Knights do battle for Team Scotland


Stirling Knights Basketball Club once again celebrated having a large amount of international call ups when  25 young players from across the club's teams were selected for Scotland Squads to participate in tournaments all over Europe.

The call ups capped another terrific season for the local club who won numerous titles and have now been developing basketball in the area for five years.

With the new Scottish Basketball Championship season tipping off in September the Knights will be back in full pre season training mode this week with the first games at The Peak on the 10th September.

Club Chairman Pete Duncan "to have 25 players in Scotland teams was again fantastic . The coaches and parents in the club have been terrific in truly supporting our new performance strategy and we will definitely see this bear even more fruit in the years to come"  


Young Basketball Girls 'Knighted' National Champions


Last weekend saw The Peak hosting the Under 10 National Basketball tournament with both boys and girls teams from all over Scotland competing.

The Stirling Knights boys - who were reigning champions - got off to a great start by scoring wins over Boroughmuir Blaze and West Lothian Wolves. A loss to Tayside in their final group game meant that they lost out on a chance for the Gold section on basket difference. A further win over Grampian rounded the day off for the 12 boys who had only been training together for six weeks. 

The next day, the Stirling girls were in action and easily won their group with wins over Ayr and Grampian. In the gold section, further wins over West Lothian and Highland saw the talented girls squad crowned as National U10 Champions with Lucy Jack and Ella Dempsey being named to the 'All Star Five' after their outstanding play. 

Knights Chairman Pete Duncan said "This was another fantastic tournament funded by cashback for communities and basketball scotland. The standard of teams was the highest ever at this age group and it was very pleasing to see both our players and others competing so well. The boys have a young team and will be back in this age group again next season. The girls have done extremely well and have two of the top young players in Scotland. So our future looks very good indeed." 

The Knights are also celebrating the news that Coach Les McGlasson was a double award winner from Basketball Scotland as he picked up Volunteer of the Year and Regional Leagues Coach of the Year. A very well deserved award for Les, who coaches some 30 hours per week and has helped grow the game in Stirling and beyond. Knights Chairman Pete Duncan has also been recognised with a 20 years Service Award from Basketball Scotland.



Knights silence the howl as U12 Boys go unbeaten to claim title


The unbeaten this season Stirling Knights Under 12 Boys claimed their fifth title in as many years last weekend when they beat West Lothian in the final of the Basketball Scotland East and Central Regional League. 

In a tight game Knights came through in the final period to win 33-26 having been trailing by as many as four points. Top scorers for Stirling were Scotland duo Piper McGowan on 16 and Callum McGlasson on 9. The game marked Coach Les McGlasson's 100th game in charge and was win number 21 for the year. The boys will now look ahead to retaining their National Title in May. 

The Knights U12 Girls, in their first full season, were also in action in the Girls final, also against West Lothian. A slow second quarter saw them chasing the game which they eventually lost 44-26. Massive improvements have been made on the female side of the club and the future looks very bright. 

This weekend sees the Under 14 Boys in the Scottish Cup Final at Edinburgh University where they will play unbeaten capital side the Kings. The Under 16 Girls are also through to their playoff final having beaten Boroughmuir 60-50 in the Semi Finals last week. Top scorers for Knights were Ruth Allison on 21 with Bryony Ferguson and Helen Walker on 16 a piece. The talented girls team will be looking to add to their Scottish Cup win when they face up against St Mirren on Sunday,  who are the only team to have beaten them this season. 

U12s Pic is L-R

Joe Thomson, Alistair Smith, Aaron Duffin, Neil Cavin, Piper McGowan, Callum McGlasson, Keir Esson, Callum Luti, Dillon Hencher, Jacob Dempsey, Dylan Nichol, Henry Daniels



More success as Knights return to the big table


Stirling Knights are celebrating another title win this week, having defeated Granite City 65-53 in the league decider and will now return to the National League Division one next season. 

Having finished bottom of Division one last season, the Knights men were relegated and have spent this season rebuilding in Division two. With a squad of only six senior age players with the rest made up from Under 18's the current men's team has an average age of just 20. 

The Division two title was on the line last weekend with a winner takes all game against Granite City Grizzlies at The Peak. The men from Aberdeen and the Knights had each claimed one win against each other this season so whoever won this clash had the head to head and the title. More importantly, the division winners would win automatic promotion. 

The visitors started brightly and led by as many as seven in the opening spell. However, the Knights Men led by former Scotland caps Daniel Chok and Matt Dick started to influence and control the game and took the second quarter 23-10. With Granite City now chasing the game the Knights maintained their lead behind some big scores from Connor Rankin who finished with 16 points and Gergo Jenei with 14. James McNeil, who was promoted from the U18s squad this season, also had a terrific game giving maximum effort to the cause. Matt Dick (pictured) was outstanding at both ends recording 12 points and 16 rebounds.  With coach Cory McCabe running the bench in the final quarter on the way to a 65-53 win and a big sigh of relief as Knights return to the top league. 

McCabe said "This was a good win and our Senior players really stepped up. We will keep the core of this team together and with our younger players improving all the time we can look forward to a good season of developing after the Summer. The club is in a really good place and the young Senior team is an exciting project".  

The club's other teams were also in action, with routine wins for the U16 and U18 Men over Tayside and West Lothian and also for the U16 Girls away to Ayr. All three teams are in playoff action next weekend, with the U18 Men looking stay unbeaten for the season and also win promotion to Division one. 

The Knights U12 boys and girls are both through to the regional finals after having a very successful season in the development league.



Achara helps Knights launch new Performance Academy


Olympian and Great Britain basketball captain, Kieron Achara was on hand to help Stirling Knights Basketball Club officially launch their new Performance Academy. The Stirling native talked about goal setting and mindsets in his inspirational talk to the young academy players. 

The new initiative is a result of a three year Direct Club Investment funding from Sport Scotland which allows clubs to apply for grants to improve their Sport. Other key partners in the initiative are Basketball Scotland,  Active Stirling, Renegade Fitness and Performance along with Wallace High, Stirling High, Bannockburn High and Dunblane High Schools. The programme is also supported by external professionals such as Yoga, Sports Science, Nutrition and Physio Therapy. 

Lead Performance Coach Cory McCabe gave an overview which sees 38 young Knights players sign up to live the life of a student athlete with extra on court, gym and classroom sessions. CEO of Basketball Scotland Kevin Pringle was also in attendance and spoke about the Knights impressive rise over the past five years. 

Knights Chairman Pete Duncan welcomed and thanked the players, parents and special guests in his speech about positive culture and success. He said "We are delighted to have secured this partnership which will ensure we can produce performance players to contribute to the National cause. We share the vision with Basketball Scotland and our other key partners in working towards our performance targets and are working hard to develop the right culture and environment to nurture talent. The main positive is our players get a chance to experience life as a student athlete which will help them to develop key skills for use on and off the court."


Knights girls put Blaze to the sword to lift the Scottish Cup


Stirling Knights Basketball Club are celebrating their first ever Scottish Cup win after a thrilling Under 16 Girls final against Edinburgh based side Boroughmuir Blaze which the Stirling girls won in the end 75-63.

A packed finals weekend at The Lagoon is Paisley saw the Knights girls up first on the Sunday in the 11am game. Having defeated Blaze twice in the league this season by a narrow margin this game was always going to be close.

Sami Brown got Blaze off to a good start as she hit two threes to put Blaze up 9-4.  A tight exchange with some good fast break play from Knights and U15 player Katrina Kirsop saw Blaze end the first period up 19-17. 

In the second quarter, the game remained close with neither team able to make a strong run. Knights Captain Ruth Allison was anchoring the Knights defence well and finished the day with 6 blocks. Marta Weyer had some nice finishes in this stanza but some sloppy team play and passing let Blaze back in with Knights holding a slender 31-30 advantage at halftime. 

The second half started with end to end basketball, Blaze retaking their lead 38-37 behind another three pointer. Stirling's Briony Ferguson and Evie Gallagher sprung into action and were able to combine for some big scores but still Blaze would not go down quietly and Knights took a 49-47 lead as the third quarter closed out.

A ferocious start by Knights as they took a 57-49 lead led to a Blaze time out.  Ruth Allison could not be stopped in this spell as she hit a turnaround fade-away two to extend the lead 63-53. The tireless Helen Walker provided the energy Knights needed to bring the cup home and when Briony Ferguson collected her fourth steal and twentieth point,Knights opened up a double digit lead 69-59 with less than two minutes to play. The final two minutes were exciting for the large travelling support who cheered their team on to victory 75-63. Briony Ferguson was named as Most valuable Player of the final with 27 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals. Ruth Allison chipped in with 8 points and massive 18 rebounds. Helen Walker had 12 points and 10 rebounds in a tremendous effort, with youngsters Katrina Kirsop and Nina Willis combining for 16 points and 14 rebounds.  

Knights Girls coach Ross Paterson said "It was a terrific game, very close but we were better in the second half and deserved it. I'm delighted with the full team's efforts and it feels great to bring the first ever Scottish Cup win for Knights back to Stirling".

Full squad and coaching team: 

Coaches: Ross Paterson, Charis Maclean and Katie Young. 

Players: Ruth Allison, Briony Ferguson, Helen Walker, Katrina Kirsop, Nina Willis, Marta Weyer, Molly Waddell, Chloe Dunsire, Freya Walker, Leah Trevis, Helen Harrower, Evie Gallagher and Olivia Blennie. 



Knights ladies in double away win


With a place in this month's Scottish Cup Final already secured, the Stirling Knights U16 girls were back to league business last weekend when they faced Falkirk Fury and Edinburgh Kats in back to back away games in the Scottish Basketball Championship Division 1.

First up was the short trip to Falkirk, with the Stirling girls starting well leading 20-7 after the first quarter. With Coach Ross Paterson rotating his bench and all girls contributing the Knights went in at half time leading 27-15. In the second half, Knights upped the gears and eventually ran out 63-28 winners over their local rivals. Briony Ferguson led the way for Stirling with 26 points. 

The following day, the girls were on the road to Portobello to face top Capital side Edinburgh Kats. Knights again started the brighter and were up 22-13 heading into the second quarter, where the Kats clawed back the deficit to lead 36-32 at halftime. However, the Stirling girls once again upped the anti in the second half and ran out clear winners in the end 73-56 to complete another successful weekend. Top scorers in this game were Briony Ferguson again with 20 points and Captain Ruth Allison with 17. Evie Gallagher and Helen Walker chipped in for 9 points each. 

On the male side, the Knights Under 16 boys lost to Fury 62-46 in a sub par performance having gone so close the previous week. 

Overall, the basketball club continues to flourish and a change in priorities and focus is clear. The recent addition of the Knights performance Academy is already adding value to the much lauded youth development set up. Knights Chairman Pete Duncan explains "When we started the Knights, the focus was on the Senior team and really getting a buzz about the game of basketball back in the Stirling area to inspire a future generation of players. Five years later, we are really focused on the youth development side and with great success with teams from Under 10 age up to U18. We are working closely with the National Governing Body Basketball Scotland to produce the very best players and athletes Scottish Basketball has to offer. It's not so much about the winning and losing, its about the process and the journey and making sure our young players are the best people they can be."



The Stirling Knights male National League teams were back on court last weekend after the festive break. The men, who sit top of the National Division 2 rankings, hosted West Lothian Wolves. Despite taking the first quarter 20-16 the table topping Knights could not ignite any sort of tempo in their first game back after Christmas. West Lothian stifled the Knights at every turn and capitalised with their bigger inside presence. This result now leaves the Senior Men with everything to play for with only 4 games remaining in their season.

Coach McCabe on the loss; "There is very little to be said about our performance tonight. We just could not find the same rhythm we have had for the majority of the season. The players know exactly what we gave up tonight. I could be over critical of it all, but realistically we need to get back into training and say 'bring on the next one'."

The Under 16 boys, who are in third place in the top league behind St Mirren and Falkirk, made the short journey to Falkirk to play Fury. The two sides previous cup game had been a thriller and went down to the final minute and this game was to prove no different. A fantastic start by the away side saw Scotland candidates Shaun Craig, Mitchell Earley and Lucas Hamill all deliver early blows to the Falkirk side.

The second quarter saw Fury make their run, similar to the Scottish Cup tie just prior to Christmas, as their Scotland players Mitchell Stirling, Jordan Ferguson and Ben McGinlay all help deliver a half time lead of 7.

The tempo and aggression did not let up through the first three quarters by either team, and the exact same could be said of the fourth. Fury continually ahead at this point, could not quite put Stirling away and allowed the Knights several chances to tie them up but ultimately the boys fell short when it came to getting their noses back in front.

Coach McGlasson on both teams; "If this is the standard basketballscotland want in their National Squads then these two clubs are delivering. We are bitterly disappointed to have lost out, but our players and ourselves as coaches want this standard of game every week."

Coach McCabe on the loss; "I'm a competitor and, the boys are competitors, so losing is always hard to take. But see when you have, parents and coaches from opposing teams congratulating everyone involved, what can you really say? Well done to Fury for their closing out of the game. But I'm immensely proud that in our first year in Division 1, we can say we are well worthy of our current 3rd place in the league."

Top scorers for Fury were Mitchell Stirling 22, Jordan Ferguson 19 and guard Ben McGinlay 25. For Knights, Lucas Hamill 12, Shaun Craig 27 and the impressive Mitchell Earley 34. 

The Under 18 Knights Men, who are unbeaten for the season in Division 2, hosted Grampian Flyers who were no match for the hosts who ran away with a 91-40 win with the visitors held to just 13 points in the second half whilst the Knights racked up 47 with a free flowing offence.

Leading scorers for the Knights were Shaun Craig 19 and Iain Shilliday 16. Coach Lynch said "We are happy with the progress we have made this season, particularly on offence. The boys have worked hard and are well worthy of a place in the top league next season." 

The Knights Under 16 girls are back in action this weekend when they hope to keep up their push for the title and face a double header away trip to Falkirk and Edinburgh.



Stirling Knights Girls foiled by Saints 

The Under 16 Girls from Stirling Knights suffered their first league loss of the season at the hands of rivals St Mirren 49-43 last weekend at The Peak. In a sub par performance the Knights girls struggled in the third quarter before coming back to make a game of it in the last five minutes. The girls did strike the first blow however by putting Saints out the Scottish Cup and their cup run continued when they dispatched of Falkirk Fury last weekend 78-41 and now face a trip to Lady Rocks in the Semi - Final. 

Six of the club's teams were in Scottish Cup action last weekend. The Under 16 Men lost a thriller to Falkirk Fury 68-63, having led most of the game Knights just couldn't take their chances to finish the game off and the Falkirk boys hit some big plays to progress. The Under 18 Men hosted top team Edinburgh Kings and were off the pace as they went down 122-57 to the capital side who boast a variety of Scotland U18 players. The Senior Men gave top team Edinburgh University a tough game, in the  ng for Knights with 20 points. 

This weekend sees a full card of Under 12 and Under 14 RDL games alongside the U16 Girls hosting Ayrshire on Saturday evening 6.15pm tip off, with the Men hosting Boroughmuir on Sunday at 12.20pm. For more info on Stirling Knights follow their facebook page and website.


Knights' Teams continue the battle on all fronts


Stirling Knights basketball club are enjoying the busiest season to date in their five year history, with no fewer than EIGHT teams in action recently and this week the club face a mammoth six game Scottish Cup weekend. 

In the Senior Men's competitions, Knights stay top of the Scottish division two championship with a recent win over Edinburgh Kings which was followed by a huge road victory over Granite City Grizzlies in Aberdeen. Top scorers in what was an aggressive game were Matthew Dick on 26 points with Daniel Chok adding 23. The team have also progressed in the Scottish Cup after a recent 101-100 win over Police Scotland Grampian and now face a Quarter Final against Division one high flyers Edinburgh University this Saturday 14th at The Peak with a 2.20pm tip off. 

