Falkirk Fury Basketball weekend review
It was a great weekend for Falkirk Fury's senior and Under-16 teams but there were defeats for the Women, U14 girls and U18 boys.
Fury Men just four wins away from clinching the title
Fury Men began their run into the final stages of the Scottish Championship with a convincing 114-55 away win against Perth Phoenix last weekend.
After a fine performance in which they hit 19 three pointers, the Falkirk side remain in the driving seat to take their fifth Division 1 league title in eight seasons if they win their last four games.
It was a three-point fest for the Sony sponsored side as they hit 19 from beyond the arc with Bantu Burroughs and Makaleb McInnes sharing 10 of the three-point haul.
Fury pressed in the first half and took the first two quarters 27-12 and 26-17, to go in at the half ahead by 24 points.
Fury produced a big third period with a 34-11 scoreline as they switched defence but maintained an up tempo approach.
The final period of 27-15 saw Fury maintain their strong play with all the team getting extended minutes.
The third period had been the team’s most productive period beyond the arc with eight threes in that spell.
Fury forced the pace throughout, getting out on the break at every opportunity.
McInnes had a game high with 28 points, with fellow playmakers, Lithuanian Eddy Leginas on 22 and former Rock Bantu Burroughs on 17.
Lithuanians Evaldis Bursaitis and Ziggy Dauksas were solid at both ends of the floor with captain Keith Bunyan easing back in after a week out with two threes and former Scotland Junior Connor Martin also with two threes in his eight-point tally.
Scots guard Bryan Munnoch, Bulgarian Ivan Ganchev and Chinese forward Lee Zihao all put points on the board.
Fury head coach John Bunyan commented to Heraldsport after the game: “This was a solid performance from the team and full credit to Perth who despite the scoreline, worked hard throughout.
“We have been looking at playing a more up tempo style and it remains to be seen if we can continue to do that against stronger opposition.
“Our game against Glasgow University of Friday will be such a test as that was a single figure win for us on the road, so we know this is a key match as we look to take the Championship title.
“Having such a strong quartet of guards lets us keep the game pace at a high level and this could well be an important factor in our final four games of the regular season.”
Fury Women defeated
A disappointing game saw Fury Women defeated 71-54 by Perth Phoenix on Tayside in last weekend’s Soho Wealth Senior Woman Scottish Championship Division 1 clash.
Fury failed to reach the heights they had in their
31-point home win against Phoenix in the reverse fixture.
A tight opening quarter saw the home side lead 18-15, with Scotland Junior Abby Rutter leading Fury with seven points that included two threes.
The second was again a period that saw neither team able to dominate and with the quarter-finishing at 16-11, Tayside took an eight-point lead in at the half.
A low scoring third stanza saw Fury edge it with a 12-11 scoreline and all to play for in the final period, just seven points separating the teams.
Fury continued to look for shots from three-point range - Ailie Gardiner and Kirstie Young having connected in the third and in the final quarter, threes from Rutter and Rebecca Lonsdale kept the Sony sponsored side in touch.
But it was Phoenix who took control as the period ended, running out for a 17 point win.
While Fury can take some comfort in they still have the head to head on Perth, it was a game that saw Fury turn in one of their poorer performances of what has been a solid season to date for the senior women.
For the second week in a row,top scorer for Fury Women was Junior Abby Rutter with 13 points (3 threes). Guards Ailie Gardiner and Kirstie Young shared 16 with Rebecca Lonsdale on six personal.
Fury girls lose quarter-final
Holders Fury U14 Girls lost 49-45 in last weekend’s Under-14 Girls Scottish Cup quarter-final. At the half Fury were on course to reach the semi-final stage as they led a strong Ayr Storm side by 25-22.
But Ayr who went out in front with a 19-12 third period and held out for a four point win and a semi-final with Inverness.
Fury’s captain Freya Melrose opened strongly, scoring their opening six points. Edie McBain and Melrose were key scorers in the second as the Falkirk side worked hard.
The third saw Melrose continue to score with guards Bailley Black and Rose Tyrell also putting points on the board.
In a low scoring fourth that was tied at 8-8, Black, Tyrell and McBain found the net as Fury battled toclose the gap, just falling short.
Captain Freya Melrose top scored on 12 with the hard working Black and Tyrell sharing 20 points.
Eddie McBain, who also battled at both ends of the floor had eight points personal and there were also great minutes played by Jodie Girvan,Chelsey Hughes and U12 star Rachael Dagger.
Fury now will focus on the Scottish National Challenge for their Boys and Girls U14 sides.
Under-16s both get victories on the road
Fury’s top U16 teams had great single digit wins on the road, with the Cadette Women maintaining second spot in Division 1 with a 64-62 win over Perth Phoenix.
After getting a 22-13 opening quarter advantage, Fury remained ahead by eight at the half and were still in front by seven entering the final quarter.
Fury held their nerve for a two-point win.
Captain Emily Melrose got 21 points and Chelsey Hughes had 12.
The Cadet Men maintained sixth in the Scottish Div 1 Under 16 table with a 52-45 win over Stirling Knights. The seven-point win saw the young Falkirk side without key player George Henderson.
The game saw the teams tied 22 apiece at the half.
By the end of the third, the Knights had edged a two point lead, however, a great final period saw Fury take the win in a 17-8 spell.
Harvey Berry returned from injury with a 14 point game high, Ben Adams had 13 with David Black on 11 and Andrew Mellville eight personal.
Knights dent Fury U18 Men’s title hopes
Fury Under-18 Men’s title charge was hit by a 105-63 loss to Stirling Knights.
The Scottish Under-18 Championship holders were 15 points down at the half.
Knights continued to score with ease, with Fury now focussing on the play-offs as they drop to third.
Ellis Walker top scored for Fury with 21 points with Jack Davidson on 12 and Jisin Joseph on 11.
Meanwhile, in Perth, Fury Junior Women lost 60-49 to Perth Phoenix in a key title game.
Despite the loss, Fury still remain top but their Scottish Cup Final opponents Lady Rocks and Phoenix have games in hand and look likely to eventually overhaul the Falkirk side. Abby Rutter top scored on 20 points for Fury.