BASKETBALL: Our Ladies 78 Bury Blue Devils 94

First published in Sport

BURY took six players to Our Ladies for the final game of the regular season in the Manchester Amateur Basketball League.

With third place decided, it was Our Ladies who had everything to lose as a defeat would mean relegation.

The home side scored first with a three-pointer but Ergoli Togo and Stu Jackson countered for Bury.

Both teams traded baskets with Chris Stainton contributing for Bury.

The zone defence was effective and Bury went into the second quarter one point behind Our Ladies at 16-15.

The introduction of substitute Kin Ling proved decisive for Bury as he hit three shots, and with player/coach Mike Nichols hitting two baskets from long range, Bury stormed into a 35-20 lead.

Togo contributed and although the home team rallied, Bury held a healthy 12-point lead at half time.

The teams traded baskets in the third quarter and Bury switched to a 3-2 defensive zone to counter the shooters.

However, with three minutes remaining the home side attacked the basket going on a 10-0 run to level the game on a buzzer-beating shot.

In the final quarter the teams traded baskets with the lead exchanging hands five times.

With Bury down by two with only a few minutes remaining Stainton hit a drive to tie the game. Easy shots were missed as both teams began to tire.

Bury made a run to lead by four points with two minutes left.

However, as Jason Knowles grabbed a rebound he was fouled.

Rather than stay calm the home side argued with the officials. A technical foul was called and then another as composure went out of the window.

Bury were given eight free throws and made four to extend the lead, eventually winning 94-78.

Coach Mike Nichols said: “Composure won us this game.

“Two players stepped up big tonight – Chris Stainton and Kin Ling – hitting 24 and 23 points respectively.

“Ling hitting six threes was big for us.

“With five players in double figures, team work and sharing the offence worked for us against a very good team.”

Bury Blue Devils now wait to see who they will meet in the play-off semi-finals.

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