Newly promoted Grampian Flyers made the journey south to Paisley this weekend to take on title contending St Mirren.
Saints Head Coach Liam Stevenson said prior to tip,
“We’re really looking forward to getting out on the floor today, the boys have worked hard in training. We have a new offence we’re working on and it’ll be great to see in translate to a game.”
St Mirren sit 4th(2-0) in the table coming into today’s game, with a game in hand on the 3 above. Grampian sit 7th, also only playing 2 games but claiming a resounding 99-40 win over Scottish Cup finalists Perth Phoenix.
Grampian got off to a flying start early in the first quarter, racing out to a 11-4 lead, beating the Saints on the fast break. Head Coach Mhairi Guthrie had her boys in a perfect game plan coming out of the gate.
Stevenson was having none of it and asked questions of Captain Robbie Stevenson who had gotten off to a poor start. Making some statement changes midway through the first quarter, the Saints started hitting on all cylinders as the scratched away at the gap and closed the first quarter out in the lead, 18-13.
Brad Low, who had made his debut for the Senior team earlier this month, brought the physicality and edge to the game that the home side had been lacking, using his senior experience to his advantage.
Grampian had been grounded as the scoreboard stopped ticking over for them in the second quarter, despite their best efforts. At 26-13, 5:40 on the clock, Flyers finally notched up something on the scoreboard as Sam Bellarby stepped up and sank a pair of freethrows.
Home court advantage was evident as the Saints excelled of the crowd’s energy as they flew past the Flyers up the court. Big man, Tom Craik, put only the second pair of points on the board for Grampian as he had a silky-smooth move going to the basket to beat the defence, with under 2 minutes remaining. A sense of furious urgency hit the Saints as they attacked the basket hard to end the half, leading 40-17.
Turnovers were an issue for the Grampian team through the first few minutes. Stevenson, Low and Gregor Merril padded up the box score with consecutive steals mid court for open layups the other end.
Owen Bowie got the first second half basket for Grampian, cleverly turning a poorly missed shot from Bellarby into an alley-oop. Bowie was making the best of a bad situation, as he tried hard to get his squad back into the game.
Robbie Stevenson was having none of a so called comeback as he fought through the contact and chucked up a circus shot falling away from the basket, summing up Grampians day, it fell – and-one. The third quarter ended, 60-33.
Despite the scoring gap, the game intensity was still there. Stevenson and Grampians Angus Wylie got into a heated playing battle, going hard at each other. The final period saw Merril take charge of the game to see his Saints home, causing havoc on the defensive end as he returned from injury last season. Grampian made a dent in the gap, but it proved of no avail as St Mirren strutted out with a 78-45 win.