SONY CENTRE FURY 88 DUNFERMLINE REIGN 98
Scottish Soho Wealth Senior Men Division 1 Championship
Fury Men's run of 7 - 0 in the Championship ended with a 10pt loss in Dunfermline to current Champions - Reign. The defeat now opens up the Championship with no fewer than 4 teams sitting on 1 loss - Fury, Reign, Kings and St.Mirren and the title surely to be won by one of these teams.
A poor opening period saw Fury go 10 behind early on, forcing Coach John Bunyan to bring regular starter Eddie Leginas into the game.
The Lithuanian point guard who was ill before the game had been scheduled to sit out as much as possible - that lasted approx 4 minutes of the game, with Fury struggling to put points on the board and leaking , points at the other end to an aggressive Reign side.
Leginas brought some stability back into the Fury side, hitting back to back baskets and with American guard Makaleb McInnis ending the period with a 2 and a 3, Fury had held out to be just 11 behind at 24-13.
A high scoring second saw the Falkirk side take the period 25-20 and with the gap at 6, the score probably did not reflect how far ahead Reign had been in terms of the game overall.
13pts from a sick Leginas and 8 from fellow guard Bantu Burroughs had seen Fury now back in the game.
The third saw an even higher scoring period with both teams 'on fire' - and it was Fury's veteran 42yr Captain Keith Bunyan who led Fury's charge to 27-25 period and the gap now at 4 going into the final quarter. Bunyan with his trademark 3pt shooting had 4 threes, with one, a 4point play, to give him 13 personal in the third.
With the scoreline at 69-65 to Reign, it was game on with both teams striving to gain ascendancy. Bunyan, McInnis and Burroughs all hit 3's and then when Leginas was fouled on a 3pt shot and he scored all 3 from the charity stripe, Fury were suddenly in the lead at 82-81 with just a couple of minutes left in the game. Back to back baskets from hard working Lithuanina forward Zyggi Dauksas saw Fury still in control at 86-85,but it was Reign who executed in the final minutes as they moved clear forcing Fury to foul to stop the clock, but it was not enough as Reign regained the 10 pt difference they had had at the start of the game for the win.
For Fury, an astonishing first half performance from Leginas saw him net 17pts, but also saw him struggle with to continue in the second half, nevertheless adding another 6 for a top scoring 23pt game.
The Falkirk side had 4 other players in double digit scoring, McInnis on 19, Bunyan 17, Burroughs 15 and Dauksas 11.
Fury Headcoach John Bunyan commented to Heraldsport after the game -
'Its a disappointing loss but credit to Reign, we failed to stop their penetration to the basket and paid the penalty. Jake Sirrell was outstanding and we have to do a better job on him at our home game. We eventually picked up our own offence, scoring 75pts in the 2nd/3rd and 4th periods, but we cannot at the same time concede almost the same amount of points and of course play as poorly as we did in the first.
We came into the game top in scoring in the league and with the second best defensive record - that did not show. As well as looking at our individual defence we need to look at our team defence situations and be ready for what will be a very tough and key game against Kings at home on Friday. I feel we have a great side, with lots of talent and we are still very much in the title race.'