St Mirren West College Scotland 66 v 42 Falkirk Fury
Saints faced up to the “old foe” Fury having broken a run of league games without victory in the nail-biting classic against Flyers in Aberdeen last week.
The tightest of National Leagues at U16 level in years sees 5 teams battling at the top with very little between them. St Mirren knew that they would have to bring their A game to see off a Fury side who blitzed a strong Edinburgh team last time out.
The match started with Brad Low putting the first points on the board for Saints. Brad followed up by scoring all of Saints first 6 points before Ewan Birch scored his first basket to see Saints ahead 8-3 by the first time out midway through the first quarter.
Ewan Birch got the first 3 pointer for Saints to stretch the lead to 13- 3 for an increasingly confident looking Saints team.
However, Fury managed a couple of very late baskets, including a buzzer beater to restrict Saint lead to 19-9 at the end of the quarter.
The 2nd half saw Saints continue to play a fast moving game which was clearly seeing a stretched Fury side tiring. Baskets were coming from a variety of players, including Lewis Grant, making his first start in Division 1, and making a great impact in this quarter. When the lead stretched to 35-16 coach Stevenson used the chance to give the youngest players, Gregor Kehoe and Joe Reede, some game time, which they haven’t been allowed due to the tight nature of recent games. Both players contributed positively and Saints kept up the offensive pressure. The buzzer sounded with Saints 38 – 16 to the good.
The 3rd quarter has been the “difficult” quarter for Saints this season. There was a determination to set the record straight this time and quick fire baskets from Ewan Birch and a couple of converted steals from Greg Merrill saw Saints stretch the lead to 45-16 within a couple of minutes of the quarter with Fury struggling to cope with Saints pressing and pace. However, a lull set in with Saints dropping the pace and intensity but still finishing the quarter 50-26 to the good, and going some way to eradicate the quarter 3 jinx.
Quarter 4 saw a return for the youngest Saints and Young Gregor Kehoe put in a great shift with steals and a number of attempts on the hoop showing the confidence that will see him having a great future in the St Mirren setup. When he and Joe Reede sunk successive deep 2’s it emphasised the strength in depth that flows through he St Mirren system.
The match finished with a very comfortable Saint s victory 66-42 with great performances from every member of the team.