King’s Lynn Fury basketball side will tomorrow travel to London in the first round of the 2016 play-offs to meet Southwark Pride after finishing third behind their hosts.
Late on Saturday evening the news filtered through that Pride had hung on to defeat Tauras by 14 points and therefore would finish second on head to head results over Fury.
It was slightly disappointing that both Fury’s and Pride’s opponents for Sunday’s last day of the season both chose to forfeit the fixture.
This meant that Saturday’s games ended up deciding the conference standings.
This may mean that Fury will fail to gain automatic promotion to Division Three although finishing equal on points to Southwark may show Fury’s ability to compete at higher levels.
Head coach James Bamfield said: “We’re obviously disappointed to finish third on the head to head but can only have ourselves to blame as we weren’t suitably prepared or focused on the task for much of the early season.
“Once everyone started to get an understanding of our schemes of play and focus on executing with maximum effort we showed our true ability.
“We will now shift our focus towards the play-offs and after reaching the final last year I’m sure the whole squad is hoping to go one further.”
A coach will be leaving Lynnsport. Follow King’s Lynn Fury on Facebook and Twitter for more details.
Fury 95 Essex Blades 77
Fury had cut the Blades down to size to romp home in their final National League Development League (South East) regular season game on Saturday at a packed Lynnsport.
On Sunday, Fury had been due to visit Dagenham Dragons, in a frequently postponed game, to complete their programme. However, after some uncertainty the Dragons forfeit giving Fury a 20-0 win and a 14 and 3 record.
The Blades established leads at 10-6 and 17-12.
Back to back triples from Eivydas Aleska saw Fury nudge ahead but a late run saw the Blades up 26-22 at the end of the first quarter.
Blades led at 41-31, then Aleska proved the catalyst for a momentum shift.
He sliced through the defence for two then added a further triple. Arnas Mazilialiskas added six points as Fury poured in 15 unanswered to lead 46-41 at the interval, to a rapturous ovation.
At 51-46 youngster Donatas Zakanas took advantage of space near the corner to land two threes which were supplemented by a third from Mazilialiskas in an 11-2 run which broke the contest open.
Fury pushed on to take a 68-52 advantage into the final quarter. Bamfield with over three minutes remaining then turned to his most experienced group.
Deividas Butkevicius answered by landing a three from the top of the key and then going coast to coast to lay in two further points, blunting the Blades.
From a position of strength at 89-70, the final two minutes were contested by the youngest Fury team seen in many years with 19 year-old Luke Huggins being the oldest and KES pupils, Zakanas and Mantas Zabilunas, both only 15.
Leading points: Aleska 32, Butkevicius 15, Giedrius Pakalnskis 15, Mazilialiskis 14.
Top four W L V Pts
Greenwich 16 2 0 32
Southwark 15 2 0 30
Fury 15 3 0 30
Essex 10 8 0 20