumi opened the scoring with a three-pointer. The sides were not separated by more than one score throughout the opening ten minutes, despite the Rocks coming back with the next 5 points, a Sterling Davis triple giving them the lead, and they held an edge until midway through the first quarter. Williams hit a three for a 10-7 lead for the hosts and they held that through to the end of the period as Arnas Kazlauskas scored with their last attack for an 18-15 lead.
And that momentum carried into the second quarter as they opened with 6 unanswered points in what became a 9-2 run for a double digit lead at 27-17; the Wolves scored 9 points in a minute and a half with Arturas Masiulis scoring 4 and Kazlauskas adding a three-pointer. That was just the start for the Wolves as they posted a further 9-2 surge shortly afterwards including another Williams triple and 4 in a row from Ocitti to make the score 36-19. The Rocks stemmed the flow and got back to 37-27 on Owen McNallys score, but there was a further push to come from the hosts as they then held their visitors scoreless for three minutes, while rattling off 9 of their own, to see the lead reach its peak at 46-27 inside the final minute. Fantazia and Ringgold scored for the Rocks before they headed into the break 46-31 in arrears.
This time it was the visitors turn to carry momentum across the break as they scored the first 4 points of the third quarter; but, as had happened previously, the Wolves were resolute and responded in kind, with Masiulis adding another 4. The Rocks hit back with the next 6, but again the hosts kept them at arms length as Owumi connected from beyond the arc. And again the Wolves would not allow the Rocks to bridge the gap, as a further 8-0 tear, during which Ocitti added another 6, put them back up 61-43 inside the last two minutes of the third period. Nevertheless, there was another run for the Rocks as they held the hosts scoreless in those final two minutes, while pouring in the last 7 points including 5 from the free-throw line.
And the Rocks had the deficit down to single figures immediately in the fourth quarter as Murray opened the scoring, and he continued to register for the visitors, scoring all of their first 5 points during the decisive fourth quarter. When Wedemire and Fantazia added scores, it became a 9-2 run and the gap was down to just 4 points at 63-59. But, epitomising the second half, the Wolves showed their resilience once more, this time with Sherrad Prezzie-Blue making a three-pointer and Owumi, Ocitti and Williams adding scores in a 9-0 run that forced the Rocks into a timeout, 13 points down with under five minutes to play. And that run proved decisive as Kazlauskas made another three-pointer not long after the time out, and they finally managed to suppress the Rocks with Kazlauskas and Prezzie-Blue controlling the game down the stretch. Courtesy of: http://www.glasgowrocks.co.uk
Fury storm out of Mariner and on to Playoff Finals - 1 day ago
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We headed to the Mariner Centre for one last time on Friday night for a Playoff Semi-Final between Sony Centre Fury and Glasgow Storm. With a Finals spot up for grabs, there was plenty at stake for both teams. Storm showed some nerves in the first quarter, getting off to a really slow start. Falkirk were able to capitalise on this with Keith Bunyan (191-G-77) lighting up behind the arc. Fury worked the ball well as a team and made Glasgow Storm work for extended periods on the defensive e... [read more]
We headed to the Mariner Centre for one last time on Friday night for a Playoff Semi-Final between Sony Centre Fury and Glasgow Storm. With a Finals spot up for grabs, there was plenty at stake for both teams. Storm showed some nerves in the first quarter, getting off to a really slow start. Falkirk were able to capitalise on this with Keith Bunyan (191-G-77) lighting up behind the arc. Fury worked the ball well as a team and made Glasgow Storm work for extended periods on the defensive end with several offensive possessions lasting deep into the shot-clock. At the end of the first 10 minutes, Fury were able to take a comfortable 17-6 lead into the break of play. Many might have thought that this would have been game over for the Glasgow side who looked frustrated after a poor first quarter. This was not to be the case, however. Storm's Steven Murdoch (191-F/G) caught fire in the second quarter