We headed to the Mariner Centre for one last time on Friday night for a Playoff Semi-Final between Sony Centre Fury and Glasgow Storm.
With a Finals spot up for grabs, there was plenty at stake for both teams. Storm showed some nerves in the first quarter, getting off to a really slow start. Falkirk were able to capitalise on this with Keith Bunyan lighting up behind the arc.
Fury worked the ball well as a team and made Glasgow Storm work for extended periods on the defensive end with several offensive possessions lasting deep into the shot-clock.
At the end of the first 10 minutes, Fury were able to take a comfortable 17-6 lead into the break of play. Many might have thought that this would have been game over for the Glasgow side who looked frustrated after a poor first quarter.
This was not to be the case, however. Storm’s Steven Murdoch caught fire in the second quarter to cut the Fury lead. Murdoch’s 11-point scoring spree and some lights out shooting from Storm’s Kyle Haldane gave Storm a 33-32 lead as time wound down on an exciting first half.
Fury were able to beat the buzzer before half-time and took a narrow 1-point lead to the locker room at the break. With the game evenly poised at 33-32, it was certainly still all to play for in the second-half.
It was Fury who started strongest in the third quarter with defence playing the key to their success in a 20-7 quarter. Storm’s scoring struggles returned in the third quarter which left the Glasgow outfit frustrated.
With it all still to do in the final period, Storm looked inspired and ready to start their comeback once more.
Unfortunately for Storm, Fury’s experience prevailed down the stretch and an impressive contribution from Fury’s Keith Bunyan and Adam Hammerschmidt put the game within reach.
Storm, who have continued to improve and cause upsets this season, continued to fight hard at both ends of the floor but could not reduce the deficit to any less than 10-points as Fury punched their ticket to this year’s Playoff Final with a 68-58 win.
Friday night also saw the other Men’s Semi-Final take place, with St Mirren West College Scotland hosting Boroughmuir Blaze at the Lagoon. Blaze were victors in this one to set up a re-match of this year’s Scottish Cup Final.