For the second week running King’s Lynn Fury lost out to one to the National League Development South East Division’s top two sides.
Visitors Southwark Pride completed a season’s double with a 75-69 basketball victory at Lynnsport on Saturday evening.
Having reached the Play-Off final last season, Fury were regarded as one of the favourites to make progress from the South East section with some seeing them as potential group winners.
However, the loss of key players from the last campaign and the effects of a disjointed season due to problems at their home court saw Fury trailing the top two, albeit with games in hand. Last week’s defeat at Greenwich made it imperative to reverse the defeat at Southwark in the campaign opener.
It was over six weeks since Fury last enjoyed the benefit of home court advantage and it was really good for their fans to welcome the team home for this key game.
Fury started with captain Aliek Laryn away and Tomas Liberis suffering from a facial injury picked up in training on Thursday evening.
The game opened at a terrific pace with Fury faced by a young, athletic side who were clearly going to run all night. Fury countered with their usual mix of individual brilliance and the three-point threat.
Fury managed five triples, from four different players, in a high scoring opening quarter which saw the teams finish at 25 apiece.
The second quarter was equally high-paced but defences began to get a grip on the opposition tactics. Arnas Maziliauskas kept Fury moving with eight points in the quarter which saw Pride edge into a 41-40 interval lead.
It was the third quarter when separation between the teams occurred. Pride scored the first seven points but Fury fought back and when Mindaugas Spukas connected from beyond the arc they were back to within a score at 50-47.
This prompted a Pride response and they closed out the third with a 10-4 run to enjoy a useful 60-51 lead going into the final period.
Under pressure and lacking a little composure, Fury’s three-point attempts failed to hit the target and despite their best efforts the gap remained stubbornly at five or above right through until the final minute.
With Giedrius Pakalniskis hitting six late points the gap was back to within four at 73-69 inside the last 30 seconds. However, with Pride hitting a couple of free throws and Fury committing a costly turn-over, the final push proved futile as Pride held on for the win.
Leading points: Maziliauskas 21, Pakalniskis 12, Audrius Grekis 12.
Tomorrow, Fury finish their pre-Christmas schedule with a visit to old rivals Cambridge Cats. The Cats have shown some improvement in recent weeks and Fury coach James Bamfield will see this as a ‘must-win’ game for his side.