London trip for Falkirk Fury’s young basketball players

Falkirk Fury
Falkirk Fury

Sony Centre Fury‘s U14 Boys and U16 Girls have completed a tough 11 game schedule in 2 days in London at the International Battle in

the Capital Event.

The club were invited to the BTM event, the second year of the tournament, along with top clubs from England, Regional English teams, Basketball Wales and Euro club sides.

Fury did not let Scottish Basketball down, with great performances in both age groups. The teams not only performed well on court but off court over the four-day trip too. The teams were well supported with over 20 parents and family in the capital, cheering both teams throughout the event.

The U14 Boys team comprised – Ben Adams, George Henderson, Robbie Paterson, Jack Shand, Andrew Melville, Harvey Berry, Fraser Smith, David Black, Leo Serafini,Glen Beattie and were coached by club Headcoach John Bunyan and Development Coach Dave Cooper.

The U16 Girls team comprised – Katie McEwan, Eabha Kerr, Emily Melrose, Abby Rutter, Pelly Kidd, Ncole McMeechan, Darcy Dewar, Sophie Cram, Emily Dagger and were coached by their coach Kim Flockhart and JW Assistant Coach Jenna Beattie.

The U16 Girls Tournament had 6 teams competing and the standard was exceptionally high. The format was that all teams would play each other – 5 games and then have a final game for final placings.

Fury took their opening game against WBBL club Oakland Wolves 25-14 in what proved to be their strongest performance of the competition. In game two, the Falkirk side just about completed a WBBL club double when they lost out by a basket to Cardiff Met Archers 21-19. Game three saw Fury complete day one with a 32-20 loss to a BTM Select that comprised England International squad players.

To compete strongly in all three games was a great effort from the team, which includes two U14 players.

Day two proved tougher for Fury as they started off against one of the Tournament favorites – Flashing Heiloo – Holland’s top U16 club team. This turned out to be the Fury girls toughest game, going down 43-12 as the team struggled to score. The next game against London Lions Youngbloods was a very competitive game with Fury just running out of steam in the final period for a 31-20 loss. This placed Fury in the fifth/sixth place play-off game against the team they had beaten in their opening game – Oakland Wolves. This time it was Wolves who got the win 45-21.

Fury Coach Kim Flockhart told Heraldsport: “This was a great experience for our team, playing some of the best programs in the country and the top team in Holland at our age group – you cannot get much better and to be fair in every game, bar the Dutch game we competed very well. Our team is a mix of some developing players and players who have already competed at a high level, so we were able to get everyone involved over the two days. The team bonded really well given several have only played together since the start of this season. They are now a very close group and we can use the London experience to develop even further.

“I would like to thank the organisers, particularly Will who did a great job making sure we got everywhere on time and really embraced both our teams and parents.”

The U14 Boys Tournament had 12 teams in their event. Fury were in the group stages with London Lions Youngbloods, Essex Storm and Bracknell Pirates. The teams first game was against Bracknell – a team who came into the tournament on a 12-0 record in their London Area League. A tight game saw Fury come out on top 24-19. Fury’s second group game, saw the Falkirk side go 2-0 with an overtime win over Sussex Storm 37-31.

Storm, like Bracknell and all the England club teams had been invited to the tournament on the back of being top of their Regions.

Fury boys then faced a more physical opponent in their third game of the day – London Lions Youngbloods. Fury led at the half 20-18, but could not maintain the outstanding play they had displayed all day, losing out 39-24. So with a 2-1 record, Fury were placed in the play- off group for places 5-8, just missing out in a top four spot as a group best runner-up.

The teams first game of day two was against a strong Northamptonshire Titans side. Despiet getting of to a poor start, Fury bounced back, pushing titans all the way before losing 40-30. Fury then played off for seventh place against Sussex Storm, the team they had beaten the previous day in OT , only to go down by two points for an eighth place finish.

Fury Headcoach John Bunyan commented to Heraldsport on the teams performance: “This was an elite event and the players acquitted themselves very well against top class opposition.

“Playing 5 tough games has developed the players as individuals and as a team.

“This was a superb event, with a fantastic venue, well organised and the players have taken a lot from it. Playing five games in two days requires a lot of self discipline and planning from the club and its coaching staff.

“We had great support from family/friends who travelled to London. The two Fury teams really supported each other and special mention to Mark and Tom the BTM organisers and Will and Jezz who looked after our teams and supporters throughout our time in London.”

Fury’s U14 Centre Andrew Melville finished the tournament’s fifth top scorer with PG Eabha Kerr finishing seventh in scoring in the U16 Girls event.