Basketball: St Kilda Saints upset Falcons in semi

The St Kilda Saints put on their best performance of the season and knocked out the more fancied Falcons in men's A-grade basketball last night, winning the semifinal match-up 74-69.

With the Falcons finishing the regular season with the best record, most would have picked them to dispose of an inconsistent Saints side.

However, the Saints played some quick-thinking and decisive basketball to control the match-up in what was a tight contest, worthy of finals basketball.

The Saints were helped by quick guard James Ross who controlled the floor and continually set up his team-mates with some well-placed passes.

When the pass was not open, Ross went up a gear and placed some well-put jump shots into the net on his way to top-scoring for his side with 23 points.

Team-mate Ollie Smith had a slow first half where he scored three points, but stepped his game up in the second spell to score a further 16 points, the last five through free-throws to end the game.

The only down side for the team was the inconsistent play by regular starter Tom Ingham.

Ingham threw up countless jump shots throughout the game, but finished with only five points.

If the team is to really push the Magic this Saturday in the final, it will have to hope for every player to step up and cut out some reckless shots.

For the Falcons, Sam King once again wreaked havoc under the basket on his way to leading his team with 23 points.

King tried to claw back the game for his team in the final stages, but shots which dropped for him earlier in the season fell short.

The Saints will play the Magic in the final this Saturday at 3pm at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin.

- John McKenzie


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