The Under 18 Men remain undefeated in all competitions after two recent straight forward victories over Dunfermline Reign and promotion rivals Highland Bears. Iain Shilliday top scored on 14 points with Cameron Taylor on 12. The team are currently top of the division two standings and also face a tricky cup tie against top team Edinburgh Kings this Saturday 12.20pm at The Peak. 

Knights Under 16 boys are sitting in third place in their debut season in the Scottish Championship Division one. Following a loss last week away to Edinburgh Kings, the team scored two victories over Perth and Tayside. Big man Lucas Hamill hit 22 points for the Stirling side with Craig Agnew providing much needed energy from the bench. Captain Shaun Craig combined for 45 points over the two games highlighting his role as key player for Knights. The boys are also through in the cup after a great away win in Glasgow which saw Mitch Earley pour in 35 points on the way to victory. The team are in cup Quarter Final action this weekend in the big 'Friday Knight' game when they face local rivals Falkirk Fury at The Peak, 7.45pm tip off. This game should be a cracker and spectators are urged to get along early for what will be a capacity crowd at The Peak. 

The Under 16 Girls team also remain unbeaten in all competitions in their debut season and are top of SBC Division one after a recent big win over Glasgow Rocks, whilst also progressing in the Cup over St Mirren. Joint top scorers for Knights were Marta Weyer and Evie Gallagher on 12 each, with youngster Nina Wills on 11. Some fixture confusion has meant that the girls have had a significant rest period before facing Falkirk Fury away in the Scottish Cup Quarter Final this Saturday. 

The Under 14 and Under 12 boys and girls got their season going again in the Basketball Scotland Regional Development League. The Under 12 Girls scored two wins over Polonia and Edinburgh and one loss to West Lothian. The Under 14 Girls split their two games, winning over West Lothian and losing by one basket to Polonia. The Under 14 boys also split their games, winning over Blaze but losing out to Kings. The Under 12 boys remain undefeated with big wins over Fury and West Lothian. 

The boys and girls Under 14 teams are also in Scottish Cup action this weekend, with the boys hosting Glasgow Rens at 4.15pm at The Peak whilst the Girls tip the day off at 11am when they host Tayside.



Gallagher and Craig lead the charge for the Knights


In their top division debut seasons, Knights U15 Scotland stars and Stirling High pair Evie Gallagher and Shaun Craig led their Under 16 Knights teams to two impressive victories recently in the Scottish Cup and the Scottish National League scoring 22 points and 31 points respectively in what were two fantastic team efforts. 

Evie's U16 Knights team had so far gone unbeaten in the league when the open Scottish Cup draw threw the two best teams together in the opening round, with Knights hosting rivals St Mirren. In an incredibly tight game, Knights edged the first quarter 15-14 through some great defensive work from Ruth Allison which enabled Evie to grab 8 personal points in the opening spell. In the second quarter, a three pointer from Briony Ferguson kept Knights in front and with the impressive Evie pouring in another 10 points meant that the Knights girls took a 39-31 lead at the half.  

The third quarter was equally as intense with St Mirren's Maisie Huey leading their efforts the visitors started to come back only to be foiled by a big thee pointer from Helen Walker and some fine inside play from Katrina Kirsop, which meant Stirling still held a slender 51-46 going into the final stanza.

In a tight last quarter, which went down the the final seconds, Marta Weyer made the last score for Stirling which was enough to see a 57-55 win to progress to the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup. With both teams still to play each other in the league, it looks almost certain that they will battle it out for the title this year. Next up for the girls, is another difficult home game when Lady Rocks visit this Friday with a 7.45pm tip off at The Peak.

In the boys Under 16 game, Boroughmuir Blaze were the visitors to The Peak to face a Knights team which had been soundly beaten by St Mirren the week before. Blaze, who have been extremly successful in youth basketball over the past four years, looked favourites for this match up but the Knights had other plans.A tight 12-12 first quarter, with both teams showing a lack of execution round the basket set the tone for what would be a game of runs with both teams taking leads. The Knights managed a 12 point lead going into the final quarter. Returning from injury, Shaun Craig led his team in excellent fashion pouring in 31 points to win a very close game with Knights winning 71-65 in the end. Mitch Earley, who has been in great form added 18. The boys have their Scottish Cup game away to Glasgow next on the horizon, where a win would set up a big quarter final against Falkirk Fury. 

In the Senior Men Scottish Cup, the Knights were drawn away to Police Scotland Aberdeen in the opening round. An incredible game, where almost 60 fouls were called ended in a 101-100 victory for the Stirling side with player coach Cory McCabe tying and winning the game on a pair of free throws. Top scorers were Connor Rankin on 27, Dan Chok 22 and Matt Dick 21. The men now face top team Edinburgh University in the quarter final which will be played on the 14th November at The Peak.



Knights slay the Wolves, march on in winning weekend

With the Scottish Basketball Championships now well underway local club Stirling Knights got back to winning ways with big victories for their Senior Men, U16 girls and U18 Men. 

First up last weekend were the Men who were hosting West Lothian Wolves in a top of the table clash and were missing new signing and ex pro Roni Gordon. A slow start from Knights saw them down 14-10 after the first quarter however in the second stanza things improved greatly with Knights going on a big scoring run led by captain Daniel Chok. 

Terrific play in the second half continued as Wolves were no match for the Knights with U17 player Calum Doherty and Iain Shilliday also having success with Knights in the end winning 72-50. Top scorers for Knights were Daniel Chok on 17, Matt Dick 16, Connor Rankin 12 and Gergo Jenei 11. 

The U16 girls maintained their unbeaten start to the season winning over Tayside Musketeers 70-30. The U18 Men had a terrific win over Boroughmuir Blaze 114-37. The U16 boys lost to an excellent St Mirren team 101-30, although missing two key players the Knights were just not at the races. 

This weekend sees the U16 boys in action on Friday night at The Peak 8pm tip off against Boroughmuir Blaze and the U16 girls are in action on Saturday evening as they face St Mirren in the Scottish Cup. All spectators welcome.



Knights continue to make their mark on Scottish Basketball

A busy weekend of action for Stirling Knights resulted in three big Scottish Basketball Championship wins for the club further underlining the excellent youth development programme in the club.

In the Under 16 boys Championship, Glasgow City were the visitors to The Peak to face the Knights who had narrowly lost the week before. Although Knights were missing key players Shaun Craig and Olly Yarrow they came out of the traps quickly and the gulf between the teams was apparent with Stirling winning the second quarter 32-1. The final score of 126-29 reflecting the Knights dominance throughout. After the second win by around 100 of the season, Club officials have again questioned the quality of basketball in the top league with games like this doing no team any real favours in terms of progress. Impressive again for Knights was Mitchell Earley with 38 points and Lucas Hamill with 32. Ruari Doherty chipped in 18 in a fine performance for Stirling who also fielded 11 year old star of the future Callum McGlasson. (pictured)  

Knights Coach Cory McCabe "This is our second high scoring output of the season, but we see it as a false result. We want to be in the mix with the top tier of this Division and while we are progressing each week, the guys know they have to push themselves harder. There were opportunities for some of our younger guys on the fringes to stake a claim for more court time but they seemed to not want to get out of second gear.  We are operating with a squad of 17 and we were without Shaun and Olly, so minutes for some will be hard to come by, they have to grab their opportunities with two hands".

The Knights under 16 girls also underlined their potential as title challengers when local rivals Falkirk Fury made the sort journey to The Peak. The Stirling girls started well going up 14-0 and with the coaching team giving valuable playing time to the more inexperienced players, the Knights still managed to pull out to a 88-41 win. Under 14 age girls Molly Waddell and Freya Walker looked composed at both ends with Evie Gallagher and Nina Wills scoring well. Knights Coach Dave Evans "We gave the younger girls a good run today and it was a good performance, we have to keep working though and focus on the games against the top teams who will be tough".

The Under 18 boys were on the road to face Grampian Flyers in Aberdeen in the SBC Division 2. In what is always a close game the Knights boys recovered from a ten point deficit to pull through and win 88-71 over their promotion rivals. Top Scorers for Knights were Calum Doherty on 34 and Iain Shilliday on 23. Coach Colin Lynch "In the end it was a good result and we really focused on our defence in the second half and managed to pull away. It is a long season but we are concentrating on improving all the time with a view to gaining promotion to division one, where a club of our calibre need to be. The players are easily good enough". 

The Under 14 boys had their first games of the season and easily swept aside Fury B 56-7 and Blaze B 70-21 with Louis Sullivan and Fraser Adams (Wallace High) top scoring. Once again, the Knights boys will be looking for tougher games and challenges as the season progresses. 

This Friday night sees a top of the table SBC Men Division 2 clash as the Knights look to remain undefeated when they take on West Lothian Wolves in an 8 pm tip off at The Peak. All spectators welcome for what Club Chairman Pete Duncan says "should be a cracking game".



Winning start for Lady Knights as they douse the Blaze


Stirling Knights Under 16 girls made a fantastic start to their Scottish Basketball Championships Division 1 campaign last week, when they managed to pull through to beat Boroughmuir Blaze 61-57. 

The Capital visitors were predicted as one of the preseason favourites for the U16 title. The Knights girls started well with some effective team play. The Stirling girls managing to pull out to a comfortable 38-27 lead at halftime. However, the Blaze girl scam back strongly and a nervy finish resulted in a 61-57 win for Knights. Girls Coach Dave Evans said "That was some what unexpected but awesome to get the win. Credit to the whole team who have been working hard".

The U18 Men got their season off to a flyer thumping Edinburgh Kings B team in league two 74-38. With promising U16 Shaun Craig ,missing through injury the team was unaffected with Iain Shilliday scoring 16 points with U16 big man Lucas Hamill on 13. The boys Coach Colin Lynch " After a slow start we got going really well. We need to keep working as a team and good things will happen". 

The U16 Boys lost away to Glasgow Rens 60-49 and were unlucky to lose Lucas Hamill and Shaun Craig to injury. Criag finished with 12 points with Hamill on 9 alongside fellow Stirling high pupil Mitchell Earley on 9. Coach Cory McCabe "We did enough to win but some poor execution let us down today. We will move on to next week and keep building with this promising group of players".

The Senior Men rounded off the weekend's action with a 69-59 against Edinburgh Kings B in league two. The Knights size caused some problems for Edinburgh, who were fielding five of their division one team including former Knights stalwart Cammy O'Donnell who is now attending Edinburgh University. Knights Captain Daniel Chok hit 15 points with big men duo Roni Gordon and Matt Dick combining for 28 points. Cory McCabe; "This is a game a fair few people will be talking about. Two teams digging in and playing hard from first to last. Can't fault the way all our guys helped in producing another rugged performance. We really are beginning to see progress with a great mix of youth and experience. Team chemistry off court is one thing, good luck to the other teams when we get that team chemistry completely sussed on the court".



Winning weekend for Stirling Knights in season opener



The new Scottish Basketball Championships season got off to a flyer for the Stirling Knights teams last weekend, with the senior men comfortably dispatching of Boroughmuir Blaze 71-65 in Division 2 whilst the Under 16 boys raced to an incredible 118-16 victory over Ayrshire Tornadoes. The Under 18 boys were due to play South Lanarkshire Colliers, who cancelled the game on Friday morning citing a lack of players for the forfeit.

In the Friday night game, the Men had a brilliant start and led 19-6 after the first quarter. The presence of 6ft11 former pro player Roni Gordon at both ends of the court proving to be a major ace in the Knights' hand. The visitors from the Capital did come back into the game but player/coach Cory McCabe was able to give the Under 18s some valuable court time as the win never looked in doubt. Top scorers for Knights were Connor Rankin (pictured) on 19 with Gergo Jenei on 12. Youngster Iain Shilliday from St Modan's High School impressed in his spell off the bench. 

On Saturday, the Under 16 boys - champions of Division 2 last season - were 'stepping up' to play their first ever Division 1 game. However, with visitors Ayrshire having only 6 players in their travelling squad the Knights quickly raced to an astonishing 38-4 lead at the end of the first quarter. Stirling then rotated all 12 players for the rest of the game but the intensity never dropped and the eventual one hundred and two point win 118-16 was testament to the strength in depth of the Knights squad. Although a great win and performance, Knights will be looking for a much tougher challenge this week when they travel to Glasgow to play the Rens on Saturday. Top Scorers for Knights were the impressive Mitchell Early on 29, with Scotland Under 15 players Shaun Craig on 25 and Lucas Hamill on 27. Youngster Dylan Johnstone also chipped in 12 to show his potential. 

Coach McCabe said  "This season is all about sustaining the massive strides our U16 programme has been making in the past couple of seasons. The guys really showed their professional and disciplined style today. It's easy to take your foot off the gas against a much weaker opponent. But we have some eager boys desperate to stake a claim for minutes, and we are now beginning to see glimpses of what assistant coach Les McGlasson and myself see as a solid Division 1 team" 

The Knights U16 Division 3 team, made up of mainly U14 players, were also in action losing narrowly to Tayside but getting their first win over Blaze at Bathgate Academy. This league is a development opportunity for the Knights youngsters to get more game action. 

This weekend sees the Knights Under 16 girls make their Division 1 debut on Friday night at The Peak (8pm) when they face the girls from Blaze. The Under 18 and Senior Men play Edinburgh Kings back to back at Holyrood High School on Sunday.



Young Knights strike more Gold


The youngest teams from Stirling Knights Basketball Club are celebrating after a very successful weekend at the Basketball Scotland Under 10 National Challenge Tournament last weekend, a competition involving teams from all over Scotland. 

Saturday saw the boys up first, looking to defend the title they won exactly one year ago. Drawn in a group with West Lothian, Grampian and Glasgow the boys quickly dispatched of West Lothian 43-5 and then Grampian 36-7. In a similar fashion Stirling took care of Glasgow 24-8 to finish as group winners and went on to face fellow group winners Falkirk, Inverness and East Lothian. 

The mini Knights finished the day undefeated to take the Gold Medal with wins over Inverness 26-9, East Lothian 28-12 and in a great final against Falkirk 24-11, to repeat as Scottish Under 10 Boys Champions.

On Sunday, the young and relatively inexperienced Girls team put on some great performances and developed in confidence during their first ever tournament to finish in fifth place. Wins over Blaze and West Lothian were the icing on the cake for the girls who showed great enthusiasm and passion throughout the day. 

A special mention goes to Knights Young Leaders Connor Sharp, Alex Smith-Taylor and Charis Maclean who coached and mentored the teams all weekend. 

Head of Knights Pete Duncan commented "Weekends like this are why we set the club up. It is such a pleasure to see the youngest Knights do so well and it is testament to the volunteer coaches and parents who contribute so much to the continuing success of the Knights. I couldn't be happier with the compliments we have received in what has been a very successful season in terms of titles won and development." 

The teams were picked from eligible players in the Cluster teams across Stirling and Clackmannanshire.

Boys Team: Aaron Duffin, Ben Jackson, Henry Daniels, Peter Daniels, Harry Adams, Lucas Duncan, Dev Darley, Douglas Fleming, Alexander Curley, Patrick McGowan, Archie Flett and Josh Duncan.  

Girls Team: Jessica Foster, Beccie Speed, Ella Dempsey, Anya Easton, Eilidh Jack, Keira Malcolmson, Edie McBain, Ella Ritch, Rachel Sinclair and Leah Trevitt-Stark.

.............................................................................................................................................................


