Fury on top for 2012

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u A 28-13 opening quarter paved the way for a solid 24 point win for Fury men and they remain in joint top spot in the National League table going into 2012.

The excellent opening half to the season by the Clark Eriksson-sponsored side sets the scene for at least two showdown games against the Edinburgh Kings that will potentially decide the league and the Scottish Cup – Fury face the Kings in the Cup semi-finals this Friday and have their second league encounter with the Kings in January – both games are at the court of the Kings.

The third epic encounter between the sides is liable to be in the season’s final competition, the National League Play-Offs and with Fury and Kings joint top they are libel to be seeded to meet in the Final.

Not bad for a side that many wrote off two seasons ago when a number of Fury players moved to the newly formed Stirling Knights for the purpose of seeking court time. As Knights struggle in the league and are out the Cup, Fury go from strength to strength building a side for the future but retaining a very experienced group of players.

Jonny Bunyan hit nine points in an impressive start, driving to the basket and knocking down threes.

The inside trio of ex-Rocks Roni Gordon and Stuart McKay along with Frenchman Walter Lubeigt was also proving too much of a handful for the Ayrshire side as the Fury bigs combined for 16 in that opening spell.

A trademark shot from outside the area from captain Keith Bunyan sealed a 15 lead as Fury went into the second stanza and after racking up a further 22 points a 50 point half time tally gave the home fans plenty to cheer about and the team a 21 point lead.

It was more of the same from the Bunyan brothers, Lubeigt and McKay with another former Scottish Rock Scott Russell also getting in on the scoring action.

With Fury setting themselves a season target of keeping clubs to 60 points or less – a figure to date only breached by Glasgow University – the Clark Eriksson outfit were also on target on the defensive end.

A third period saw Fury remain firmly in control and a 23-17 scoreline gave them a 27 point lead going into the final quarter.

Both Keith and Jonny Bunyan had added further 3’s during that spell with Greek guard Greg Foussas in fine form off the bench. Running their entire 12 player squad in the final period saw a lull in scoring but a continued defensive intensity that kept the Troon side to 60 points for the game. Going into the game Fury’s league averages had been 76 points for and 57 against.

Fury headcoach John Bunyan told Heraldsport: “Troon are always a tough proposition and while tonight’s game was perhaps easier than the normal encounter between the clubs, we had to work for every point and at the same time be aware that Troon are capable of putting up numbers quick.

“They tried to outmuscle our guards but that never happened and I was happy with the way we coped with their full and half court pressure defences.

“I felt Stuart McKay had another solid game and that’s the third week in a row he has been in double digits.

“Keith continues to shoot well beyond the arc and I felt we performed well at both ends of the floor.

“With five players in double figures and one on nine points we again played as a team, sharing the ball and to have had six different players top scoring throughout our campaign to date confirms this. In my opinion its better to have a stat like this than one that shows you only have a couple guys who always put up the big numbers.

“To go into the Christmas and New Year joint top clearly gives us a real chance to win our first men’s league title in 10 years.

“Being runners-up to the Kings for the past four seasons gives us an even bigger incentive to turn that around, of course we will have to do that by beating them on their own court, but that will not phase us and the players have already committed to a strong training program over the festive break’ .