St Mirren WCS 96 v 82 West Lothian Wolves Cadet Men Scottish Cup Final

Saints keep the Wolves at the door, to be crowned U16 Men Scottish Cup Champions - anonymous

The opening tie of Basketball Scotland’s Cup weekend was the U16 Men Scottish Cup Final. This match was a re-run of the 2016 Scottish Cup Final where West Lothian Wolves fell to St. Mirren West College Scotland. Just like last year, the young buddies have remained undefeated in all competitions this season, although Wolves have been knocking at the door, hungry to topple the league leaders in the Cup.

St. Mirren struck first blood in the game with a fine layup from Brad Low starting an almost unbelievable run to start. The press from the Cup holders forced West Lothian to panic, causing turnovers. On top of this, Wolves were missing lay-up’s while the power three Robbie Stevenson, Mikey Irvine and Chris Feeney were easily converting for Saints. After 6 minutes of the opening quarter, Wolves trailed 22-4; however as the quarter was closing West Lothian seemed to compose themselves, beginning to convert on the easy opportunities they were creating. Quickly, St. Mirren’s lead began to diminish. None the less after one quarter, St. Mirren held a commanding 28-15 lead, although there was certainly a sense that Wolves were dragging themselves back into the game.

The second quarter was a closer affair, as the teams went basket for basket, both fighting hard for the Scottish Cup. St. Mirren’s Ben Mitchell impressed with his handling speed and with two big three pointers on the board, while Wolves got into a scoring groove with their relentless attack to the basket. The lead which was once over 20 was shrinking by the minute, Wolves bringing Saints lead back to 9 points and leaving it all to play for the in the second half.

It was St. Mirren Captain Chris Feeney who was the star of the third quarter, opening the third with back to back 3 pointers and continuing on attacking the basket for more points even finding time to grab some rebounds, and find his teammates for assists. Very quickly the Saints lead had grown up to 27, at 74-47. West Lothian again had to find inspiration to claw themselves back into the game.

Going into the final period of the game, West Lothian were left with a mountain to climb to claim the Scottish Cup, the score-line reading 81-60. Wolves were not going to accept defeat just yet however and, as coach Chris Cleary ran the Saints bench to ensure all his players had a chance to contribute to the team effort, Wolves poured everything they had into bringing the game into contention. Within 3 minutes they had closed the score to 83-72. The pace became frantic, both sides making entertaining plays on the fast break and with less than 3 minutes to play the score was 92-79.  Saints looked calm as they began to close the game out. In the dying seconds, Wolves were unable to pull the game back, the final score, 96-82. Both teams put on a show for the packed Oriam crowd, but it was St. Mirren who emerged the victors and brought the Scottish Cup back to Paisley as 2017 Champions.

 

The Molten Sports MVP of the game was Saints Captain Chris Feeney, who brought in an impressive haul of 27 points, 19 rebounds and 5 assists.

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