Twenty's plenty for Knights on National Duty 


Stirling Knights Basketball Club are celebrating their record haul of 20 club players called up for Scotland National Team duty this Summer. The impressive total once again highlights the first class development programme which the Stirling club have implemented in their four year history and with five of the club's coaches appointed to National Team coaching positions the Knights are strongly represented. Jack Burgess and Maria Vasilaki will head up the Scots Under 14 teams, with Dave Evans in charge of the Under 15 girls. Pete Duncan travels as part of the Scotland Senior Men coaching team along with Colin Lynch who is the Team Manager.

The Scotland call ups are the icing on the cake from another very successful season for the Knights.  With National League titles for the Under 16 boys and girls, the Under 12 boys and Under 14 boys and girls followed this up and were crowned East and Central Scottish Champions in the RDL finals last month with victories over Falkirk and West Lothian. The talented under 14 squads were then also in action in the National Challenge against teams from all over Scotland where they finished with the silver medals with both teams losing out to the long established Basketball Paisley in the boys and girls finals.   

Full list of Scotland Call Ups:

U11 - Basketball England Tournament, Surrey

Cyan Van Schalkwyk, Emily Melrose, Piper McGowan, Callum McGlasson

U12 - TIM Pirineus, Andorra

Callum McGlasson, Piper McGowan, Ben Yarrow

U13 - TIM Pirineus, Andorra

Louis Sullivan, Javier Becerra Perez

U14 - Basketball Scotland FIBA Summer Slam, Peak, Stirling

Ruari Doherty, Lewis McGlasson, Oliver Yarrow, Katrina Kirsop, Nina Wills

U15

Lewis McGlasson, Shaun Craig, Lucas Hammil, Evie Gallagher, Helen Walker

U16 -  Euro B Tournament

Ruth Allison, Katie Young

U18 -  Euro B Tournament

Cameron O'Donnell, Ruth Allison, Emily Gray

.................................................................................................................................


CLEAN SWEEP FOR SCOTTISH CHAMPS KNIGHTS U12 BOYS


Stirling Knights Boys repeated the performances of 2013 to secure the League and National Double! Having already secured the East and Central Regional Development League trophy back in April with a hard fought win over West Lothian Wolves they headed into the Basketball Scotland National Challenge at the Lagoon, Paisley to face all the top teams in other Development leagues across Scotland. The top two teams in each RDL made up the 12 teams contesting the Trophy in an event where all games must be won to take home the top prize.

Each of the 12 teams were divided into 4 groups of 3 based on league positions. Stirling Knights were given a very hard group consisting Clyde Cavaliers and Inverness City. Inverness City whom consist of 2 current u12 Scotland Players and have been unbeaten over 8 games so far this season. The young Knights got into their rhythm early on in the Clyde Cavs game and at half time were 20-0 in front. The Knights were in buoyant mood ahead of the crucial match versus Inverness and didn’t let up, eventually winning the game 49-8. Following this game Inverness easily won against Clyde Cavaliers setting a game which would decide final placing potential. The winners would progress to the Gold Group to contest placings 1-4 and the losers into the Silver Groups to contest 5-8.

The Game started at a frenetic pace with the speed of the Knights proving too hot to handle for the far travelled Inverness team. The Stirling team raced into a 15-0 lead and the Inverness team looked shell shocked. Great team play and defence skills prevented the Inverness team making any headway in the game and the Knights kept up the pressure to seal the victory by 36-9.

After a short break the young Knights headed into the Gold Group stage in buoyant mood to face other group stage winners in: West Lothian Wolves, East Lothian Dragons and St Mirren. Wolves and Dragons were well known to the Stirling team having competed against these two teams several times during the season and they knew that the competition would be tough having both won and lost to both these teams earlier in the season. The St Mirren team were the unknown quantity.

First up, the Knights faced East Lothian Dragons in very closely contested game which saw the Knights trail at the end of the first quarter. The boys fought hard and dug deep to pressure the East Lothian team and force mistakes and eventually sealed the win by 4pts. In the next game against Wolves it followed the same pattern and the Knights knew this would be their toughest test having shared many tussles with the West Lothian team this season. The Knights gave everything they had and were rewarded with the win by 5 pts.

Clearly shattered after the previous 4 games the Knights went into their final game knowing one more win would win the Tournament. In what was a very tense affair with the Knight boys running on empty, they contained the St Mirren side and then gave one more push in the final quarter to see it home by 6pts

The team consisting of: L-R Joe Thomson, Piper McGowan, Jacob Dempsey, Dylan Nichol, Huw Adams, Ben Yarrow, Cameron Lynn, Callum McGlasson, Alistair Smith, Max Flett, Daniel Hughes and Keir Esson along with Coach Les McGlasson and Assistant Coaches Ronan Iffla and Callum Doherty were then presented with the trophy they also won two years ago. Capt Callum McGlasson who also played in the 2013 trophy winning team at the age of 9 years old collected the trophy on behalf their team.  Ben Yarrow was then presented with an award for “All Star 5” presented to the five most talented players in the tournament over the course of the day.

On collecting the Trophy for the second time in two years, Les McGlasson U12 Boys Coach commented. “Its pleasing to win these trophies and the Boys have worked really hard over the course of the year and fully deserve their Win, however what’s more pleasing as a coach is the Development of the these players and the future of our club and the game itself. The age of capable players is lowering and the talent is improving. We won in 2013 with one under 11 and one under 9 player and today we have won again with 7 players all under the age of 11 years old. These seven players are all eligible to compete again next season and this experience is invaluable.”

The Clubs next tournament goal is to defend the U10 National Challenge trophy that they won last year at the Peak on June 6th Boys and 7th Girls.

.................................................................................................................................................................




Stirling Knights Basketball Club are once again celebrating after another historic title win last weekend. 

With the Knights Under 16 Girls already crowned Division 2 Champions, the Under 16 Men, who had regular season record of 9 wins and 3 losses, went into the League playoffs final four having demolished a young Tayside team 130-20 in the last eight. 

First up for the Knights were rivals West Lothian Wolves - whom the Stirling side had eclipsed in the Scottish cup by more than fifty points - who were no match for the talented U16s team. Coach Cory McCabe was able to rest his key players and run his bench, with Under 14 players Ruari Doherty (Stirling High) and Lewis McGlasson (Wallace High) enjoying key spells in the Knights eventual 91-53 win. This set up a final later in the day against Perth Phoenix who had won the other Semi Final in overtime against Grampian Flyers. 

With Perth having scored two wins over Knights in the league, the scene was set for a dramatic game with the winner claiming their spot in the National League Division one for next season. 

Perth started the game in good form and the Stirling boys were soon up against it and facing a deficit of twelve points. Good teamwork on defence, led by Iain Shilliday (St Modan's) and Calum Doherty (Stirling High) enabled the Knights to start clawing the game back and by half time were down 36-29. In the third quarter, the Stirling side pulled the match level thanks to a scoring run from Mitchell Early (Stirling High) and Lucas Hamill (Stirling High) who were also doing a great job against Perth's 6ft 6" Scotland player Yousef Khalil. 

In the final stanza, the young Knights side took control and some pressure defence combined with the scoring of Shaun Craig (Stirling High) and Lewis McGlasson - who nailed a huge three pointer to seal the win - led the Knights to a 23-11 win in the quarter to take the game and the National League Division 2 Title 69-58. 

Top Scorers for Knights were Shaun Craig 25, Lewis McGlasson 14 and Calum Doherty 12. The overall team performance was fantastic and the team really fought for the championship to the very last minute. 

The Knights now look forward to next season in Division one where they will be a competitive force to be reckoned with. Knights Head of Basketball Pete Duncan explained "Most of the top performers in this team are actually Under 15 so we will be strong next season and hope to compete. Four of the boys have made the Scotland Squads for this season. We are very proud to have the boys join the girls in winning the title and gaining promotion. Credit must go to Coach McCabe the players and parents for work working so hard this season and achieving our goal."

In other news, the SWL Under 16 girls have won the Division One National League Title. The joint team, in their last game together, won out over St Mirren with Knights girls Ruth Allison, Helen Walker, Katie Young and Lucia Becerra Perez all performing well. The Club is also celebrating a record 19 call ups to Scotland National Teams for this season.


GOLDEN GIRLS: Knights Girls strike Double Gold in Scottish Cup

Stirling Knights Basketball Club are celebrating this week due to two outstanding Scottish Cup wins for  the club’s joint team with West Lothian, SWL.


First up in the Finals, held at The Lagoon in Paisley, were the Under 18s who faced league leaders Tayside Musketeers with Stirling Knights Girls;  Ruth Allison, Lucia Becerra Perez, Emily Gray (all Wallace HS) and Katie Young (Balforn HS) all in action.


Led by the formidable Lauren Forde from Edinburgh, the SWL girls staged a comeback from as many as ten points down to win in the end 79-76. Forde top scored on 23 points but the Stirling girls played a huge role in the win with Katie Young scoring 4 points and pulling down 7 rebounds, 14 year old Ruth Allison adding 8 points and 6 rebounds with Emily Gray adding 3 points in limited action. However, it was the Knights Spanish exchange student Lucia Becerra Perez who stole the show with 17 points and 5 rebounds and although missing eleven foul shots was outstanding throughout. Lucia, and her brother Javier, both attend Wallace High School as exchange students and are living with the Knights Head of Youth Development Les McGlasson and his family.


The next day was the turn of the very talented SWL U16 girls to play Edinburgh’s Polonia Phoenix in the Cup Final. With Stirling High School’s Evie Gallagher  coming in along with Perez, Young and Allison from the 18s team the Knights were once again well represented and would play a massive part in an outstanding cup win. SWL led from the start and made it clear there would only be one winner eventually taking the cup 108 – 65. West Lothian’s Leah Stewart led the team with 33 points in a fine display with Ruth Allison notching a ‘double double’ of 12 points and 11 rebounds. Katie Young and Evie Gallagher both also were getting on the scoresheet combining for 7 points in the match. Once again, just one day after her previous triumph, Lucia Becerra Perez was outstanding scoring 32 points, passing 8 assists and adding 8 rebounds and her parents who travelled  from Tenerife for the occasion were not left disappointed.


A special mention must go to Wallace High’s Helen Walker, who despite a school skiing trip will still get her deserved medal as a vital player in the SWL project.


Knights Girls’ Head Coach Dave Evans said “ We could not be more proud of what the girls have achieved. In only two seasons we have managed to win four trophies now and the experience has certainly been of great benefit to the girls and to Stirling Knights. We hope to finish the season strongly now and then look to the future of female basketball in Stirling”


With the Under 18 and Under 16 boys still very much in the promotion playoff race in National League Division 2 and the Under 14 boys and girls through to the Quarter Finals of their Scottish Cups’ things are certainly looking strong for the Stirling club as they continue to progress in what is only their fourth season in youth basketball. Knights Club Chief Pete Duncan said “The girls have performed really well and we are very proud of their progress. Although they are part of the joint team we hope this will serve them well for the future in Stirling. Our youth set up, School of Basketball at Wallace High and the Primary League continue to bear fruit and along with the hard work of coaches and parents we are certainly aiming to add a few more success stories to this season”.



The Final Four beckons for Knights Teams in Scottish Cup
The Stirling Knights Basketball Under 16 and Under 18 teams have successfully made it to the Scottish Cup Semi Finals for the first time in their short history. Victories over West Lothian Wolves and North Lanarkshire now see the Knights progress to face Edinburgh Kings and Boroughmuir Blaze which will both take place at The Peak in December. 

The Under 18s enjoyed an early tip off on Saturday and although missing key guard Michael Jozatjis who was out through suspension, quickly took control of the match and behind key plays from Cameron O'Donnell and James McNeil, who combined for 35 points,  pushed on from their 39-28 halftime lead to win 75-52. Coach Colin Lynch praised his team but acknowledged the task ahead in facing the Division 1 League leaders Boroughmuir Blaze in the last four. " We have played consistently well all season but we know we will need to up our level against one of the top U18 teams in Scotland". 

The Under 16s travelled to Armadale with Coach Cory McCabe for their last eight tie, to face fellow undefeated Division 2 team West Lothian Wolves. However, the gulf in talent between the sides was soon apparent as the young Knights raced to a 17 point first quarter lead and began to rotate the bench. The Stirling boys dominated throughout eventually winning 109-50 with Shaun Craig and Iain Shilliday combining for an impressive 55 point total. Coach McCabe once again expressed his pride of his young team "All 12 of the boys have contributed in some way today and we won in style. We will prepare for the Semi in our usual thorough way and hope to challenge for the Final".  

The Knights Men were not so fortunate, as they lost out to a slick Edinburgh University team 66-43 in their last eight match up. The Stirling side could not knock down their shots in the opening spell and the visiting students quickly raced to a twenty point lead in the first quarter. Although the game was then pretty even, the Knights could not find a way back in and must find a way to improve their opening quarter as they face Edinburgh Kings at home this Friday in an 8pm tip off. 

On the female side of the club, the great progress continued with the U16 Lady Knights winning against Tayside and both SWL teams enjoying wins over Glasgow Rocks.

Bouncing week with Four wins out of Six for Knights Teams as they head into Cup action

A massive seventy six point win for the Under 16 Knights Boys was the highlight of another busy week of Stirling basketball action. The boys, coached by Knights Seniors Cory McCabe and David Hannah,  were on the road to face Renfrew Rocks in the National League Division 2 and quickly raced to a big lead, never looking back and winning in the end 110-34. The boys are headed for a tougher test this weekend when they face West Lothian in the Scottish Cup quarter final in Armadale on Sunday.

The Under 18 Men also played Renfrew Rocks and won comfortably 78-51 with a much depleted squad. They face North Lanarkshire this Saturday in the Scottish Cup Quarter Final at The Peak 1030am tip off.

The ever improving Under 16 Knights Girls split their two games with a victory over Edinburgh Kool Kats and a one point defeat to Grampian Flyers. This Saturday the girls are in action at The Peak.

The Knights Senior Men could not find their rhythm at all when they travelled to face high flying Borughmuir Blaze in Edinburgh. A strong start by the hosts coupled with poor finishing from Stirling around the basket set the tone for a game which ended in Knights worst defeat of the season so far 91-49. Eighteen year old Connor Sharp worked tireless throughout setting a good example with his effort. The Men also enter this weekend's Scottish Cup Last Eight with a real chance of progressing against Edinburgh University at The Peak on Friday with an 8pm tip off.

The debut game in the Division 2 National League for the Knights Men ended in a fine win over one of Scotland's best local league teams. In Division 2 teams can play four players from the top team who are 21 and under and two of these guys - Adam Hammerschmidt (20) and Connor Rankin (21) combined for 42 of the Knights points with Adam scoring 16 in the final stanza. Good performances too from Cory McCabe and Connor Sharp along with Andy Bleakley and Zack Beattie also netting their first senior baskets of the season. U18s James McNeil and Jonny Short rounded off the squad, aside of course from the 'Slam' Duncan brothers and Knights Chiefs Mark and Pete Duncan who despite not playing for a long time combined for 13 points. Fellow former division one star Sean Hume hit 13 for West Lothian including back to back three pointers at the end but it wasn't enough as Knights held on to win 67-61.


All three male teams through to last eight in Scottish Cup

One of the busiest basketball schedules ever for the Stirling club last weekend saw a whopping 15 games in one weekend for the players, parents and coaches of the Stirling Knights. This number, plus the 12 games played at the Primary League on Friday, once again shows the progress made in Basketball in Stirling in the four years of the Knights existence.

First up were the Senior Men, who hosted Granite City on Saturday in the last sixteen of the Scottish Cup. Although a Grampian local league team, the visitors were able to field a talented line up and proved a good test for the Knights who had won their last two home games. 

Veteran guard David Hannah (32), who sixteen years ago was the Scotland Under 16 Captain, rolled back the years to provide a spark of energy from the bench with his defensive effort. He also got in on the scoring act too laying on many chances to his young team mates. With a half time lead of 39-30, the Stirling Men turned up the tempo and raced away with the second half to eventually progress 84-56 through to a home quarter final against Edinburgh University.

