ST MIRREN RKC 85 PERTH PHOENIX 52
SAINTS Cadet Men maintained their position at the top of the league table with a great 33-point victory against Perth Phoenix at Linwood Sports Centre.
Although the game started at a slow pace, Saints settled first and opened up a 10-4 lead through aggressive play by Captain Scott Rooney and Ryan McKay.
Sam Stuttard was given the job of closing down Perth’s main threat, internationalist Jack Nicholson, which he did excellently, allowing Saints to build up an early lead and give the team a good platform to work from.
This play helped Saints win the first quarter 18-8.
The start of the second quarter saw Perth change to a zone defence to attempt to slow Saints’ rate of scoring.
This tactic seemed to pay off for Perth early in the quarter although they were unable to capitalise at the offensive end.
After eight minutes of the quarter, Saints were edging it 10-9 and then the home side burst into life, rattling in 10 unanswered points from Rooney, McKay and Kieran Bennett.
This saw Saints win the quarter 20-9, and taking an overall 38-17 lead into the half-time break.
The third quarter saw Saints continue their blistering play with Rooney and Michael Secker scoring freely at the offensive end.
Saints defence was still working well with Stuttard and Calum Griffiths switching up on Perth’s Nicholson to keep a high level of intensity on him.
The quarter finished with Saints winning 27-12, making the lead 65-29.
With the result in no doubt, Saints started to experiment with different player and defence combinations to keep them on their toes.
It was pleasing to see the five under-15 players come in a do a great job on defence and compete well with Perth’s strongest team.
Andrew Hobson scored six quickfire points and Michael Grimsley scored a couple of long-range shots to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Perth narrowly won the final quarter 24-20 with Saints winning the game 85-52.
Coach Craig Chambers commented after the game: “It was great to get another victory under our belt and maintain our position at the top of the table.
“Our overall play was good and all players on the court were being a threat on offence which was pleasing to see.
“It’s important that we carry our form through into the New Year as we have a big game against Edinburgh Kings on January 16 and must be well prepared for this.”
Top scorers for Saints were Scott Rooney (22), Ryan McKay (14), Michael Secker (14).