date_range Published 30 Jul 2018

The top four are set, although the match-ups for playoffs will not be determined until Dunedin club basketball’s last week.

That leaves the City Rise Bombers, St Kilda Saints and Andy Bay Falcons with plenty to play for.

All are tied on seven wins. The Bombers and Saints have a game in hand and will meet on Thursday night.

The Saints snapped a three-game losing streak on Saturday with a 95-62 win over Varsity.

While Varsity stuck around early, the Saints ground it down in typical fashion.

Its 2-2-1 press did a good job of slowing down Varsity in the first half and after leading 26-18 at quarter-time, the Saints pulled away late in the second to lead 50-32 at halftime.

A switch to a 1-2-2 half court press in the second half again caused Varsity problems, as turnovers became more prominent.

Those hurt Varsity, while in the half-court the Saints worked the ball well to create good looks against Varsity’s zone. Guards James Ross and Tinashe Matambanadzo in particular proved difficult to contain, scoring 18 and 21 points respectively.

Ben Ross (15 points) did his best to help keep the score ticking over for Varsity, but it was not enough to stop the Saints pulling out to a 77-51 lead at the final break.

They continued piling on the pressure, scoring another 28 in the fourth and holding Varsity to just 11 further points.

The Falcons — who beat Varsity 70-65 in a midweek fixture — had a four-game winning streak snapped by the Mid City Magic.

Points proved hard to come by early for the Falcons, while Matt Dukes showed his class in scoring 11 first-quarter points — including three three-pointers — to have the Magic up 19-10.

The Falcons pulled that deficit back to four midway through the second quarter, doing a good job of containing the Magic in transition.

However, the Magic restored the margin to 34-25 at halftime, before a big third quarter took the game away from the Falcons.

Josh Aitcheson became prominent during that period, scoring 15 of his 19 points in a phase which helped the Magic jump to a 60-40 lead.

The Falcons tried to come back from that early, but the intensity fell from the game as it wound down.

Dukes led all scorers with 22 points, while Emerson Watson had 16 for the Falcons.

In the middle game, Steve Robinson had 37 points as the City Rise Bombers ended the Magic Lions’ chances of a playoff spot with.

Story: Otago Daily Times