BOROUGHMUIR 72 ST MIRREN RKC 63
A RING-RUSTY St Mirren team suffered disappointing defeat at Boroughmuir as they returned to action after a long festive break.
Now Saints coach Drew Grimsley is hoping his players will quickly regain their match sharpness.
He said: “The home game against Boroughmuir was a tense thriller in which we did not perform well at all and were narrowly defeated.
“There have been significant improvements in the team since then, so we travelled through in confident mood.”
Saints set out their stall from the whistle, hitting nine straight points with no reply, Maciej Zarnowski making two strong buckets from inside, Fraser Black, with two free throws and Michael Grimsley hitting a long three pointer.
After their shock the Blazers began to settle and find their rhythm, with both teams trading baskets until the end of the quarter.
The second quarter continued the same way with both teams playing well, but none being able to pull away.
The half ended with Saints up five points at 37- 32.
The hustling full court press from Blaze began to pay off at the start of the second half, generating some quick turnovers, allowing the home side to turn a five-point deficit into a six-point lead with six minutes to go in the quarter.
Coach Grimsley called a time out to calm the nerves and sort out the press break.
He said: “This seemed to work and allowed us to get the offence working again.
“We began to get back into the groove, but it wasn’t long before we just stopped scoring.
“Despite running the offences well and generating plenty of easy looks, we just could not get the ball in the basket!
“While we were struggling, the Blazer’s number nine, Malcolm Winning, hit an unbelievable spell, five from five ‘threes’ in a row and then a two-pointer without response, hitting 20 of his 30 points all in the third quarter.”
Saints started the quarter down by 15, having to change the defence to full court to try and retrieve the situation.
With some great defensive determination from the guys and some great shooting from Michael Grimsley, who bagged 11 points during this time, Saints were pegging them back.
However, again their failure to convert the easy lay-ups took its toll and eventually they ran out of time.
This was another frustrating loss for coach Grimsley’s team, especially with all the effort and determination the guys showed throughout the game.
He added: “They played some pretty decent defence and ran the offences extremely well generating plenty of opportunities, but we just failed to convert.
“In games like these we just need to have more confidence and show more composure when taking the ball to the hoop.”
Top scorers were Michael Grimsley on 23 points, Fraser Black with 10 points and Maciej Zarnowski with 10.
St Mirren’s next game is away to Edinburgh in the Scottish Cup at Portobello High School on Saturday.
Tip-off time is 11am.