Dunfermline Reign Claim Historical First SBC Men’s Title, Lynch; Amazing Development has led to Titles
From being the floor at the 2012 London Summer Olympics in the Copperbox Arena and seeing the likes of Lebron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Byrant demolish their opponents, Dunfermline Reigns home court has witnessed more history.
On Tuesday night, a rearranged fixture between Dunfermline Reign and Stirling Knights would either seal the title or keep the title race alive for another week. A 113-60 win over the 2-14 Knights secured the SBC Title for Reign with two games left in the season.
— The Church Of Hoops (@TCoHTweets) February 13, 2019
An impressive run this year saw the Fife side reach 12 league wins without a defeat before being upset by Kings, 84-71. A side that, for the past 10 years, has owned a losing record, posted one of the best starts to the league, other than Falkirk’s undefeated season a few years ago.
Rising from a sub .500 side to league titles was not an overnight occurrence, years of development and producing top tier talent in their youth ages has led to continual development with more wins coming each season. A breakthrough last season allowed them to climb to fifth place in the SBC table.
“The development over the past couple of years has been amazing, we’ve had a loosing record for something like the past 10 years. So, the development over the past few years has been great to see. From 5thposition last year to winning it all this year thanks to the development of our boys that have played for us at U16/18 level.”
With the leaders in the side being veterans Kieran Lynch and Craig Ferguson, the youngsters in the side have had a great opportunity to learn from some of the very best while continuing to win. Youth product, Jake Sirrell, has been one of Dunfermline’s leaders on the offensive end, posting big numbers on more than one occasion.
We spoke with Reign captain, Kieran Lynch, post-game after his team claimed the title,
“It’s be fun, that’s the best thing. We have an amazing ethos, everyone enjoys each others company. It is like big brotherhood.”
With Head Coach Kevin Pringle and assistant coach John Day taking a new relaxed approach to the team, it has allowed the team to flourish. Hard work put in during the pre-season has given Reign one of the best defences in the league, allowing only 65.1 points per game, which ranks 2ndin the league.
“Massive improvements made on the defensive end, KP has made big improvements to the team. Our coaching staff has given a great atmosphere with the squad with trusting us on the floor. He’s relaxed which takes the pressure of us and just lets us play.”
Depth has been something Dunfermline have not had an issue with all season, with their bench contributing when the starters don’t. Lynch himself is confident his newly signed big man, Laurits Juffer is up there as one of the best bigs in the league. (Watch some of his dunks over on our Instagram).
“There’s been games where I’ve gone for 2 or 4 points, but it hasn’t mattered cause we’re so deep. We have so many people that go off and score loads. That’s what makes it fun, we just go to the guy who’s hot, who’s killing it at the time.”
In hindsight, it’s been a dominant season for Reign, but at the Christmas break, it could have come all to nothing. With tough fixture up ahead and yearly title contenders in Edinburgh Kings still to play again as well as reigning League Champions St Mirren, it was not plain sailing ahead.
“Going into January, the odds were in our favour but nothing was guaranteed. Having St Mirren twice after Christmas as well as Kings, we could have been out of the title race by mid-season.”
Looking ahead to next season, Lynch said he, and the rest of the squad, are really looking forward to playing in the BBL Trophy games.
“We hope for a good away tie, get away to an amazing BBL venue. But, we know a home tie would be amazing, to host a professional outfit in Dunfermline, what a game that would be. Give us London, or maybe Plymouth in the Pavillions, that’s a nice place!”
With two fixtures left this season, Reign plan to be officially given the SBC trophy during the first week of Playoffs.
Rank 2nd in defensive PPG (65.1)
Rank 2nd in offensive PPG (86.5)
Craig Ferguson ~ 18 ppg
Jake Sirrell ~ 16 ppg
Kieran Lynch gave his nomination for his MVP from his club, with fellow leader Craig Ferguson taking the honours as he was a leader on and off the court, on both ends of the floor.
Lynch also handed in his nominations for his League All-Star 5…The Church of Hoops All-Stars and League MVP will be announced soon!