This week, the Game of the Week team was in Grangemouth to witness Sony Centre Fury play host to Boroughmuir Blaze. Fury would come away as the victors, edging out the away team 78-63.
Blaze came out strong and dominated the defensive boards and John Browne made a couple of early statements, starting with a jump shot from inside the key despite the pressure from the Fury defence, giving his team an early lead. The home team came back with a long-range two from Adam Hammerschmidt. A couple of missed free throws for Boroughmuir after an unsuccessful drive for Green slowed the pace a little, before John Browne hit a big three-point shot from the top of the key, assisted by Mateus Kruczynski on the break.
Eoghann Dover then took the lead to 6 points with a drive through the paint, drawing the foul and getting the basket. The free throw then completed the three-point play and put the score to 8-2 over the home team with 6 minutes left in the first quarter.
A lay-up from Kornelijus Dauksas was the beginning of Falkirk’s comeback and marked the 6-point lead as the largest Blaze would earn the whole night. A three from Eddie Leginas, one of Hammerschmidt’s two free throws, and a dish from Greg Foussas to Dauksas under the basket for an off-the-glass lay-up soon put Falkirk up 10-8. they wouldn’t lose the lead for the rest of the game, despite Blaze’s best efforts.
With 3:44 left in the first quarter, Fury Captain, Keith Bunyan came into the game for the first time. His first touch of the ball ended in a baseline three-point attempt that fell short but earned him a trip to the free-throw line for 3 shots. His first 2 were on the money but his third didn’t manage to fall, however, his team-mate Dauksas was on hand to collect the rebound and finish with a lay-up, sealing a four-point play.
For the remainder of the first quarter, Brian Munnoch would hit a fade-away jump shot, much to the delight of the home crowd, and Hammerschmidt sunk his first of 4 three-pointers throughout the match.
With the score sitting at 19-8, Blaze eventually managed to put an end to Fury’s 17-point scoring run with a simple passing pay, creating space in the paint for Lewis Crofts to get a lay-up inside.
Bunyan found his groove from distance in the closing moments of the first quarter, hitting the second of three three-pointers Fury finished off with, the others coming from Hammerschmidt. However, the birthday boy, David Rowan made his presence known with a baseline three-pointer to settle Blaze’s score at 13 for the first quarter. A Hammerschmidt three would then put Fury up 25-13 heading into the second quarter.
A few changes to Blaze’s line-up made for some unexpected challenges for Fury as they gave up all but one point of their lead by the end of the first half. The first difference to Blaze’s game-play was the full-court press they were laying on Fury every time they made their way up the court. But it wasn’t looking too promising at the start as a jump shot from Ivan Ganchev and a free throw from Dauksas putting Fury at 28-13 early in the quarter.
David Rowan then notched a couple of mid-range jumpers to get Blaze back into the game, and as Rodger Watt went to the line to take his free throws, Fury subbed 4 of their 5 players onto the court. Watt hit both of his shots from the line, taking the score to 28-19.
Then, a lay-up for Hammerschmidt wasn’t quite matched on the other end by one of two shots at the line by Crofts. A three-point splash by Connor Martin gave Fury their penultimate points for the half, with only a couple of points from Leginas to show for the final 5 minutes of play. Blaze’s next 12 points were bookended by three-pointers at the hands of Eoghan Dover, bolstered by a jump shot in the paint for Ben Warrington, who also went for a fade-away but came up short. Back-to back points for Kruczynski were the final touches in the comeback for Blaze, a textbook lay-up through the paint and a baseline jumper kept the Fury defence guessing where the threat was coming from.
The first half ended with a promising tight score of 35-34 to the Home team.
The third quarter got under way with a lay-up under a lot of pressure for Fury’s Zygimantas Dauksas, but Blaze also came out strong and Kruczynski made both of his shots from the line, keeping the score to one point.
Dauksas drew a foul from Kruczynski, getting a chance to go to the line but also got the basket in the process. Despite missing both of his free throws, Dauksas started off a 6 point run for Fury, including his tenth and final point in the game.
With 6:30 on the clock, it was John Browne that ended Blaze’s scoring drought by knocking down a swished jump shot but this was quickly silenced with a pair of three-pointers put up by Hammerschmidt.
A timeout called with 5:00 left and the score sitting at 49-38, Blaze came back looking to shake up a convincingly one-sided quarter. Both teams went shot for shot, getting a pair of baskets each in the next two minutes.
Blaze’s Browne got his chance to go the line for 2 shots, missing the first but hitting the second before heading to the bench for Sam Stott.
Another big shot from Bunyan didn’t quite make its way through the hoop but making the most of every opportunity, Fury collected the offensive rebound and got it back out to their captain. Not one to waste the second attempt, Bunyan hit the three and stretched Fury’s lead to 13.
Rowan then made his second three pointer of the night to keep his side in the game. Leginas and Munnoch both got a lay-up each to tally up 60 points for fury by the end of the third quarter. Rowan got the final say as the clock was ticking down, hitting his third of four three-pointers of the night, taking the score to 60-49 at the end of the third quarter.
The final quarter opened with Rowan’s last of his 16 points for the night, and his fourth three pointer. Foussas got the home team’s 9-point scoring run underway with a lay-up, followed by a couple of free throws each for Munnoch and Martin. Leginas topped off their run with a big three, much to the home crowd’s enjoyment.
Blaze’s, Ben Warrington, was the standout performer for his team in the final quarter, notching up back-to-back baskets with a jump shot in the paint and a reverse lay-up getting 4 of his 5 final quarter points.
With Fury ahead 69-56 with less than 5 minutes left in the game and both teams showed no signs of giving up. Leginas knocked down another shot for Fury, and Warrington replied on the other end, assisting Sam Stott with a reverse lay-up,.
Hammerschmidt started of his solo display at the end of the quarter for Fury with a baseline jumper and a three from the top of the key, leaving Blaze with an insurmountable 18-point difference to break down.
Eoghan Dover made it to double digits with one of his free-throws, making the first but not getting the second to fall. Hammerschmidt came back with a breakaway drive to the basket to finish off his 25 points for the game and Fury’s 78.
A couple of timeouts in the last two minutes for Fury were answered both times with points for Blaze, the first being a shot from outside the arc hitting well for Watt, and the second and final score for Blaze coming from the line for Ben Warrington.
Blaze went to the line a couple more times before the full-time buzzer sounded, settling the game at 78-63 to Fury. Falkirk now remain at the top of the league with a 7-1 record.
Fury Coach John Bunyan was quite happy with his teams performance;
“A good result, they’re a team that like to score so from a defensive perspective it was a good score. There were a couple of times we needed to reel ourselves in, they changed their line-up in the second quarter and we didn’t respond as we should when that happened. We moved the ball about well in the last couple quarters and it’s all about people being sensible and playing to their strengths. A couple of times we didn’t do that. But pleased with the win, a good crowd and a good game.
Blaze Guard Davy Rowan had the following to say after his team’s loss:
“We played really hard and we should be proud of that but we just have to execute better. A lot of the time we’re over-dribbling and we’re attacking far too quickly. When we move the defence around like we should then we do well. We came in feeling like we needed to prove ourselves after being embarrassing against St Mirren. We knew we would have a tough game, most of the game we played really hard, but with a few lapses.”
In Blaze’s next game they will host Stirling Knights in the Scottish Cup on the 3rd of November. Fury will travel away to play Glasgow Storm in the Cup on the 4th of November.