Sony Centre Fury 62 v St Mirren 63
Cadet men National League Division 2
The Under 14 boys were in league action for the first time in a couple of weeks and eager to face Fury against whom they had an epic encounter on the first game of the season, winning by 2 points after a fantastic comeback. Fury would doubtless be looking for revenge on their home court.
Saints started sharply and put the first score on the board through Owen Speirs. Fury came back to score immediately before a great 3 pointer from Euan Birch restored Saints lead. Saints continued to play good basketball throughout the quarter and opened up a 10 point lead, with Steven Hamilton also scoring a 3 pointer, but Fury were always dangerous and showed every intent to turn around the early deficit and finished the first quarter only two points behind.
The second quarter saw coach Stevenson change the lineup frequently and Fury began to capitalise on chances created. Saints continued to score with a good basket from Robbie Watson as soon as he came on, but defensive lapses saw the lead eaten away and it was now Fury who were beginning to open up a gap and the half finished with Fury leading 38-30.
Saints starting 5 of McGivern, Birch, Murray, Speirs and Rutherford started the second half knowing that a quick start was vital if they were to get anything from the game. Saints showed great energy and good passing throughout the quarter and again the gap was eroded with the quarter finishing 52 – 48 in favour of Fury. Ewan McGivern was ‘on point’ with his free throws scoring 8 from 8 up to this point. Ross Murray was showing great determination in getting to the basket, but just wasn’t getting the ball to drop, which could have seen Saints taking a lead into the final quarter.
The last quarter was not for the faint hearted as action moved from one end to the other. As ever, Euan Birch was making his share of baskets and Reece Rutherford got in on the action with a couple of 2 pointers as Saints again took the lead. Fury were determined to fight to the end responded with baskets of their own to take the lead as the game moved into the last couple of minutes. Ewan McGivern converted a 9th succesive free throw, but felt the pressure with the last 3 free throws which bounced out, but Ross Murray got the breaks that he deserved to score a couple of vital late baskets which helped Saints edge ahead. With a second left on the clock Saints had a single point lead as Fury shot for the hoop. The ball bounced off the rim and Saints had won an unbelievable nail biter by a single point.
Very hard luck on a Fury team who put everything into the match, but what a fantastic victory for the young Saints who continue to show up fantastically well against older opposition week in week out in Division 2.
Saints top scorers were Euan Birch on 17 points and Ewan McGivern with 13 points.
St Mirren Under 14 boys next match is at the Lagoon on 15th January at 12.20 pm against Ayrshire Tornadoes.