Could a basketball league be coming to Moray and the Highlands? Interest gauged at Gordonstoun tournament
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INTEREST in developing a Highland Basketball League was gauged as six teams from across the area came together in Moray recently.
The teams – all from Moray and the Highlands – took to the court at Gordonstoun School at the end of October as interest in a new league put to the test.
Teams were split into two mini groups of three teams with the Moray Mavericks first team, Highland Bears and Inverness City Lions being drawn into Pool A. Inverness Falcons, Caithness Vikings and Moray Mavericks B were drawn into Pool B.
The first round of games saw Moray Mavericks first team take on a well-organised Highland Bears team.
It was a close game early on before the Mavericks team started finding their shooting range and developing a healthy lead going into the final quarter. Moray Mavericks took the win 45-27.
On the other court, at the same time, Moray Mavericks B took on the Falcons. The experience from the Falcons players was shown as they were able to build a nice 10-point lead early in the game and slowly build on it as the game went on. The Falcons took the win 52-28.
The second round of games saw the Highland Bears playing back-to-back games as they took on the Inverness Lions. The lions were able to build up an early lead from scoring in transition. They went on to take the win 61-31.
On court B the Moray Mavericks B took on newcomers in the Caithness Vikings. The game started with teams trading baskets and neither team managing to develop a sizeable lead. The Mavericks used their combination of size and speed to slowly carve out a lead and took the win 51-41.
The final round of pool games saw the Moray Mavericks take on the experienced Inverness Lions. The Lions found their shooting boots early on and were able to develop a first quarter 16-point lead as the Mavericks struggled to find any consistency early on.
The lead quickly developed to 20 points before the Mavericks began to find some gaps in the Lions defence and exploit them. The Mavericks continued to close the gap throughout the third and fourth quarters but the Lions strength and depth held out in the end as they took the win 54-44.
On the other court the Vikings took on the Falcons with the Falcons knowing that a win would see them top their pool. They managed to get off to a good start and built on that throughout the game with some good shooting. The Falcons took the win 72-27.
The final games of the day meant that the teams who won their pools played against each other, while second and third did likewise.
The Highland Bears took on Caithness Vikings in what proved to be a close game before the experience of the Bears saw them take the game 39-28.
On the other court, Moray Mavericks first team took on Moray Mavericks B. The Mavericks' first team started picking up injuries early into this game leaving them with only five players who were feeling the pace, especially as the second team used their substitutes really well.
The first team built up an early five-point lead but struggled to build on this throughout the game, going into the final quarter with a 10-point lead. They managed to see it over the line with a 56-40 victory.
The final game of the day was between both teams that won all their pool games as Inverness Lions took on the Falcons.
Inverness again showed how they could turn a zone defence into a transition offence and took an early 12-point lead going into the second quarter. They continued to build on this throughout the game and took a 71-38 victory.
Graham Stewart, who helped organise the day, said: "It was great to get six teams from across the north-west of Scotland take to the court in some competitive games.
"It is hoped we can build on the success of this event and get a more formal group together to continue to grow opportunities for basketball in Moray and the Highlands.
"A special thanks should go to Gordonstoun for being so accommodating in hosting us and also to those who helped officiate on the floor and the tables during the day that allowed the day to be so successful."
If anyone is interested in supporting the development of basketball in Moray and the Highlands they can contact Mr Stewart at Graham@moraymavericks.com
For more information about the Moray Mavericks you can also visit their website at www.moraymavericks.com