Bears are caged by lively Muskies

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Senior men

For THE second time in five weeks Highland Bears made the trip down to Arbroath, this time it was a league encounter.

The last game in the cup was a completely different affair, with Muskies’ Cadets having their point guard and captain Chris Thomson out for this game.

Musketeers got off to a quick start with the starting five of Callum Ewan, David Milne, Ewan Laing, Kailin Brannigan and Daniel Fraser all contributing to the early flourish which saw the Musketeers go into a 9-2 lead.

Highland, as always, came in with a determined attitude and cut the gap to finish the quarter level at 12-12.

The second quarter was scrappy, with the lead changing hands often and many easy chances missed by both teams.

The Musketeers certainly did not help themselves by throwing the ball away and allowing Highland more chances at the basket, along with Highland grabbing every rebound in sight, the Musketeers were lucky to go in with a slender two point lead at half-time, 28-26.

A good start to the second half was important to build the lead and gain some distance and momentum in the game.

Ewan Laing really led the charge and was important in the Musketeers holding their four-point lead. Midway through the third quarter the cadets went on a fantastic run, Daniel Fraser during this period of the game showed how far his offensive skills have come, scoring six points in the quarter, with David Milne also distributing the ball well.

During this period the Musketeers kept Highland away from the rebounds and led to the lead ballooning to 50-39 finishing the quarter.

The priority now was to see the game out. The five starting the quarter did a fantastic job of working together and again the lead started to grow as they kept Highland away from the rebounds, Cameron Mathieson especially picked up some offensive rebounds and played tough. This took the game out of reach at 65-51.

A late Highland flurry brought the lead down to 68-60, but the game finished with the Musketeers’ Cadets winning their third game in a row.

This was a game of character. Having lost their captain it would have been easy for the Cadets to fold. But a strong show of character and toughness brought them the win against a big and strong Highland side. Cadets needed to show that character when they faced local rivals Perth Phoenix in a midweek fixture on Wednesday in Perth.

Scorers: Ewan Laing 25, Daniel Fraser 18, Kailin Brannigan 9, David Milne 8, Callum Ewan 4, Michael Milne, Cameron Matheson 2.

Junior men

The MUSKIES’ Junior Men returned to league play this week with a midweek 79-52 win in a scrappy game away to local rivals Perth Phoenix.

And Saturday saw them up against Highland Bears.

The first quarter saw the Juniors play their best team basketball of the season. Pressure defence and fast transition play led to the team sharing the ball to find the easiest scoring option. Kevin and Mark Myers were unstoppable on the boards, running the floor in transition and the Highland forwards struggled to cope with the pace of the game. A massive quarter ended 37-14 in favour of the Muskies.

The second quarter saw the Muskies use their role players effectively who kept the game competitive. Cameron Harris was again aggressive driving to the basket and Duncan Patullo ran the floor and converted fast break opportunities. However, the team struggled to cope with the size of the taller Highland players who won the rebounding stats and closed the game to 60 to 40 at the half.

The third quarter was another big quarter for the Muskies who really stepped up another gear defensively. Great team-work and defence held the Highland team to only 10 points in the quarter and with guards Spink and Sim finding open team-mates and scoring at will the Muskies went into the fourth quarter with a 91 to 50 lead.

The fourth quarter was a low scoring affair with the game already over and it ended 107-63 in favour of the ever improving Musketeers’ side.

They now face Falkirk Fury at 5.20 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday) at Arbroath High School.

Scorers: Nicky Sim 27, Jeb Spink 20, Cameron Harris 16, Kevin Myers 15, Mark Myers 12, Duncan Pattullo 12, Ross Walker 4, Mathew Skyner 2.