Former Hungarian youth international, Gergo Jenei continued his good form after recovering from injury to lead the team with 20 points with Adam Hammerschmidt on 16, Jack Burgess 15 and Matthew Dick 12. 

The men now face two National League games this week, hosting Glasgow University this Wednesday and Tayside Musketeers this Friday, both at The Peak. 

Youth 
Also in Scottish Cup action were the U16 boys, who faced a tricky tie away to division one side Dunfermline Reign. However, an excellent start which saw them go on a 24-0 run enabled the young Knights to run away with a strong victory to take the win 73-38. Calum Doherty and Shaun Craig led Stirling with 17 points apiece with Mitchell Early, Iain Shilliday and Jacob Franklyn on ten each. The boys now progress to an away tie with West Lothian Wolves in the quarter finals.  

The U18 Men also maintained their winning start to the season defeating Highland Bears at home 92-74 in the Scottish Cup. The visitors, who had travelled with a small squad, got into foul trouble and Knights capitalised to also reach the quarter finals where they will face North Lanarkshire at home. Top scorers were the impressive Cameron O'Donnell with 20, Michael Jozitas with 18 and Gregor Bain with 17. 


The boys and girls of the Knights youth section were also in action on a very positive winning weekend. The U14 and U12 sections enjoyed success and more importantly showed tremendous attitude and team spirit in their games. The U14 boys A team remain undefeated and strong favourites for the title this year. The U14 girls also scored another two wins to remain unbeaten for the season so far. The U12 boys got wins over Falkirk and Edinburgh to maintain a strong position in the league, the U12 girls in their first ever outing showed great potential and effort despite losing their matches. 

Rounding off the weekend's action were the girls in the Stirling West Lothian team who scored two wins over Falkirk Fury at U16 and U18 level in National League Division 1. 

Head of Basketball at Knights Pete Duncan said "This was a very busy weekend for the Knights and we can't thank the coaches, players and parents enough for their continued contribution towards making us one of the biggest and best basketball clubs in Scotland. To have the the three male teams through in the Cup is brilliant and  to have grown all this success from nothing over the past four years has been very exciting. We are always looking to improve the club and teams in order to reach our goals."



Knights Men close to Saints upset whilst 18s remain unbeaten
The Stirling Knights Men’s team travelled to Paisley to match up against St Mirren last weekend, who are widely regarded as one of the top two teams in Scotland and haven’t lost a game yet this season. With a line-up of Scottish internationalists, including the formidable Nick Collins and Fraser Glass who plays for the BBL Glasgow Rocks, St Mirren looked to be extremely strong but an excellent first quarter from the Knights saw it end 19-19. The second quarter was much the same, with neither team able to edge ahead significantly. Good play from the Knights had them only down 40-39 at half time.

The third quarter was tight and it was only in the final stanza that St Mirren managed to pull away and even with a Stirling fight back the game ended disappointingly for the Knights in a loss 88-80.

Coach Mark Duncan however was very pleased with his team’s performance with the side showing a strong team work ethic and much improvement this season so far, he said “ To come through here and almost snatch victory was big for us. St Mirren are one of the top teams in Scotland so, although I am not happy with a loss, I am happy with our performance. Hopefully we can take it forward to our Scottish Cup game this Saturday (25th)”

Connor Rankin was back near his best having missed a few games and top scored with 18 points with four other Knights in double figures. Special mention must go to 18 year old Connor Sharp who, in his first minutes of action this season, scored 4 points, including two important free throws.

The boys of the Knights U18’s had a short trip down the motorway to play North Lanarkshire Chiefs for a league game on Saturday. Knights were looking to maintain their 100% record against the Chiefs who had beaten Grampian Flyers the week before.

The start of the first quarter was a somewhat scrappy affair for the first five minutes with neither team able to get their offence into gear. In addition Cameron O’Donnell picked up three fouls which would come back to haunt him later in the game. Eventually though, the Knights were able to stretch the Chiefs on the break and managed to squeeze out a 7 point lead at the end of the period (17-10).

The start of the second period saw the Chiefs resting their centre O’Hara and the Knights had O’Donnell sitting out the start as well. Alex Smith-Taylor stepped in and opened up the scoring for the Knights as they upped the tempo of their offence and really started to move the ball up the floor with a six nil run in the first two minutes forcing a Chiefs timeout. With six minutes to play, the Chiefs brought in O’Hara and coach Lynch put O’Donnell in to match up against him. O’Donnell was more than a match for O’Hara scoring six points in two minutes as the Knights extended their lead. However, a fourth foul by O’Donnell and then a rush of blood and a quick fifth foul ended his game with two minutes of the half still to play. Knights had a twenty-five point lead and with one of their key players out of the game - how would they react?

It was McNeil, Jozajtis and Bain that led the charge by the Knights supported by MacDonald and Smith-Taylor in the third quarter and maintained the momentum from the second period. Jozajtis and Bain led the scoring with nine and seven points respectively to finish the quarter 65-34.

With such a commanding lead Coach Lynch shared the final minutes of the fourth quarter amongst the squad and although we lost the quarter 15-13, it was an overall positive performance given the slow start in the first and a fourth win out of four. Play of the day was Ryse Watt’s behind the back pass on the drive to Jozajtis to score a simple lay-up. Final score 78-49 to the Knights.

Leading scorers Bain 19, Jozajtis 17, McNeil 16, O’Donnell 10, Walker 7 and Smith-Taylor 6.


Tornadoes almost spoil The Knights Peak party 
Troon Tornadoes travelled to The Peak in Stirling to face the Knights in the Scottish National Basketball League's game of the week and what an exciting game it was. 
With The Peak packed out after the Knights Primary League a full strength Troon squad, led by American player coach Donald Sampley, including past Scottish Internationals Ifedade Thomas, Andy Pearson and Jonny Petit looked strong enough to provide a real test for Stirling. 
The Knights, playing their third home game in a row, started with a young team full of talent too with the starting five having one of the lowest average ages in the National league. 
The first quarter got off to a great start for Knights who found themselves 7-0 up after nice play from Matthew Dick and Gergo Jenei. Troon soon found their own run and the quarter ended 18-17. A high scoring 21-21 second quarter saw Donald Sampley turn back the years to hit some long three pointers which kept his team right in it. Knights Captain Jack Burgess was putting on his own shooting clinic scoring nine in the quarter and with good play from Daniel Chok and veteran Jamie Manuel, the Knights maintained their slender one point advantage at half time 39-38. 

After an exciting interval for the home fans with the throw a duck competition, the game started in the third and it was the visitors who took control with Jonny Petit and Ifedade Thomas combining for 14 points as Troon took the lead by as much as seven points. Knights were able to hang on in the main due to the scoring of Austrian U20 player Adam Hammerschmidt who scored eight in the quarter to see Knights facing a 57-53 deficit going into the final stanza. 
In a thrilling fourth quarter the Stirling men started to find their groove and backed by the large home crowd, were able to put some stops together whilst at the other end Jack Burgess caught fire again and hit 11 in the quarter leading his team to a slender lead. Thomas and Shankland hit some big scores for Troon but with Knights three up and rebounding well,  an unsportsmanlike foul on Burgess which saw him nail his two free throws plus his team retain possession, the game was all but over. A buzzer beater attempt to tie the game from Sampley failed to connect and the Stirling natives celebrated another fine win. 

Top scorers for Knights were the starting five in double digits, Jack Burgess on 20, Adam Hammerschmidt 14 and Daniel Chok, Gergo Jenei and Matt Dick on 10 each with valuable contributions from the bench. For Troon, Sampley had 15, Thomas 14 and Ngondala 10. 

Knights Men's Coach Mark Duncan 'The fight and determination is there but we still lack execution and the ability to finish teams off and overall our defence needs to improve however last season we knew we were rebuilding and had players playing senior for the first time. Now, we have already equaled last year's number of wins so the only way is up. It's all very positive.'

Troon Player-Coach Donald Sampley added 
"I thought it was a very well played game by both teams, but Stirling executed their offense better and hit big shots to pull away in the final 4 minutes of the game. I haven't seen a better atmosphere at a national league game, the crowd was great, a lot of fun to play in front of fans like that."

Young Knights off to a flying start
The Knights U18’s played host to Glasgow City at Wallace High School on Sunday with both teams coming into this game having won their first two league matches and had both beaten Grampian Flyers. This would be a test for both teams who were joint top of the league.

Starting for the Knights were James McNeil, Michael Jozajtis, Jonny Short, Gregor Bain and Cameron O’Donnell who were eager to make an impact upon the game. Bain set the tone of the match from the start chasing down a loose ball to convert the first two points for the Knights and Jozajtis opened his account with a three pointer. City could not cope with the pace and movement of Jozajtis who racked up 10 points in the first quarter to help the Knights open up a 10 point lead to finish the quarter 22-10.

The second quarter was played at a similar high tempo, with the Knights scoring on the majority of their offences with City struggling to cope with the Knights pace and movement. Team captain McNeil led the scoring in the quarter with 10 points with Jozajtis continuing his form with 8 points for the Knights to finish the quarter 30 - 11 and a lead of 31 points.

Division 2 rules restricted the Knights to play three of the starting five for the second half which gave an opportunity for coach Lynch to run the bench. It was a credit to the guys coming off the bench that the Knights were able to maintain their momentum and led the third quarter 23 - 11, with 9 points from Jozajtis and 8 points from O’Donnell. The final quarter was a somewhat scrappy low scoring contest with both teams using their benches and finished 13-11 in favour of the Knights. Final score 88-43 to the Knights and whilst the offence performed well, it was the defence that pleased coach Lynch the most “today our defence worked particularly well and we forced multiple turnovers which gave us easy baskets off the break. We played really well as a team today”.

Leading scorers: Michael Jozajtis 27, Cameron O’Donnell 15, James McNeil 13 and Gregor Bain 12. The Knights are currently top of Division 2 and play North Lanarkshire on Saturday at Cumbernauld.

The U16 Knights boys also played a crucial match last Sunday, when they lost to fellow league leaders Perth 80-90. Despite having five players in double figure scoring , the young Knights struggled to contain Perth’s 6ft 5 Scotland International Yousef Khalil who poured in 41 points and was a massive presence on defence. Some poor decisions and a lack of scoring in key minutes meant that the Stirling side lost for the first time this season. With Perth to play again and then post season playoffs, the team still has a lot to play for as they aim for promotion to division 1.



The Peak rocks in bumper weekend of action for Knights

A packed Peak crowd witnessed a great Senior Men's National League game on Friday night between Glasgow Rocks and  Stirling Knights. With the home team missing some key players, the Knights went down early and, despite some good play, the shots just were not dropping and Knights were down 9 at half time.

A spirited 3rd and 4th quarter saw the Knights take the lead by 3 with 20 seconds left. The roaring home crowd were then silenced by a 3 point shot from the Rocks top scorer Chris Barron who tied the game and sent it into overtime. The Knights rallied but could not close out the game losing 71 - 74.

Coach Mark Duncan said, "Although it is a tough loss and a game we needed to win, there are some positives to take forward into practice this week. The crowd were fantastic and it was a real nail biter to the end."

Top Scorers for Knights were Adam Hammerschmidt with 31, Jack Burgess with 16 and Gergo Jenei with 10. 

The men host Glasgow Storm this Friday 8pm at The Peak. 

Youth 
The Knights Under 18 Men got off to a flyer to claim their first win in a season which they hope to gain promotion to division one of the National League. Edinburgh Kings B team were no match as they raced to an early lead and never looked back taking the win 88-49 with all 12 players seeing plenty of court time. Cameron O' Donnell and James McNeil were in top form and Angus McDonald showing terrific hustle on defense.

In the same match up at Under 16 the same story applied with Knights racing to an amazing 25-0 first quarter and eventual 91-31 win. Shaun Craig hit 34 points for Knights with Jacob Franklyn adding 15 and Calum Doherty 12 with the full team showing their Division one capabilities. 


The Under 14 boys and girls sections of the club also got a taste of their first games of the season when the basketball Scotland Regional Development League was hosted in Stirling at the weekend. The boys section for this season sees 20 young players split into two teams for the league. First up were the A team, who defeated powerhouses Falkirk Fury and Boroughmuir Blaze 47-33 and 68-56. Lewis McGlasson and Javier Becerra Perez linked up well together and valuable contributions also came from Ruari Doherty and Oliver Yarrow. The Knights B team, who were sampling their first ever competitive action performed admirably against Edinburgh Kings and West Lothian Wolves in two eventual losses. The Knights girls team scored their first win of the new season comfortably defeating East Lothian Dragons 36-24 at The Peak. 

In the girls National League and Cup, SWL the club's joint team with West Lothian scored two fine wins over Tayside and Polonia as they continue to make good progress to defend their national title. Ruth Allison, Helen Walker and Katie Young all providing valuable contributions to the team's success.


New Season and Knights are ready for battle

With the Scottish National League Summer break now over the Stirling Knights Basketball have been busy preparing players across the ten different sections and age groups of the Club.

Ruth Allison (Wallace High School) from the Under 16 girls squad enjoyed a very fruitful Summer when she won the Gold Medal at the European Championships with the Scotland National team, who are coached by Knights girl's head coach Dave Evans. Also in Euro coaching action were Knights club chief Pete Duncan and Under 18 coach Colin Lynch, who were part of the bronze medal winning Senior Men's National Team. Knights Men's captain and club coach Jack Burgess also attended prestigious Coaching clinics in Spain and Turkey as well as two Scottish National camps. 

Hoping to make a big impact on the men's league this season is Stirling University student and Austrian native Adam Hammerschmidt who, after his rookie season last year, hopes to show the form and talent which saw him selected for the Austrian Under 20 team this Summer. With Pete Duncan stepping back from coaching the Men to focus on other club developments, brother Mark, a former Scotland and Commonwealth Games Internationalist, steps up to Head Coach for the Men's team who will look to improve on a tough season last year. 

The Under 16 and Under 18 boys will once again have campaigns for promotion in the National League Division 2 whilst the Knights will also have an Under 16 girls division 2 team but will continue for one more season to be part of the successful SWL team set up who this season have teams in division 1 for both Under 16 and Under 18 girls. 

The Knights set up also includes teams for boys and girls at Under 14 and Under 12 who will compete in the Regional Development Leagues along with an Under 10 group and Mini Ballers sessions which caters from Primary 1 upwards. These along with the cluster sessions and Primary League contribute to the Knights having, what is widely regarded as, one the best youth development pathways in Scottish Basketball. 

Knights club chief Pete Duncan said "This is now our fifth season and we have well surpassed targets from our five year plan. What we have worked to achieve has been fantastic. The youth set up is going very well with many players and their families now actively involved in the club and credit has to go the the coaches who have worked so hard. Performance wise, we are looking for promotion from our boys teams and the girls are coming on leaps and bounds which will see us have a strong future in female basketball. The Men's team are determined to improve this season and with almost thirty home games across all the team's we hope our supporters will back us even more." 

With the attention now back on the club season, the Knights Men have a pre season friendly when they host back to back Scottish Champions Falkirk Fury at The Peak this Friday with an 8pm tip off. The first 'Friday Knights Primary League' of the new season precedes this at 6pm. For more info and season fixtures see the Knights social media pages.

Knights claim Silver in National Tournament

U14 Boys – Aberdeen Sports Village

Being seeded highly for this event after finishing their domestic league unbeaten the u14 Knights boys were placed in Group B alongside Perth Pheonix, Glasgow Rocks and Alford Basketball Club. Group A featured RDL and Scottish Cup winners Falkirk Fury, St Mirren, Menziehill Madsons and Highland Bears.

