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BASKETBALL: Bury Blue Devils U16s 54 Preston Pride U16s 72
A RAPIDLY improving Bury side pushed their National League North Conference rivals all the way, but allowed their Lancashire visitors to win by a flattering margin.
Sam Nolan-Massey opened the scoring but Blue Devils were soon 6-2 down after Preston scored two three-pointers. Preston tried to zone press, but Bury foiled them continuously, allowing Sulaiman Qadeer to score eight points, but, at the end of the first quarter, Preston were 15-14 ahead.
Preston resorted to a zone defence, which upset the rhythm of the Blue Devils attack, which took time to adjust and this led to turnovers, missed scoring opportunities and easy lay up scores for Preston, who led 40-28 at half time.
The home team clawed back their deficit to trail 49-40 with four minutes left in the third quarter but allowed Preston back to tie the quarter, 17-17.
Bury went on a nine-point run at the start of the fourth period with Nolan-Massey, Alen Ramic and Henry Powell scoring and were back in the game at 61-53 down with momentum going their way. But then they allowed their opponents a 10-0 run and Bury did not score from the fourth to the ninth minutes, allowing Preston an inflated scoring victory which was not a true reflection of how close the Blue Devils took their opponents. The next fixture is home to Durham Wildcats on Saturday, March 16, with a noon tip off at Holy Cross.