to cut the Fury lead. Murdoch's 11-point scoring spree and some lights out shooting from Storm's Kyle Haldane (184-PG-92) gave Storm a 33-32 lead as time wound down on an exciting first half. Fury were able to beat the buzzer before half-time and took a narrow 1-point lead to the locker room at the break. With the game evenly poised at 33-32, it was certainly still all to play for in the second-half. It was Fury who started strongest in the third quarter with defence playing the key to their success in a 20-7 quarter. Storm's scoring struggles returned in the third quarter which left the Glasgow outfit frustrated. With it all still to do in the final period, Storm looked inspired and ready to start their comeback once more. Unfortunately for Storm, Fury's experience prevailed down the stretch and an impressive contribution from Fury's Keith Bunyan and Adam Hammerschmidt (192-F-94) put the game within reach. Storm, who have continued to improve and cause upsets this season, continued to fight hard at both ends of the floor but could not reduce the deficit to any less than 10-points as Fury punched their ticket to this year's Playoff Final with a 68-58 win. Friday night also saw the other Men's Semi-Final take place, with St Mirren West College Scotland hosting Boroughmuir Blaze at the Lagoon. Blaze were victors in this one to set up a re-match of this year's Scottish Cup Final. Courtesy of: basketballscotland.co.uk
Boroughmuir shock Saints to make League Championship final - 3 days ago
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Boroughmuir Blaze are through to the final of the Scottish League Championship play-offs against Falkirk Fury at Oriam on April 1 after upsetting the seedings by defeating St Mirren 83-77 at the Lagoon Centre, Paisley. For once it was the unsung forwards of the Capital side who earned the plaudits with a brave batting effort against the bigger Saints. Former Edinburgh Kings player Mateusz Kruczynski (194-F-83) led Blaze with 19 points, Jordan Green adding 16 and Luke Gibson 13. But the gu... [read more]
Boroughmuir Blaze are through to the final of the Scottish League Championship play-offs against Falkirk Fury at Oriam on April 1 after upsetting the seedings by defeating St Mirren 83-77 at the Lagoon Centre, Paisley. For once it was the unsung forwards of the Capital side who earned the plaudits with a brave batting effort against the bigger Saints. Former Edinburgh Kings player Mateusz Kruczynski (194-F-83) led Blaze with 19 points, Jordan Green adding 16 and Luke Gibson 13. But the guards pitched in as well with Sam Stott (180-F-97) also netting 13, captain Eoghann Dover (185-G/F-89) 11 and John Browne nine. Scottish internationalist Browne was full of praise for the efforts of the Blaze front line. 'Jordan, Luke and Matt did really well against the Saints 'Bigs'! Fury had little trouble disposing of Glasgow Storm at home at the Mariner SC in what may have been their last game there. Fury won 68-58 with Storm unable to reproduce the form that gave them an upset away win over Edinburgh Kings in the first round. Two more Capital clubs, Pleasance and Edinburgh Lions, are through to the final of the men's division two play-offs which will take place at St Columba's HS at 3.45pm on Saturday. Pleasance, who are already the league champions, beat West Lothian Wolves 79-59 in the semi-finals while Lions took care of Heriot-Watt University 61-55. Edinburgh Kool Kats have still not heard the outcome of their appeal over their disputed Scottish Women's play-offs semi-final against Falkirk Fury after the game failed to take place at Portobello HS and was awarded 20-0 to their opponents. The women's final is also due to take place at Oriam on April 1 with Tayside Musketeers due to play Edinburgh University in the other semi-final at Grove Academy, Broughty Ferry on Sunday. Courtesy of: ediburghnews.com
Kieron Achara's double-double lands him Player of the Week award among Scots playing currently abroad: - 5 days ago
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Here is the weekly review of the top performing Scottish players, who play currently abroad. This week's number one is an experienced former international power forward Kieron Achara (208-83, agency: Two Points). He could not help Glasgow Rocks (16-9) in their last game. Despite Achara's very good performance Glasgow Rocks lost 68-76 at home to the lower-ranked (#8) Bristol Acadamy Flyers.
