Mixed early season basketball fortunes for NL Chiefs

The NL Chiefs under-16 basketball side are top of the league after two games
The NL Chiefs under-16 basketball side are top of the league after two games

The Cumbernauld-based NL Chiefs teams have got the new season off to an interesting start with a combination of huge wins and heartbreaks.

The under-14s suffered a tough 47-41 loss to a strong Glasgow Rens side in their first Regional Development League game.

The boys played some strong team basketball but just couldn’t overcome the Rens in a tight encounter at St Andrews High School.

However the under-16 are top of their league after cruising to two convincing wins, 108-20 over Edinburgh Kings and 74-8 against Boroughmuir Blaze.

The many highlights included fantastic Mark Thomson, Ignas Suike and Ross Dillon running the fast breaks, Matthew Ball’s killer crossover on the baseline, Jack Coulter’s monster 3s, Stephen Sinclair’s mid-range bombs and Fraser McNally, Andrew McLaghlin and Douglas Rodie dominating the boards.

Scorers v Kings were Jack Coulter 24, Douglas Rodie 14, Mark Thomson 14, Matthew Ball 14, Stephen Sinclair 12, Andrew McLaughlin 10, Ross Dillon 10, Ignas Suike 6 and Fraser McNally 4.

Scorers v Blaze were Jack Coulter 17, Stephen Sinclair 14, Mark Thomson 11, Matthew Ball 10, Ross Dillon 10, Douglas Rodie 6 Andrew McLaughlin 2, Fraser McNally 2 and Ignas Suike 2.

The under-18 men made an outstanding start to the season with a comfortable 80-68 win over Glasgow Rocks.

It was a fantastic start for the boys who couldn’t miss with Cameron Waugh leading the way with 11 of his game high 22 points.

The first quarter ended with the Chiefs being up by 13 points 26-13 and smiles all round.

In the second the boys traded baskets as their defensive intensity dropped, allowing Rocks to get a bit of a rhythm. Despite this, Chiefs won the second quarter by a point with the score 50-36. Things were looking great for the Chiefs with the highlight being Jack Mulholland’s euro step bamboozling the Rocks big man.

In the third quarter the Rocks picked up the intensity, going on an 8-0 run to start the quarter. After a few deep breaths and a rather nervous two point game, the Chiefs boys pulled themselves back into it and the quarter ended with their own eight-point run on the back on a three-pointer from Justas Suike and five straight points from Josh Ferguson. Eventually the quarter finished with Chiefs up by 10, 69-59.

The fourth quarter was a defensive affair as Chiefs consolidated their lead. They were never in trouble as the boys coasted home with strong play from Connor Turton, Justas Suike, Dylan Grey, Ben McEwan and Andrew McQueen.

Final score: 80-68. Scorers: Cameron Waugh 22, Jack Mulholland 21, Josh Ferguson 15, Dan Timothy 12, Justas Suike 7 and Scott Waddington 2

However there was heartbreak in their next match as they went down 63-62 at Inverness thanks to a last-second three-point shot for the home side wehich made it a long journey home.

The senior men’s first team produced a sputtering performance to go down 54-36 at home to Renfrew Rocks.

Despite struggling to find their offensive rhythm they did lead at half-time, but were unable to recover from a poor third quarter in which they only scored nine points to Renfrew’s 21.

A chance at redemption is available though, as the Chiefs face Renfrew again next week in the cup.

Finally, the senior seconds went down 54-50 to Paisley in what was always going to be a tough encounter to start the season against a much older and much bigger Paisley team.

The game was a contrast of two styles as the Chiefs looked to play fast paced, exciting basketball where the Paisley side looked to slow things down and spent most of the game in a zone defence trying to frustrate the home side.

It was nip and tuck throughout with the Chiefs up in the final minutes. Unfortunately though, the young Chiefs side just couldn’t get over the line. However, there were some really promising signs for the season to come as coach Coyle moulds his team.