The format for the Tournament was straight forward. Winners of each group face each other in the final.

After making the long, early morning journey to Aberdeen the Knights started their first well just after 10:00am versus a buoyant Glasgow Rocks team. The Knights withheld against some early pressure and got into any early first quarter lead which was maintained throughout the match. The knight eventually running out comfortable 41-32 winners.  Game 2 v Alford was a tighter affair and some goof offensive play from both teams had the game evenly matched throughout. Slack defence in the 3rd Qtr allowed Alford to pull into a lead of 5 points which had the large Knights crowd that had made the journey slightly worried. Good play by Scotland u13 Lewis McGlasson along with a big 3 pt shot got the Knights back in front at the key time in the 4th and the Knights eventually saw the game our 38–34 winners. The final game in the group phase was a less stressful affair with a relatively straight forward win of 46-22 over Perth Phoenix. The three wins put the Knights in the Gold/Medal game however their opponents were still to be decided.

Earlier games in Group A saw St Mirren beat Fury by 5pts, Fury beat Bears by 16pts and with all three of these teams beating Menziehill would mean that St Mirren would need to beat Highland Bears to progress to the final. Failure to do so would place Falkirk in the Final game, a repeat of the East and Central RDL Final. In a very tense game the St Mirren team just came up short losing by 6pts and put the top two teams in the Central Region face to face again for the fifth time this season. The head to Head over 2014 between the two clubs was 2/2 so we all knew this would be close match up.

The early stages of the game were typically tense of a final between the two clubs with some early chances squandered. It looked clear that the tougher Group games earlier in the day had maybe sparked more intensity into the Fury boys than Knights. That said the Knight boys were playing good Basketball and after being down by 10 after Qtr1 the Knights rallied a little getting it back to 8 at HT. The fight back was sadly all too much in the end for the Knights’ and a heavy loss in the 3rd Qtr saw the Fury Team move on to claim their third title of the season.

The young Knights boys were upbeat however disappointed at losing to their local rivals for the third time this season but more importantly in Finals but can still claim the accolade of second best u14 Boys Basketball Team in Scotland.

On Sunday, it was the turn of the Stirling girls’ team playing for SWL the club’s joint venture with West Lothian. The girls cruised through their group games making the final against a strong Paisley squad. With SWL being U14 Scottish Cup and Regional League Champions the game was closely fought with Paisley running out eventual winners. Great play and team spirit again from the Knights girls Ruth Allison, Helen Walker, Nina Wills, Chloe Dunshire, Marta Weyer Evie Gallagher and Mollie Wiliams  who make up the majority of the very successful SWL U14 team who are Scottish Cup Champions, Scottish RDL Champions and now National Tournament runners up.

 

New Club President as Knights fly the flag for Team Scotland

Kieron Achara, the Stirling native who is the Great Briatin Basketball Olympian and Captian, has joined the Stirling Knights Club Committee as Honorary Club President. Kieron will continue to advise on strategic planning and other club structures. Stirling's favourite sporting son said "Everytime I come back to Stirling I am blown away by the Knights development as a club and with the individual player progress that I can clearly see. I am delighted that my home town is now producing some really good basketball talent along with hundreds of primary kids all buzzing and playing basketball." 

The Knights are also once again pleased to announce that the development of their young players is growing stronger each year with another TWELVE players and four coaches selected to represent Scotland. The Players range from u11 to Senior Men with no less than 10 of the 12 players being u15. With the club coming to the end of only its third year of youth development, these selections show the great work being done by all at the club.

The players selected are as follows:

U11 Girls – Emma Dunsire – U11 DEVELOPMENT SQUAD

U11 Boys – Max Flett - U11 DEVELOPMENT SQUAD

Both the above players were selected to take part in three Scotland training sessions for 20 boys and girls to further develop their game.

U12 Girls – Freya Walker – TIM PIRINEUS ’14, ANDORRA

U12 Boys – Rory Bell – TIM PIRINEUS ’14, ANDORRA

U12 Boys – Callum McGlasson – TIM PIRINEUS ’14, ANDORRA

The u12 Boys and Girls travelled to compete in the TIM Pirineus Basketball Tournament in Andorra for the second year in succession. Having finished second last year the Boys went one step further and won the tournament earlier in May.  Callum on the back of his achievements has since been selected to represent Basketball Scotland in their forthcoming Club Skills Guide launch campaign.

U13 Boys – Lewis McGlasson – GOTEBORG BASKETBALL FESTIVAL, SWEDEN

Lewis will travel to Gothenburg in late May to compete in the Goteborg Basketball Festival, 29th May – 1st June, 2014. Gothenborg, Sweden.. This is the largest Youth Basketball Tournament of its kind in the world with over 7000 participants from around the world.

U14 Boys – Shaun Craig & Mitchell Earley – FIBA SUMMER SLAM, STIRLING SCOTLAND

U14 Boys – Head Coach Jack Burgess

U14 Girls – Ruth Allison – FIBA SUMMER SLAM, STIRLING SCOTLAND

U14 Girls – Head Coach Dave Evans

Both the boys will compete for the u14 Scotland Scotland team at Summer Slam in June. The event takes place in Stirling at the Peak Sports Village. Shaun commented “I’m so proud to represent my country and it makes even it more special that the tournament takes place in my hometown”. With U14 Boys Coach Jack Burgess also the Scotland u14 Boys National Head Coach, both boys should feel right at home.

Ruth has been no stranger to success this season. Having already picked up the Schools Scottish Cup Championship with Wallace High S2’s, the U14 Girls Scottish Cup Championship as well as MVP and also the U16 Play off Championship with her Club Stirling Knights in conjunction with West Lothian Basketball Club,  Ruth has also been selected to represent the u14 Girls at The Summer Slam Tournament in Stirling as well as the u16 Girls National Team whom travel to Malta at the end of June to compete in the European Championships.

U15 Girls – Katie Young – GOTEBORG BASKETBALL FESTIVAL, SWEDEN

Katie was selected as part of the 18 Girls squad to compete in the Goteborg Basketball Festival, 29th May – 1st June, 2014. Gothenborg, Sweden.

U16 Girls – Ruth Allison U16 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP WOMEN DIV. C

U16 Girls Assistant Coach – Dave Evans

Senior Men National Squad – Matthew Dick & Jack Burgess  - FIBA EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP of Small countries, GIBRALTAR

Scotland SENIOR Men - Assitant Coach Pete Duncan, Team Manager Colin Lynch

Matthew and Jack were part of the 20 man Squad training ahead of the Men’s FIBA European Championships in Gibraltar in July. Pete and Colin have been part of the Senior Men’s Coaching Team since last Summer and will look to gain valuable International coaching experience to bring back to the Knights.


Youth Finals showcase Knights future stars

Stirling Knights basketball club had three teams in the finals of the Scottish Basketball East and Central Regional Development League. SWL U14 Girls, the Stilring side's joint team with West Lothian which has 6 Stirling players in the line up, were first up in a thrilling game against East Lothian Dragons. Four big three point shots by Wallace High's Scotland player Ruth Allison put the game out of the Dragon's reach with the girls winning 41-31 to claim SWL's third title of the season. 

Next up for Knights, were the U14 boys who once again faced local rivals Falkirk Fury. Falkirk, who are Scottish Cup champions at this age group, took an early lead but Stirling fought back through some nice play from Scotland players Shaun Craig and Lewis McGlasson but Fury never relinquished control and were worthy winners.

The reigning champions U12 Knights boys also faced Fury in a replay of last year's RDL final but this time the young team, with an average age of just ten, were too small to cope with a tall Fury team although gave 100% effort throughout and impressed the large crowd with their tenacity and hunger, eventually losing 32-21. 

Knights club boss Pete Duncan "I am immensely proud of the young players who have represented the club so well today. To have only been developing our youth programme for three years and are regularly in contention for medals is a great achievement. Credit goes to the coaches Les McGlasson, Jack Burgess and Dave Evans along with our young leaders who help out with the youth teams. We will continue to progress and hopefully be back in these finals next season."

Next up for Knights are the Under 14, 12 and 10 National Challenges in May along with a significant number of players and coaches involved in Scotland National Teams with Euro competition this summer.


The Peak Rocks for Knights final home game

A packed Peak crowd of over 300 witnessed a thrilling game between the Knights and Glasgow Rocks on Friday night. The Rocks, who had won the previous encounter in Glasgow, started the game as strong as the home team, matching them basket for basket ending the 1st quarter ahead by 1 point. The second quarter saw some inspirational defence by David Hannah and Cory McCabe and the Knights pushed into the lead. A poor defensive and offensive spell by the Knights allowed the Rocks to go into half-time leading 34- 38.
A slow start to the third quarter by the Knights meant that they were trailing by 8 but again, the defence stepped up and baskets by Jack Burgess and Adam Hammershmidt brought the Knights right back into the game. Sloppy mistakes by the Rocks were capitalised by the Knights and the game was tied heading into the 4th and final quarter.
A good spell from the home team gave the Knights a lead and they never looked back, winning the game 82-74.

Top scorers were Adam Hammerschmidt on 22, with Connor Rankin, Jack Burgess and Matt Dick scoring in double figures. Stand in coach, and former Captain, Mark Duncan praised Cory McCabe who not only played excellent defence and closed down the Rocks best player but he scored a season high 12 points.
"Everyone on the team has to be a threat in offence and Cory proved what he can do tonight. The crowd were also fantastic". Mark, who is replacing brother Pete as Men's Head Coach next season, added "The guys have worked hard and had to endure a tough season of learning but I'm hoping it will stand us in good stead for next year".
 
The Knights Under 14 boys stormed their way to the National Cup Semi Final with an easy win over Highland bears 69-30. Coach Jack Burgess has clearly had the team training well and their rotations on defence were particularly impressive. Stirling High's Shaun Craig and Wallace High's Lewis McGlasson showing excellent skill and desire in a dominant performance. Next up for the youngsters is an away Semi Final to rivals Falkirk Fury. Head of Knights Pete Duncan "We have been developing our youth section for only 3 years and are already the second biggest in terms of registered members, to make a National Cup Semi Final at this stage is excellent progress and along with Fury we really are doing the best development work of any club in Scotland".




Stirling Knights Basketball Club U10/U12s, cheque for £250.00 was presented to Les McGlasson, U12 Boys  & Primary League Coach, by Richard Adams, the funds will go towards the purchase of warm up tops for the U10/U12 teams.
 
Stirling Knights Basketball Club have been running for the last 4 years and has grown to over 400 members and strives to continue the growth of the club providing basketball coaching at the highest level to all age groups. Between the U10/12 teams there are over 200 children aged between 8 and 12. The U12 boys team in only their second year were hailed the best team in Scotland having won both their league and National Tournament and did so having being unbeaten for over 18 months. The U10 team is just starting to draw players from their already established and very successful Primary Cluster league which provides training to P4-P7 players from all primary schools across the whole Stirling and Bridge of Allan area.
 
If anyone in the Stirling and Bridge of Allan area is interested in coming along please contact Les McGlasson at les@stirlingknights.com


Knights Men lose to Glasgow University
Following recent losses in the Senior National League to Troon and Falkirk, Stirling Knights men hosted Glasgow University last weekend in front of a packed crowd at The Peak. The travelling sudents, who boast two Canadian imports, were sure to give the rebuilding Knights a tough test in their penultiamte home game of this season. Knights started well through their own University students Gergo Jenei, Adam Hammerschmidt and Jack Burgess but some big shots from the guests enabled them to take a 23-17 first quarter lead. With conitnued solid play at both ends Knights managed to win the second stanza to go in at halftime just 39-35 down. A good third quarter from Glasgow and some poor execution from Stirling meant that the Knights once again faced a large deficit, although the team pulled together to win the final quarter which saw a final score of 82-69. 
 
Top players for the Knights were Connor Rankin, continuing his good run, with 17 points with Matt Dick also adding 17 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks. Matt, who hopes to add to his 5 Scottish Senior caps this summer, showing an improved offensive game throughout whilst doing a good job of protecting the rim on defense. Team Captain Jack Burgess added 3 three pointers and some fine guard play. For the visitors, Canadian duo John Bustin and Al Alilovic combined for 44 points. Knights Head Coach Pete Duncan said "We performed very well in spells and we have made some adjustments to our play since we came together six months ago. I have seen improvement every week but we are still too inconsistent at times. This season has flown by and we hope the experience gained will set us up well for a good campaign next season". The Senior Knights last home game of the season is Friday February 21st against Glasgow Rocks.
 
Across the club the development and success continues. The Under 16 boys remain undefeated and are now plotting to win the end of season playoffs which will see them promoted to division one. The Under 14 and Under 12 boys are top of their leagues and the other youth teams, male and female, are also having great seasons. These squads, combined with the work Knights are doing with Primary pupils will ensure a pathway to success in Basketball for years to come in the Stirling area.


Knights Hammer Reign but fail to topple the Kings
Stirling Knights senior men scored their first win of the season when they hosted Dunfermline Reign at The Peak. With Knights coach Pete Duncan going with two separate fives giving each player a chance to impress, the game ebbed and flowed with both sides taking a small lead and Knights edging it at half time 34-33. In the third quarter the game remained much the same and with Dunfermline taking a 54-50 lead at the start of the fourth quarter the Stirling men had it all to do. With changes made to a strong defensive line up the Knights rattled up a 22-0 run in the last period, finally showing their ability with great defensive stops and fast break scores to take the game 72-56. Austrian Stirling University freshman Adam Hammerschmidt led the Knights in scoring with an incredible 9 out of 12 three point shots made on his way to 33 points. Jeb Spink, Daniel Chok and captain Jack Burgess also chipped in with 7 points a piece to go with some great defensive play. 
Knights Coach Duncan "We gave the players a chance to play tonight, so they can learn from their mistakes but in the fourth quarter we went strong and pulled of a 22-2 quarter which was good to see. Adam shot the ball well and is really starting to learn the game in his new position". 
 
In the following week's match, Stirling travelled to the Capital to face a strong Edinburgh Kings side. The Knights continued where they had left off the previous week showing a much improved game at both ends of the court to match Kings for the first half, going in at halftime 36-34. A host of missed chances and poor execution at the start of the third allowed Kings to take 15 point lead but Knights battled all the way in an eventual 74-54 loss. Top players for Knights were captain Jack Burgess with 12 points in a fine performance, with big men Gergo Jenei and Matt Dick doing a great job on scoring and rebounds.  Knights chief Pete Duncan "We played extremely well in the first half and just lost our way a bit in the third, although its the closest we've been to Kings in our four season history. We didn't really have an answer for their centre but the guys have shown big improvements over the first half of the season. Many people have commented what a good young team we have, with great potential and we just hope the guys keep working to improve."


Mixed results for Knights Teams
With the season now almost half way completed, the Stirling Knights Men's Basketball team continued their transition with back to back losses against St Mirren and Glasgow Rocks. The young and inexperienced Stirling side, started brightly against a strong St Mirren team who shot the ball extremely well to go in at halftime 56-41 ahead. A disastrous third quarter for Knights, which improved only slightly in the fourth saw them go down 106-56. In the following week's game Knights travelled to Glasgow to square off against the Rocks. A bright start and some good play from Adam Hammerschmidt and Jack Burgess saw the Knights gain an early six point lead but Rocks came back strongly and rebounded the ball extremely well against a slack Stirling defence which allowed them an 11 point half time advantage. A better spell from Stirling saw them claw it back to five but poor finishing and a lack of defensive pressure on three pointers saw them lose in the end 80-62. A disappointed Knights Head Coach Pete Duncan said "We had been performing better and we did well against Fury and Blaze, but the St Mirren game followed by this disappointing loss to Rocks shows we have along way to go in our development of this new team. Our two newest players Jeb Spink and Daniel Chok have shown positive signs of late and we hope for a better performance this week".
 
