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Bury Blue Devils 59 Preston 80
3:00pm Thursday 6th March 2014 in Sport
In the first quarter of their Manchester Amateur League cup semi-final, both teams matched each other for points.
Phil Stainton and Ergotism Togo hit the first 12 points for Bury, while Kin Lin Hing hit a three to give the hosts a 15-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Chris Stainton and Conor Wilkinson added baskets to help Bury to a 9-0 run.
Defensively, Bury limited Preston’s options helping the hosts to establish a 10-point lead and causing the visitors to call a timeout to regroup. Preston stepped up a gear going on an 18-4 run, hitting from the outside and also getting good positions inside. Bury faltered as they saw their lead evaporate and at half time were 34-28 down.
Bury came out strong in the third quarter and hit a 7-0 run with the Stainton brothers and Togo hitting shots. Preston’s experience told as they moved the ball well, creating space and opportunities.
As Bury began to lose composure and focus, Preston went on a 14-4 run to blow the game wide open.
In the fourth quarter, Preston increased the lead to 28 points and with the game out of reach, the focus for Bury was to go out with their heads held high.
With great composure from Jay Knowles, Bury’s play improved and they won the quarter 20-17, but lost the game 80-59.
Coach Mike Nichols said: “This was a lesson in composure and knowing when to step up, and Preston demonstrated why they are such a great team. “Once they found that extra gear it was an uphill struggle for us and credit to them for proving they deserve to be in the final. “At times we played with toughness and a great attitude but there were moments when we faltered and Preston took advantage. “We can take the positives and learn from the negatives for our next home game.”
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