Here is the weekly review of the top performing Scottish players, who play currently abroad.
#1. This week's number one is an experienced former international power forward Kieron Achara (208-83, agency: Two Points, college: Duquesne, currently plays in United Kingdom). He could not help Glasgow Rocks (16-9) in their last game. Despite Achara's very good performance Glasgow Rocks lost 68-76 at home to the lower-ranked (#8) Bristol Acadamy Flyers.
He had a double-double by scoring 19 points and getting 12 rebounds. Achara also added 3 assists in 36 minutes on the court.
It was Glasgow Rocks' fourth consecutive loss in a row.
Achara has relatively good stats this year: 14.6ppg, 7.6rpg, 2.7apg, 1.6bpg, 1.2spg, 2FGP: 51.7%, 3FGP: 37.5% and FT: 84.1% in 25 games he played so far.
He has a dual citizenship: Scottish and Nigerian.
Achara played for the Scottish senior national team four years ago.
#2. Second place goes to former international forward Gareth Murray (201-84, college: Kalamazoo Valley CC, currently plays in United Kingdom) is a teammate of previously mentioned Kieron Achara. But that was another game of his team in British BBL which we would like to mention.
Murray. He was not able to help Glasgow Rocks (16-9) in their last game on Friday. Despite Murray's very good performance Glasgow Rocks was defeated 98-90 on the road by the lower-ranked Sheffield Sharks (#4).
He was the top scorer with 23 points. Murray also added 5 rebounds.
This season Murray has relatively solid stats: 14.1ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.2apg, 2FGP: 64.0%(89-139), 3FGP: 44.4%.
Former 33.3%; Dunfermline Reign starter played for the Scottish national team in 2013.
#3. The Scottish player who performed third best last week abroad was former international point guard Jonathan Bunyan (182-92, currently plays in United Kingdom) is a teammate of previously mentioned Kieron Achara. He played also in the last British BBL game facing Gareth Murray (above) in the other team.
Bunyan. He was not able to secure a victory for Glasgow Rocks (16-9) in their game against Sheffield Sharks (16-10).
Bunyan recorded 8 points in 19 minutes.
Glasgow Rocks lost 90-98 in Sheffield to the lower-ranked (#4) Sharks.
It's Bunyan's fourth season with the team.
This year he averages: 5.3ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.4apg, 2FGP: 45.3%, 3FGP: 30.1% and FT: 83.3% in 25 games.
Former Falkirk Clark Eriksson Fury starter played for the Scottish national team three years ago.
#4. Forward Grant Mackay (201-94, currently plays in NCAA2) couldn't help the St.Anselm College (13-8) in their game against the St.Thomas Aquinas College (15-3) in the NCAA2. Mackay's contribution was not very remarkable in Saturday's game.
He recorded only 2 points.
The St.Anselm College (#6) was badly defeated 91-72 in Sparkill by the St.Thomas Aquinas College.
The National Tournament Round 1 already ended in the NCAA2.
Mackay has been at the team for four years.
Mackay's overall stats this season are: 5.1ppg and 4.4rpg.
He used to play for the Scottish U18 national team
back in 2010.
One more player who has never been selected to any of national teams, but has Scottish passport:
#1.Yannick Onifade (201-C/F, currently plays in United Kingdom) managed to help Manchester Magic in a victory against the eighth-ranked Dragons (11-11) 80-64 in the British NBL D1 (second division) last Saturday.
Onifade scored only 2 points in 10 minutes.
Manchester Magic (17-4) is placed third in the NBL D1.
It was his team's third consecutive victory in a row.
There are only three games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be critical.
This year Onifade's overall stats are: 1.8ppg and 1.9rpg in nine games he played so far.
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