The Knights Under 18 Men also continued their struggles with back to back losses against Blaze and Edinburgh Lions. A much improved performance in both games saw the boys take good leads only to let the opposition back in to clinch the games. Coach Colin Lynch said "We have definitely been improving and most of our team is U17 age, so we hope to gain a lot from this season and give next season a really good go".
 
The Knights Under 16 boys remain undefeated in their National League Division 2. The side, which narrowly lost out on promotion to division one, have been destroying their opponents with the most recent 80-31 win over Grampian in Aberdeen. The Under 14 boys also remain undefeated for this season having seen of Edinburgh Kings by a large margin and then defeated local rivals Falkirk Fury 32-30. In a close match throughout, Knights found themselves 10 points down at halftime but fought their way back to a memorable victory. Fury managed to equal the score for the day with their Under 12 boys claiming a good win over Knights.
 
In the Under 16 Girls National League, Stirling West Lothian, the new joint team which has six Knights players in its ranks, also remain undefeated for their league campaign after impressive wins over Fury, Highland Bears, Edinburgh Kool Kats and the Lady Rocks. Lady Knights players Ruth Allison and Katie Young have also been called up for Scotland National team duty with the Under 15 and Under 16 squads.
 
Knights were nominated for eight awards, and won in two categories at the recent Stirling Sports Awards with Cory McCabe winning young coach of the year and the club winning Performance Club of the Year. Accepting the award on the club's behalf Head Coach Pete Duncan acknowledged the hard work of his coaching team, parents and players in continuing to make Knights a success whilst still being one of Scotland's newest clubs. With U14 Scotland Stars and Wallace High Pupils Ruth Allison and Lewis McGlasson also accepting the award, underlining the club's bright future and focus on youth development.


Triple trouble for Knights in Scottish Cup
All three of the Stirling Knights male National League teams lost out in their recent Scottish Cup last sixteen match ups. The U16s and Senior Men were drawn away to Boroughmuir Blaze with the Stirling U18s hosting Perth Phoenix at The Peak.

In the U18s game, Knights got off to a good start and were leading 22-21 after the first quarter. In the second, Perth stepped up the pressure and were able to hold Knights to just four points whilst racking up another twenty for themselves. The second half was more evenly contested with Perth eventually edging the tie 88-51.

The U16s game was an evenly fought match up throughout but continual lapses on rebounding and execution round the basket saw the Edinburgh side pull away in the final minutes to win 82-65. Both young Knights sides must learn to take care of the basketball and keep possesion if they are to progress this season.
In the Senior tie, Knights travelled to the Capital to once again face Blaze, who four weeks earlier had obliterated Knights by more than 50 points. However, it was the Stirling men who started better this time and matched Boroughmuir basket for basket before some poor shot selections and avoidable turnovers let the hosts point gurad Eoghan Dover score 10 points, to take a 31-21 first quarter lead. In the second, both defences performed better but Blaze were still able to take a fifteen point lead going into halftime. In the third, Knights stepped up their game and saw some valubale bench contributions from Jamie Manuel and David Porter with captain Jack Burgess notching up 8 personal points. The fourth quarter remained tight but Blaze were able to hold on to win the tie 90-72.
 
Knights can take the postives from this one in a much improved performance with all the team registering on the score sheet. Top scorers were Stirling University's Hungarian forward Gergo Jenei 18, Connor Rankin 14 and Jack Burgess 11. Centre Matt Dick grabbed 12 rebounds and 6 blocks in an excellent defensive effort. 
Knights Head Coach Pete Duncan "This game was actually a lot closer than the score suggests and I think back to what could have been had we not gifted them 10 easy points in the opening period. We have a young team this year and I see signs of improvement every week, hopefully in the upcoming games everyone can have a good performance and we can get some wins under our belts."
 
Regional Development League News
The Knights youth development system conitnues to bear fruit with all the clubs development squads getting back to winning ways last weekend in the Basketball Scotland Development League. The U12 boys, who went undefeated last season, opened their season with three victories over Kings, Blaze and Peregrines. The U14 boys remain undefeated this season with good wins over Edinburgh Kings and East Lothian Peregrines. The Knights girls, who for this season have joined forced with West Lothian, also won their opening round of games. For more information visit the club's website and facebook page.

Fury men win central derby game against Knights
In what is the fourth season now the Stirling Knights have been able to welcome their near neighbours, and Scottish National League Champions, Falkirk Fury to a packed Peak Sporting Village, both teams served up an entertaining game of basketball with some fine talent on show. With Falkirk having gone five games undefeated so far this season and with Knights still looking for their first win, this game on paper seemed a done deal. 

In the opening quarter however the reverse was the case, with Knights starting very well and showing some real potential in their lineup with Austrian student Adam Hammerschmidt racking up 8 points personal to lead the Stirling men into a 22-18 first quarter advantage. However, in the second, Fury fought back behind the sharp shooting Keith Bunyan and talented foreign players Walter Lubeight, Martin Malnieks and Greg Foussas to take a 40-32 half time lead. 

With Fury having already scored seven 3 pointers in the first half, Bunyan added the ninth early in the third and with Scotland guard Scott Russell completing 9 points personal the Falkirk men pulled to a safe lead as their younger and less experienced opponents failed to step up to the pressure and hit their shots. On a positive for Knights, Matt Dick stepped up and showed his potential against strong defense as did 20 year old guard Connor Rankin. 

In the last quarter, with both team now comfortably running their bench, Knights coach Pete Duncan gave a senior men's debut to 16 year old Cameron O'Donnell who along with 17 year old team mate Zack Beattie performed well enough on the senior stage to further illustrate the hopefully bright future ahead. Knights claimed the last quarter by one point with a final score of 84-60 to the Fury. 

Top performers for Knights were Adam Hammerschmidt with 14 points, Connor Rankin on 12 with Matt Dick and David Porter on 10 each. For Falkirk, veteran Keith Bunyan led with 20 points and Scott Russell with 14. 

Knights coach Pete Duncan said "In the first half we were terrific, our defense was working well and we were scoring freely but Fury caught fire just before halftime and instead of going in ahead or tied we found ourselves eight down. 27 of their 40 points at the half were from 3 pointers. The third quarter was a bit better but Fury really stepped up and we failed to match them. I am pleased with the glimpses of good basketball we have shown, the challenge is to get the consistency and experience to compete for longer. Both sets of supporters were fantastic and we had over 400 though the door tonight. Basketball in the central belt really is booming". 


U16 Knights ground Flyers in battle for top spot
The Knights U16 Men squared off against fellow League leaders Grampian Flyers on Sunday. In what could certainly be described as a Division decider at this early stage in the season did not disappoint. Coaches David Hannah and Cory McCabe wanted the boys to get off to a solid start on their temporary home court at Stirling High, however this was not to be the case. The Flyers were quickest out the blocks and jumped to a quick 8pt cushion. A lack of execution and aggression on defense was certainly limiting the Knights losing the 1st 18-10. The second qtr proved to be of much the same. However as the Knights were running into half time, a purple patch of scoring from Aaron Furzer -6 in a row and a hail mary buzzer beater from Iain Shilliday reduced the deficit to 3 at the break with the Knights coaching team admitting they were concerned about an out of sorts performance but emphasized the need for calm and a big step up on defense. This still didnt arrive until late into the 3rd qtr when Evan Dobbie stepped off the bench and immediately brought an intensity that brought on the Knights offense. The Knights went down as much as 11 before aggressively stepping up and chipping away. As the game tied up, fouls became an issue for both teams, with multiple players fouling out on both sides. With late resurgence from the Flyers the boys dug in and produced some amazing energy to get across the finishing line and go outright top of the League. Final score 75-70. Stilring High School's Michael Walker top scored on 20, Aaron Furzer 16, Iain Shilliday and Ryan McWatt on 12. Both David Hannah and Cory McCabe want to thank the families who were there in support. Cory; "This was a tremendous team win. We have tried to maximise player rotation in our 16 man squad, but the understanding by the guys who didnt get many minutes today shows the way these boys are maturing into a TEAM. Looking at the game, Aaron Furzer literally lead from the front. Michael Walker displayed his usual well rounded game. Alex Smith-Taylor brought the level head to help balance a stuttering offense. Then Iain, Evan and Ryan really inspired the defense when it was needed. Conor, Josh and George Darrosa just rounded off the teams efforts, giving key breaks to our main scorers today."

The three male Knights teams are in Scottish Cup action this weekend, with the U18s hosting Perth Phoenix at The Peak on Friday night with the U16s and Seniors travelling to Edinburgh to face Boroughmuir Blaze.

Troon Tornadoes hold on to defeat the Knights
In the Scottish National League, the Stirling Knights Senior Men travelled to sunny Ayr to face a Troon team who had suffered some heavy defeats in their opening three games. With only eight players available the Stirling men knew they would be in for a tough game especially since Troon had welcomed back Scottish Internationalists, Dade Thomas and Euan Campbell.
Knights got off to a great start with big men Gergo Jenei and Matt Dick proving difficult to stop in the paint. Great defensive pressure from guards David Hannah and Cory McCabe allowed the Knights to stop the Troon offense regularly with the first quarter ending with Knights six point ahead. In the second, Troon fought back and started to knock down shots led by Euan Campbell who was in excellent shooting form. The Ayrshire men also continued to rack up the fouls on Knights with the Stirling side once again failing to capitalise by missing twelve free throws going into halftime only three points ahead. Knights’ Scotland big man Matthew Dick also picking up his fourth foul which meant he would have to sit for most of the next period.
In the third quarter, 41 year old American Donald Sampley, the man in charge of the new Edinburgh based professional side, led Troon with a series of outstanding shots connecting on four three pointers to leave Knights stunned and sixteen points down. A timeout from Knights and some big shots from captain Jack Burgess and Connor Rankin plus a good spell from veteran big man Jamie Manuel saw the Knights come back and close the gap to eight points going into the final period.
In an excellent fourth quarter performance, Hungarian forward Gergo Jenei took over for Knights and scored play after play to pull the Stirling men back within one basket. However, back to back missed chances from Knights and a big three pointer from Troon meant that time was against the visitors with Troon eventually edging the game 85-77. 
Top Scorers for Knights were Gergo Jenei on 27 points, Jack Burgess on 14, Connor Rankin and Matt Dick on 12 each with Adam Hammerschmidt on 11.

Knights surrender to the Storm
Having been torched by a very good Boroughmuir blaze side the week before, Knights welcomed Glasgow Storm to The Peak last Friday for their second home game of the season. Storm came into the game having started the season very well under Scotland Coach Iain Maclean with Scotland Guards Kevin Scott and Kyle Haldane in fine form. Knights Coach Pete Duncan, Maclean's assitant in the Scottish National Team, welcomed back key guard duo David Hannah and David Porter who had missed the previous game. 
 
The Knights started well with Scotland big man Matthew Dick dominating in the paint for his opening eight points, former Knight Ross Rankin kept Storm in touch hitting three 3 pointers in the period. In the second quarter, Knights played some of their best basketball of the season so far with new players Gergo Jenei, Jeb Spink and Adam Hammerschmidt starting to find some good rhythm with their team mates. Knights Captain Jack Burgess showed his ability by posting six points and narrowly missing a key 3 pointer which would have put the Knights 13 up, unfortunately for Stirling,  Storm punished this mistake with Kevin Scott connecting on a three pointer at the half time buzzer to claw the Knights lead back to 7. 
 
In the third, the game remained tight with Storm edging the period by one. For Knights inside players Dick and Jenei picked up their fourth fouls which meant they would have to sit on the bench for the next part of the game with Stirling leading by 6 going into the final quarter. 
 
Missing the inside presence, Storm quickly took advantage with Scott and Haldane finding their way too easily into the paint to rack up some big points for the visitors. With the lead changing five times in the final quarter the packed out Peak crowd were on their feet but some key turnovers and missed chances meant Knights found themselves 2 down with 20 seconds left and forced to foul to stop the clock. Storm hit the free throws to eventually win out 76-72.
 
Knights Coach Duncan said "We played better tonight and the young team is staring to gel and get to grips with the Senior League and the system we are trying to play. Matt and Gergo did well for us inside and on the boards with Jack showing his leadership in key spells too. Unfortunately, the Storm guards were just too good and we couldn't find a way to stop them. We will pick ourselves up and look for the win in our next game, away to Troon".  
The club's youth teams continue to have success with the U16 boys, in National League Division 2,  winning their first two games by an average of sixty points. The team, which narrowly lost out on promotion to Division 1, also recored two strong wins in the Regional Development League over Edinburgh Kings and Boroughmuir Blaze. The U14 boys tipped off their campaign with a fine come from behind win over Blaze A and an easy win over Blaze B, this young Knights squad contains five players chosen for Scotland Squads and illustrates the bright future for the club. The U14 girls get their season started in next month's RDL.

Knights fall to Kings in season opener
 
The Stirling Knights Senior Men got off to a shaky start last Friday when they hosted current Playoff and Scottish Cup Champions Edinburgh Kings in the opening game of the 2013/14 season. With over fifty young players involved in Primary League action before the men's game, a crowd of over three hundred filled The Peak in anticipation of the new season.
 
Having lost a lot of experience from the team over the summer and with new signings still finding their feet, the Knights failed to take care of the ball in the opening quarter with Kings racking up 25 points from careless passes and ball handling errors. A much improved performance in the second quarter, including 7 points from Euan Cameron,  allowed Stirling to stay in touch whilst finally giving the capacity crowd at The Peak something to cheer for. 
 
In the third, Kings once again stepped up the pressure on the Knights forcing error after error and notching another 25 point quarter. It was only in the final stanza when Stirling started to show signs of improvement and managed to put some points on the board, taking the final quarter 21-20 with final score 83-46 to the visitors. Knights Head Coach Pete Duncan "We really started poorly against their guard pressure and after that our heads did go down. We are a young team this year with an average age of twenty for the starting five. The new guys are still gelling and we showed at some points in the game what we are all about. It was tough opener but hopefully we can make good progress as the season goes on." Top Scorer for Knights was debutant Hungarian Gergo Jenei, with 14 points whilst fellow student Adam Hammerschmidt could only manage 8 on his first appearance. The Knights Men are away this weekend to Boroughmuir Blaze.
 
The Knights youth men also tipped off their season last weekend, with the Under 16s easily defeating Grampian B 80-13 whilst the Under 18s fought out a tough loss against Edinburgh Lions going down 62-47 despite 20 points from Balfron High pupil Cameron O'Donnell. Keep up to date on all the Stirling Basketball action on the Knights facebook and website.

Basketball season returns to Stirling with new Knights ready for battle

The Scottish National Basketball League season gets underway this weekend, with Stirling Knights senior men hosting last season's cup and playoff champions Edinburgh Kings this Friday at The Peak with an 8pm tip off. 

Having enjoyed the summer break, the club's players from its seven teams have been back in pre season action since the start of August and only last week welcomed their new men's signings to the City. Hungarian forward, Gergo Jenei (21) comes to the Knights having spent the last few seasons in the USA at High School and College. He has also represented Hungary in the top level of International basketball and brings a wealth of experience and skill to the team. Fellow newcomer,  Adam Hammerschmidt (19) has signed from top Austrian club Basket Flames where he was a rising star in their Under 21 program. Rounding off the new signings is 18 year old Scotland guard Jeb Spink, who was a star player for Tayside Musketeers last season when they won the Under 18 National League. 

