Scoring run gives Lions win

A second-quarter run has helped the Magic Lions take a big step towards the top four.

They jumped ahead of the City Rise Bombers to claim a 73-65 win in Dunedin men’s club basketball on Saturday.

It takes them clear into third place on four wins, one ahead of the Bombers and Andy Bay Falcons — who look to be in a scrap for the final two top-four spots.

The Lions held the Bombers to eight points until midway through the second quarter.

While they struggled to score themselves early, they opened the second on an 18-0 point run.

That gave them a 29-8 lead.

The Bombers closed the gap back to six early in the third quarter, and five late, but it proved too much to overcome.

Max Pearce had 27 points for the Lions, the Otago Nuggets big man threatening both from the outside and in the post, getting the better of his Nuggets opposite, Robbie Coman.

Coman had 15 points himself — notably scoring eight straight in the second quarter, helping the Bombers back into the game.

He formed a handy Bombers big three with Matthew Bardsley (20 points) and Olly Smith (17 points).

However, they accounted for virtually all the Bombers’ points.

The Lions were similarly top heavy scoring-wise, although they got 14 and 13-point contributions from Levi Cockcroft and Lachie Cameron respectively — both key in the Lions’ 18-0 run.

In the early game, the unbeaten St Kilda Saints withstood a fourth-quarter comeback to beat the Falcons 89-83.

The Saints led 56-35 midway through the third quarter, appearing to be cruising as the Falcons offence struggled to generate anything.

The St Kilda backcourt duo of Mike Ruske and James Ross had torched the Falcons up until that point — dropping 29 and 25 points respectively, Ross scoring 14 in the first quarter alone.

However, the Falcons began clawing back the lead late in the third quarter.

They closed the gap to six points on a Sam Senior (24 points) three-pointer with 1min 20sec to play.

Ruske hit two free throws to extend the gap to eight, before two more quick three-pointers from Senior made it 83-81 with 46 seconds left.

A Tyler Lapham layup took the margin back to four, though, before Ross got to the hoop to put the game away.

Varsity defaulted to the Mid City Magic in the day’s other game.

The Magic remains in second place, its only loss being by one point to the Saints.



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