Glasgow Storm 79 v 85 St Mirren
National League (Senior Men)
West College Scotland Saints men were back in league action this week with a visit to Glasgow Storm at the new Kelvin Hall sports centre.
Saints were still without their usual line up however Nick Collins and Euan Glass are back in the squad and one of the leading scorers Chris Cleary was unavailable.
Craig Stamp and Dave Johnston were given the front court with Chris Barron, Scot Armstrong and Graham Hunter taking care of the back court. A good start from Saints had Barron and Johnston swiftly adding points, as after 6 minutes Saints looked good at 21-9. The foot must have slipped from the accelerator as the home team consistently hit the 3 pointer and just edged their way back, right into contention at 24-21 behind. Storm had no less than six 3 point shots in their first quarter tally.
Second period and Saints continued to score but failed to to stop the Storm as they matched everything Saints did. Stamp and Collins made their mark on the score sheet as Saints produced 18 points, not quite enough to match Storm who edged the quarter by a point. Half time at 42-40 to Saints did not create any real worries but a change was needed to try and break free from the home team.
The start of the second half saw veteran Colin Railley leading the Saints line and his trademark 3 pointer from deep in the corner opened the Saints scoring. Storm were more than happy to match that and hung around again, trading baskets with Saints hoping that the longer they stayed in contention the better chance they would have. As the period progressed young Fergus Harte took his chances along with Armstrong to keep the Saints in front and then Dale Grieve injected some hustle right at the end of the period to give Saints a 65-61 advantage going into the final period.
Grieve continued his one man crusade as he grabbed two quick baskets and then a 3 pointer as Storm through Lasuncion and Salimy kept the scoring going. The home team’s 3 point success from the first period had dried up and as the final period drew to a close they tired and lost players to fouling out. Saints never looked as comfortable as when Grieve came off the bench with 2:30 left on the clock and quickly made another 3 pointer to put Storm in the position where they had to foul to stop the clock. Saints made shots from the free throw line as the clock ran down and went home winners at 85-79 to maintain their top of the table form.
Saints top scorers were Grieve and Armstrong with 15 points and Johnston with 14 and Chris Barron with 11.
Friday night will sort out the National League going into the New Year as the top four teams clash. Saints travel to Falkirk battling for top spot, whilst City of Edinburgh and Boroughmuir play in the head to head for third place.