The new players have settled in extremely well joining with Scotland Men's squad members Jack Burgess and Matt Dick to give the Knights some different options on the court to help combat the loss of  former captain Mark Duncan and Scotland stalwart Daniel Donnelly.  Knights Head of Basketball Pete Duncan said "Like every summer since we started, there have been significant changes in the squad. People probably don't realise that out of the twelve players we launched the team with four seasons ago, only three remain to start this season. We all hope Daniel and Mark will return to the team once they are available but I'm more than happy with our three new players and the existing guys, everyone has been working hard. Gergo and Adam will give us good scoring options and strong defence, and Jeb is lightning quick and a very entertaining player to watch. We hope we can continue to have the biggest crowds in the league and really give them something to cheer for this season."

The Friday Knights Primary League also re-launches this Friday at 6pm and includes two new cluster teams from Dunblane and Clackmannan, where over forty new young players have been participating in cluster sessions. They will join the league along with teams from Wallace, Stirling and Bannockburn. 

The Knights Under 16 and Under 18 boys also get their seasons underway this Saturday at the Peak when they host Grampian at 4pm and Edinburgh Lions at 6pm. All Spectators welcome. More information on all the clubs teams and games can be found on the Knights facebook page and website.

Knights end season with Awards Night

Stirling Knights basketball club celebrated the end of a very successful season by hosting a special awards night for all eight of the club's teams. More than 200 players, parents and friends were in attendance and were led through the highs and lows of the past season by club chief Pete Duncan. Highlights of the past season have been the success of the Friday Knights Primary League, the continued popularity and success of the Men's home games, the rapid rise of the Girls teams, the Under 12 boys going undefeated for the season and winning the National Title, the Under 16 boys winning their Regional Development League and finishing runners up in the National League and twelve players and three coaches selected for Scotland National Squads.
 
Stirling's GB Olympic Basketball star Kieron Achara was on hand to present the awards, which culminated in the Coach of the Year award going to U12 coach Les McGlasson with retiring captain Mark Duncan receiving a Special Recognition award for his contribution to the club on and off the court, marking the end of a playing career which saw him play for Scotland across Europe, South Africa and Australia.
 
Full list of Award winners, Girls; Ruth Allison (Player of the Year), Katie Young (Team Player of the Year), Katrina Kirsop and Helen Walker (Rising Stars).

U12 Boys; Lewis McGlasson (Player of the Year), Ruari Doherty (Team Player of the Year), Callum McGlasson (Rising Star).

U14 Boys; Iain Shilliday (Player of the Year), Evan Dobbie (Team Player of the year), George Muir (Rising Star).

U16 Boys; Cameron O'Donnell (Player of the Year), James McNeil and Michael Walker (Team Player of the Year), Ethan Dobbie and Michael Jozajtis (Rising Stars).

U18 boys; Zack Beattie (Player of the Year), Euan West (Team Player of the Year), Connor Sharp (Rising Star).

SM Jaguars; Cameron Kerr (Player of the Year), Kieran Gouden (Team Player of the Year), Ross McKee (Rising Star).

SM Knights; Matthew Dick (Player of the Year), Jack Burgess and Cory McCabe (Team Player of the Year), Connor Rankin and Mitch Graham (Rising Stars). Les McGlasson (Coach of the Year) and Mark Duncan (Special Recognition and Achievement)



Achara leads the Scots to historic wins over England
It has been over a decade since the resident professional team decamped for Glasgow but Meadowbank Arena rocked once again to the beat of a basketball’s bounce at the weekend. Scotland’s Senior Men performed in tune with consecutive victories over England that, assistant coach Pete Duncan hopes, can provide a platform on which a youthful national side can build.
The Auld Enemy were routed 83-59 on Saturday in an astonishing win for the Scots. Stirling’s Kieron Achara, who has played professionally across Europe for seven years after a four year stint in the NCAA Division 1 in America, showed his Olympic experience and class in a dominant defensive display which also saw him rack up 17 points and 12 rebounds to go with his 6 blocks. He was ably assisted on the night by Glasgow Rocks stalwart Gareth Murray with Falkirk Fury guard Jonny Bunyan and his former team mate Ali Fraser showing their potential by dominating their match ups against professionals from Britain’s top league.
The following day, the visitors proved much more obdurate but Glasgow Rocks and Fury guard Jonny Bunyan had a game-best 17 points as the Scots ground out a 74-66 victory led chiefly by the defensive play of Kieron Achara who with 14 points 10 rebounds and 4 blocks  also hit the go ahead jump shot to put England out of touch. With a big win over Luxembourg last month, these victories prove that Scotland are no back water nation for basketball. Stirling Knights Head Coach Pete Duncan, who serves as assistant to the National Side, is aiming towards next summer’s European Championships, and beyond to the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast.
“We’ve never won a European title but with this group, we’ve been saying that’s a realistic aim next year,” said the Stirling basketball chief. “We’ve got a good nucleus. We’ve had good results against Luxembourg and now England. A few guys have shown they’ve got the desire and belief. And if we stay together and stay focused, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be aiming high. I have coached some of these guys since they were in Primary school and to see them now out performing English professionals is a dream come true. ”
Olympian, and Stirling Local Sporting Hero, Achara said: “If we get to the Commonwealth Games in 2018, I think there’s a really talented core. We worked so well for each other and we have a strong team ethos now”.
With Knights’ big man Matthew Dick part of the team, gaining valuable experience after an excellent season, and Knights Coach Colin Lynch serving as Team Manager, the local club were well represented in what was a historic weekend for basketball in Scotland. Head Coach Iain Maclean and assistant Ben O’Connell complete the staff line up.
There is even more International action at The Peak this weekend with the Scotland Under 16 and 18 teams in action against European sides, tickets are available on the door with Under 14 children gaining free entry.


KNIGHTS BATTLE TO WIN FIRST NATIONAL TITLE


Only a few weeks after winning the Regional Development League with an impressive 17 game unbeaten season, the Stirling Knights Under 12 Boys Basketball Team were very upbeat going into the Basketball Scotland U12 National Tournament last weekend in Paisley. 

With a strong team which boasts five young Scotland squad members, the young Knights faced their biggest challenge of the season having been placed in a group with fellow youth development specialists Paisley along with West Lothian, who the Stirling boys had comfortably beaten in the league this season already. In a pulsating match, Paisley took the initiative and performed well to lead the game by five points with only one quarter remaining. In the final period, the Knights knuckled down and overturned the deficit to claim the victory by a single basket 28-26. With Stirling comfortably beating West Lothian 32-14 in the next game, the team were through to the Gold Group along with Highland, Grampian and Falkirk in a round robin competition with the winners crowned National Champions. 

An easy win against Highland 32-9 followed by a nervy victory 21-20 over Grampian saw the Knights face local rivals Falkirk Fury in their last game. With three easy wins over Falkirk already this season, the Knights were not going to let the occasion get to them and finished the Tournament with a strong performance winning 36-19 against a much improved Falkirk side, to claim the Gold and the title of U12 National Champions. Scotland and Stirling Captain Lewis McGlasson was named to the all star five and lifted the trophy inside a packed Lagoon Leisure Centre and the Knights contingent applauded their boys who finished their season with an impeccable 22 game unbeaten run. 

The U12 Lady Knights followed the next day and performed very well for such a young and inexperienced side. 
 
The girls started off the day with a tough game against Lanarkshire (eventual runners-up of the tournament) and with only six players for this game, they knew what was required of them. The game was fairly matched all the way through and with all players playing hard and working for each other, they unfortunately ran out of steam in the last minute and lost the game by 3 points.
A fantastic result with all players showing what potential they have for the future.
 
 A much better team performance in game two and some great leadership shown by U12 Scotland captain Katrina Kirsop, saw the Knights ladies play at a much quicker tempo and produce some great fast-break baskets. This style of play worked well and the Lady Knights produced their first victory of the tournament.
 
In their third game the Edinburgh Select team comprising of five Scotland International U12 players meant this would certainly be a huge challenge for the inexperienced Stirling Knights. However once again, the Lady Knights put up a great fight in this game and manage to come back from ten points down to lose by three.
 
In the final league game against Highland the Stirling girls played their best basketball of the tournament. Some great one-handed passes saw the Knights creating some quick chances for Nina Wills, who was showing some great skill by finishing her lay-ups. In the end, the Knights managed to out run Highland and win this game by twelve points.
 
With the final standing for Knights being 2-2, this meant that they would play in the 5-6th place play-off against a strong Tayside and Fife squad.
 
Game 5 of the day and the most important for the girls. A strong first half performance put this game away and allowed the players to keep trying new skills during the game. The final score in this game was 27-20 to Knights.
 
Overall, a fantastic achievement for the U12 Lady Knights, who once again showed that the future is very bright for Stirling Basketball.

Gold for Knights as they put Fury to the sword 
 

Last weekend saw the last official basketball action of the season with the Regional Development League finals hosted at Meadowbank Arena in Edinburgh. The Knights were up against Falkirk Fury in the U12 boys final and U16 boys final and with Fury in a further three finals, Central basketball was well represented.  
 
First up for Knights were the U12 boys, led by Coach Les McGlasson the boys went into the final as heavy favourites having already gone through their league campaign sixteen games undefeated and including five recent Scotland team player selections in their squad. Playing on a larger court than usual the young Knights displayed their athleticism and fast paced basketball and raced to a 10 - 0 lead. In the second quarter, with Knights fielding three Under ten aged players, they stretched the lead to 16-5. With the travelling support from both teams continuing to cheer on the boys Knights never faltered and claimed the gold medal easily winning 33-9 in the end. Knights and Scotland U12 Captain Lewis McGlasson received the trophy on behalf of his team to a rousing reception from the crowd. U12s coach Les McGlasson "The boys have been outstanding this season and really play the game the right way, with the National Under 12 tournament coming up in May we will be again looking to win the gold and remain undefeated".
 
The last game of Finals Day saw the Knights go up against Fury in a rematch of last year's final. This season Knights had finished on top of the league and were looking to go into the final as favourites. However, the loss of talismanic big man Cameron O'Donnell to appendicitis coupled with Fury bringing in their Scotland U16 Team point guard Daniel Tran ensured this game would be close. The Knights defence in the first quarter enabled them to go out to an early 9-3 lead, although with more composure and better decisions on offence this could have been more. The second quarter saw Fury pull back with some good execution an punishing Knights slack play. The Knights held on in the third to lead by three going into the final period. A nervy few minutes enabled the game to become too close for comfort and with 15 seconds to play Fury were down by two with the ball in Tran's hands. Wallace High's Michael Jozitas stepped up his defence on Tran and forced him into a tough shot which missed and the crowd went wild as the Knights claimed their second win over Fury and second Gold medal of the day. Stirling High's Scotland Under 15 player Michael Walker led the scoring for Knights and displayed his potential for the future. U16s Coach Colin Lynch "I am really proud of my team, they have worked together all season and finished runner's up in the National League so to also defeat Fury in the RDL final is amazing and shows just how far we have come in the last two years since we started our youth development".
 
Although the official season has now finished, the Knights continue to work hard and make plans for next season. The recent Easter Camp hosted sixty young players who were coached by guest National Team coaches on fast break and defence. The new squads have also started training with some exciting developments in the pipeline. The club also have twelve players involved in National Teams this Summer along with three coaches.  Knights Head Coach Pete Duncan "Having established an excellent participation pathway we are now turning our attention to the performance aspect of the club. Our U14 boys and girls will have new Academy squads, the U16 Girls are going National League, the U16 boys have a promotion play off for division one and we are also looking to add some quality to our Senior teams. All this coupled with the huge success of the Friday Knights Primary League will ensure we are back competing at the top next season."

Knights U16s clinch playoff berth


 
The competitive nature of the National League second division was highlighted last weekend , with four teams jostling for the first two positions and all needing to win their final two games. Glasgow City were current league leaders and needed to beat Grampian to win the division. Grampian were one point behind the Knights and along with Lanarkshire were all fighting for the second place and the chance for a playoff game for promotion to the first division.
 
The Knights', who have already qualified for the Regional Development League final in April by finishing in top position, first game was against Boroughmuir who due to call offs could only muster six players. This game gave Coach Lynch the opportunity to run the bench and get the players warmed up for the deciding game against Lanarkshire Chiefs. After a strong start the Knights were leading 25-12 after the first quarter and finished the match comfortably winning 77-63.
 
With Glasgow City finally beating Grampian after double overtime, the Knights knew they had to beat Lanarkshire to guarantee second place. The first quarter saw the Knights once again make a strong start and were leading 24-14. The second quarter was more edgy with Lanarkshire taking it 18-17, with their centre scoring 20 of their 32 first half points. Also, Knights captain and point guard James McNeil had to come off mid way through the half with cramp in his calf and with Michael Jozitas suffering with illness the Knights game plan started to falter. By the end of the third quarter the lead was down to 5 points and it was clear that the Knights had a game on their hands. In fact mid way through the final quarter, the Knights were down by two and looking slightly ragged. James came off the bench and with the Chiefs starting to get into foul trouble was able to bring some composure to the final few minutes, before finally succumbing to severe cramp. Cameron O'Donnell, Gregor Bain, Jonny Short, Angus Wood and Ethan Dobbie were able to step up their defence and finally closed out the game for the Knights to win 78-68  and claim Div 2 runners up status in only their second season.
 
Huge credit goes to the twelve guys on the day and the rest of the squad, in what has been a tremendous team effort all season. Leading scorers for Knights were Ethan Dobbie 22, Gregor Bain and James McNeil 12, Jonny Short and Cameron O'Donnell 11. Special mention to Angus Wood in stepping up as cover for James McNeil and Michael Jozitas for displaying excellent defence.
 
Head Coach of the U16s Colin Lynch "This was a tremendous team effort from start to finish, to play the season only losing four games and finishing in the playoff spot is a massive achievement for us and shows the great youth development work going on in the club."

Stirling Knights fly the flag for Team Scotland

Stirling Knights Basketball Club are celebrating the call up of twelve of their players to the various Scotland National Teams for this Summer’s International program, a tremendous achievement for the club who are approaching the end of their third season, the second in youth development. The players will represent Scotland at tournaments in Luxembourg, Andorra, Sweden, Spain and England.

Also pictured are the club’s National Team Coaches; Dave Evans, Jack Burgess and Pete Duncan.

The successful players (pictured) are: Matthew Dick, Daniel Donnelly (Senior Men), Michael Walker (U15), Ruth Allison (U14), Shaun Craig (U13), Chloe Dunshire, Katrina Kirsop, Lewis McGlasson, Ruari Doherty, Alex Jamieson, Nathan Cuthbert (U12) and Callum McGlasson (U11).

In on court action, 20 points from retiring Captain Mark Duncan wasn’t enough for the senior men to keep a low deficit against an Edinburgh Kings side determined to add the Playoff crown to their Scottish Cup success. Big man Matthew Dick added 10 points and 12 rebounds but too many turnovers and poor execution resulted in the Kings taking a 87-53 lead into the second game this weekend.

The Knights Under 16 Men scored huge wins in the National League Division 2 defeating the St Mirren and Tayside ‘B’ Teams 92-38 and 110-42. The Knights head into the final weekend of action tied for second spot and the chance for a playoff to Division 1.


Winning weekend for Stirling Knights Basketball
Last weekend saw a fantastic treble of performances from Stirling Knights Basketball Club, with the Senior Men defeating Dunfermline Reign in the Scottish National League and the Under 16 and Under 12 boys finishing in top position in their respective Regional Development Leagues.
 
With more than 300 fans packed into The Peak to support the Men in their final home league game, the game started brightly for Stirling with pressure defence forcing many errors from the Fife visitors. However, in keeping with this season's theme, Knights continually threw away the chances to put easy points on the board and after a sluggish first half on offence went in at half time with a one point lead 26-25. 
 
In the second half, led by the defensive effort of Cory McCabe and David Hannah, the Knights began to pull away with Jack Burgess and Connor Rankin connecting on some big three point shots as well as punishing Reign on the fast break. Good spells too from captain Mark Duncan and Daniel Donnelly saw the Knights finally managing to play the style of basketball they have sought all season. An incredible final quarter of 33-10, enabled the Stirling men to rack up their highest total, whilst allowing the least points scored, this season winning emphatically 84-53. 
 
Jack Burgess had his finest game of the season with tremendous effort on defence and on the break, as well as connecting on 4 three point shots to rack up 25 points. Daniel Donnelly added 18 points, Connor Rankin 12, Matt Dick 10, Mark Duncan 8 and Mitch Graham enjoying a fine showing with 8 points. With just one league game left against Boroughmuir Blaze, the Knights will be looking to repeat this kind of performance to take some momentum into the playoffs. Head Coach Pete Duncan "The first half was a struggle but things clicked for us in the third quarter and we blew them away in the fourth. Our young players are showing they can step up to the Men's game and I'm happy looking to the future with this squad."
 
YOUTH
The club continues to make remarkable progress in Scottish Basketball as they come to the end of their third season in existence, with the youth development program only launched in April 2011.
 
In the Under 16 Regional Development League, the Knights U16 Men defeated Blaze 37-27 and then Reign 50-27 to win the RDL on a record of eleven wins and one loss. The U16s, in only their second season, have made great progress under Coach Colin Lynch and are also looking for a top two finish in the National League division two.  The boys now progress to a playoff final in April with the RDL trophy up for grabs. 
 
The U12 Knights boys went into the weekend with a fourteen game unbeaten record and were looking to secure a final two wins to maintain their record. After a slow start in the first game, the young Knights comfortably edged out Blaze 45-25 then thrashed Fury 39-12 to finish their RDL season with a 100% record. The boys, also, now face a playoff final in April for the RDL trophy.  The outstandng duo of Ruari Doherty and Lewis McGlasson were ably supported by many players who have been brought to the game through the Friday Knights Primary League, showing that the excellent youth development set up at Stirling Knights is already starting to show its impact. U12 Coach Les McGlasson "Our youth development work in Stirling and Clackmannanshire is second to none and we are promoting strong values to the kids as well as coaching them the right way to play. In the U12 squad we have four players who are actually Under 10 age, so the future is bright".

Knights fail to topple Kings
One week on from their heroics in the 'battle of Falkirk', the Stirling Knights Men hosted recent Scottish Cup Champions and reigning League Champions, Edinburgh Kings in their penultimate home league match of the season.
 
The Kings, who will have a lot to thank the Knights for if they go on to take the title, started very well behind the exceptional speed and guard play of the Reilly brothers and Gareth Lodge.  Stirling tried to keep the pace but the Kings punidhed every error and racked up a massive 31-13 scoreline after only one quarter. In the second, it was much the same story with Lativian Edgars Rekis and big man Simon Flockhart doing the damage with Knights once again struggling to connect on their attempts with Kings leading 57-24 at the half.
 
In the second half, some improved focus from Knights saw better play at both ends with Matthew Dick showing his potential with 20 points and 11 rebounds alongside guards Cory McCabe and David Hannah who were giving maximum effort on defense. Mark Duncan was called for his second unsportsmanlike foul and had to leave the game which left the Knights short on scoring. In the end, the Knights went down 107-63 leaving them with a lot to reflect on. Guard Connor Ranking hit 15 points for Knights and is improving with every game.
 
Head of Knights Pete Duncan "This game was always down as a loss for us but we need to show a better level of effort and performance. Over two hundred people filled The Peak and the first half was unacceptable. Our heads went down quickly as Kings literally punish every error, we've had 24 turnovers and no doubt they've turned them into 48 points. In the second half we improved but still lost by nine. They are very good though and play basketball the right way."   
 
The Knights will now look to win their final two league games to give them a chance at a sixth place finish in the National League, this would mean playing the third postioned team in the first round of the Playoffs. Knights host Dunfermline Reign this Friday at The Peak, 8pm tip off with the Friday Knights Primary League on from 6pm.

Knights leave their Mark on the Fury
Last Friday the Stirling Knights Men's National League Basketball team made their shortest away game commute to the Mariner Centre in Falkirk, to face a Fury team who were undefeated in the league this season and looked on course for their first league title since 2001.
 
The Knights were up for the game in a big way and having started poorly in the past against their Falkirk rivals, the emphasis for the team was to get points on the board and keep the game close. The first quarter ended 24-18 to Fury with Connor Rankin showing his potential and keeping the Knights in touch. The second quarter was much the same with Stirling's Mark Duncan and Daniel Donnelly combining for 14 points in the period, leaving the Knights trailing by 42-35 at half time. A good start by the Knights to the third quarter pulled the difference back to four points but with Daniel Donnelly on the bench with his fourth foul, Fury started to hit some big shots and made use of their very physical defence to pull away to lead by fourteen going into the final period 60-46.
 
In an eventful last quarter, the Stirling side started well and regained the momentum behind a Connor Rankin three pointer and a thunderous dunk from big man Matt Dick. Fuelled by these scores, the Knights defence began to take over and outstanding rebounding from Matt Dick and Daniel Donnelly allowed Stirling to shut out their opponents. Big scoring plays from Jack Burgess and a key defensive spell from David Hannah allowed the Knights to bring the score back level at 64-64 with only 30 seconds remaining and the Knights in possession. 
 
Following a time out, the Knights looked to Donnelly to seal the game and when he made his move to score he appeared to be fouled by Fury's Greek player Foussas, who stole the ball and was fouled himself. With an unsportsman-like foul called, Fury had two free throws and possession of the ball and looked set to steal the win when Foussas connected on both foul shots to put Fury up 66-64. On the next play, the Knights defence was immense and they forced a shot clock violation with Fury failing to get a shot up. With just 6 seconds remaining Coach Duncan called his last time out, which enabled the Knights to take position in the Fury half, and he drew up a play for Knights to score. On the inbound ball, Fury managed to deflect a pass which gave Stirling another side ball with only 3 seconds left and down two points. Connor Rankin couldn't get a clear pass into Daniel Donnelly but he found Knights Captain Mark Duncan, who took one dribble to his left and launched a three point shot over the Fury team as the time counted down. As the crowd gasped at what might happen, the ball swished through the net and the Knights won the game 67-66 sparking amazing celebrations from the Stirling contingent and silencing the fierce home crowd with Fury suffering their first loss in fourteen games this season. 
 
Top performers for Knights were the game's best player Daniel Donnelly who scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, hero of the hour Mark Duncan had 18 points with Connor Rankin on 15 points and a tremendous defensive display holding Fury guard Jonny Bunyan to just 14 points. Matt Dick was also a force on rebounds grabbing 14 in the game for his side.
 
Knights Head Coach Pete Duncan "Buzzer beater wins are always exciting but given the context of this game and the teams, this was a very special win. We knew if we kept the score tight we could challenge but when they went up by fourteen I thought the fight was over but credit to my team who fought their way back in and refused to be beaten. To win the last quarter 21-6 is unbelievable but it shows everyone what we are capable of. We have challenged every team this year but often lost our way in the vital last quarters of games but we definitely found our way in this game. This is a great sporting moment."
 
The Knights now face joint league leaders Edinburgh Kings this Friday at The Peak with an 8pm tip off, with the Friday Knights Primary League starting from 6pm.

Knights coaches in Scotland Call
Stirling Knights are celebrating the success of three of the club’s coaches who have been appointed to National Squad coaching positions by Basketball Scotland. Head Coach of the Lady Knights teams, Dave Evans, has been appointed as Assistant Coach to the Under 16 Ladies National Team and Head Coach to the Under 14 Girls. Knights community coach Jack Burgess, who recently won young coach of the year at the Stirling Sports Awards, has been appointed Assistant Coach to the Scotland Under 14 boys. Knights Head Coach Pete Duncan rounds off the success having been appointed as Assistant Coach to the Men’s National Team and will work alongside Head Coach Iain McLean, who is one of Britain’s finest ever players and brings a wealth of experience to the position.
 
Coach Evans said  “To be given this opportunity again, to build my knowledge of the sport and to attend another U16 European Championships under Head Coach Luis Romero is a dream come true. His experience and knowledge helps me to progress as a coach at both club level and National Squad level. As the U14 Scotland Girls Head Coach, I get the opportunity to push my coaching at the highest level and to pass on my coaching style to the selected squad. We will certainly be looking to play a fast paced style of basketball at Summer Slam and to help every player improve during the practice sessions. I’ll certainly be looking forward to the start of the programme in March. These opportunities are not only great for me, but for the development of Stirling Knights Basketball Club. All the skills that I learn will be used to help build the girls section of Stirling Knights.” 
 
In action on the court, the Knights men once again let a twelve point lead slide when they lost to Glasgow Rocks 72-67. Despite going up early 16-6, the Stirling men felt the loss of unavailable guards in David Porter and David Hannah, as they had to work hard for every point. When big men Mark Duncan and Matt Dick fouled out in the fourth quarter the writing was on the wall and despite Daniel Donnelly doing his best to keep Knights in it another loss was inflicted. Matt Dick and Daniel Donnelly with 18 points and 11 rebounds each.
 
The Club’s youth teams were also in action, with the U12 boys team continuing their fine season with four more big wins which takes them to eleven games unbeaten, led by the play of outstanding duo Lewis McGlasson and Ruari Doherty. The U14 boys also scored a fantastic win over West Lothian, with Iain Shilliday, Jacob Franklyn and Evan Dobbie showing their potential. The U14 girls split their games with Dunbar, winning one and losing the other however the girls showed great spirit and their future on the court looks bright. The U16 boys notched another two wins to remain top of the Regional Development League, thanks mainly to the fine play from captain James McNeil. All players, parents and coaches were once again a huge credit to the club and well done to all who participated.


Knights lose a close one with students
Around 300 fans packed The Peak last Friday to support the Knights Senior Men’s National League team in their first home action of the New Year. The visitors, a talented Glasgow University team with top Canadian and Lithuainian players, got the better of the Stirling men in the season’s previous encounter.
The Knights started well, particularly on defence forcing many turnovers and tough shots to lead the students at the end of the first period 14-13. Some poor execution followed, with Knights missing many clear cut scoring opportunities as the visitors hung on thanks mainly to the three point shooting of Ugg Zauamauskas, with the half time score seeing the students up 27-25.
In the third the game remained tight, with Mark Duncan and Daniel Donnelly finally connecting on their shots and guard David Porter adding value to the Knights offence. Duncan and Donnelly then found themselves in foul trouble, with Euan Cameron stepping up and performing well for the home team.
With Glasgow up 47-46 going into the last quarter, the game remained close but when Knights lost Mark Duncan to his fifth foul Glasgow capitalised to go on an 11-0 run which they maintained to the finish behind big three pointers from their foreign stars to win 73-59.
Top scorers for Knights were Mark Duncan 15, David Porter 12 and Dan Donnelly 10.  Canadian Alilovic had 18 for Glasgow, with Zausmaukas impressing with 6 from 8 three pointers for 20 points.
Head Coach for Stirling Pete Duncan “The final score does not reflect how close this game was. We showed great spirit on defence and we kept the game tight, with an improved shooting percentage we would have won the game. Our aim is to shoot a combined 55% in our games, we only shot around 41% combined in this game and we didn’t stop their main threats”
Knights are away this weekend with a trip to face Glasgow Rocks on Saturday morning. The club’s youth teams also return to action this Sunday.


Knights fall to the Storm
 
The Stirling Knights Men's National League team tipped off the new year with a visit to Springburn to face Glasgow Storm. With the Knights already having claimed a win in the first league meeting between the teams in October, hopes were high for a repeat.
 
Stirling started brightly with some good teamwork at both ends of the court and raced to an 18-12 first quarter lead. Glasgow fought back in the second quarter but the Knights kept them at bay thanks to 15 first half points from young big man Matthew Dick. In the third, the game remained a close contest when the Stirling men let a ten point lead slide due to some poor rebounding and turnovers, giving the Glasgow side some momentum heading into the last quarter. In the fourth, Knights Matt Dick picked up his fourth foul early and was forced to the bench but Daniel Donnelly picked up the slack and kept his side in control. However, Storm would not be put away with point guard Kevin Scott enjoying a fine game and when Matt Dick came back into the action he picked up his fifth foul, leaving the Knights team lacking their best rebounding presence.
 
The game was then marred by a very unsavoury incident which involved Knights star Jack Burgess suddenly being held in a choke hold and pulled to the floor by a Storm player. Unbelievably, both players were disqualified from the game with Knights team officials astonished at the call to punish Burgess. With two minutes remaining and the game tied, Knights took a valuable two point lead from a nice move by captain Mark Duncan. On the next play, Knights forced an end line ball and a momentary lack of focus let Kevin Scott sink a three pointer to put his Storm side up by one point. Stirling then failed to score on the next play with Glasgow picking up another basket to lead by three points with ten seconds left.
 
The final play of the game saw Knights' Connor Rankin fouled on a three point attempt which resulted in three free throws, which if scored would force overtime. Connor hit the first two shots with the third rimming out into the hands of Mark Duncan, who went for the game winner only to have the ball poked away from him. Final score 73-72 to Storm.
 
Top Scorers for Knights were Matt Dick on 21, Dan Donnelly on 15, Connor Rankin 13 and Jack Burgess 12. For Storm, Kevin Scott had 24 with Martin Walmsley on 16. A near despondent Knights Head Coach Pete Duncan said "Once again we've had a good lead and lost, its very disappointing. The injustice of losing Jack in the incident certainly affected us but we should have pulled through. It was a tough game, there were errors on our part which we must put right. However, credit must go to Storm who hit some big shots to put us away."
 
Knights host Glasgow University this Friday 8pm at The Peak, with the Friday Knights Primary League tipping off from 6pm. All spectators welcome.

Young Knights continue to shine

The Stirling Knights Under 12 boys continued their glorious start to the season by dominating another league day of the East and Central Regional Development League in Edinburgh. No team could match the play of the Knights' two stars Lewis McGlasson (S1 Wallace High) and Ruari Doherty (P7 Cambusbarron PS). By defeating Peregrines 46-6, Blaze 41-16 and Kings 52-12, the young players from Stirling enjoyed a fantastic day with many of the team experiencing their first taste of league action. Much of the teams success is down to Coach Les McGlasson's hard work within the club and Primary League.
 
The Under 14 and Under 16 boys narrowly lost their match ups in the Capital however both coaches noted the development taking place and were pleased the players were learning from their game experiences. The U18 Men were in National League action, taming the Edinburgh Lions 53-48 in their first game whilst losing the second to a strong Grampian team 57-45. Wallace High's Connor Sharp and Stirling High's James Lindsay performed well for the team, with youngsters James McNeil (Alva Academy) and Cameron O'Donnell (Balfron High) stepping up an age group and impacting positively on the team.

Knights lose in Ayrshire
The Stirling Knights Senior Men National League team, minus captain Mark Duncan and defensive specialist David Hannah, made the trip to East Ayrshire’s Stewarton Sports Centre to face Troon Tornadoes, the third best team in Scotland who had previously defeated Knights at The Peak. With three further absentees through injury, the Knights managed to field a squad of just seven against their full strength opponents.
The host started well, with Stirling unable to finish around the rim, and quickly raced to a 12-2 lead. A Timeout from Knights and some adjustments saw the score 18-9 after the first quarter. In the second, Knights started to find some rhythm to their game only for Troon to hit back to back three pointers to go in at the half 48-32 ahead. In the third quarter Matt Dick and Dan Donnelly started to pull it back for Knights and with guard David Porter in fine form, the Knights began to chip away at the Troon lead, pulling it back to just six. Despite the Knights winning the second half by four,  the experienced Ayrshire side pulled through and in the end ran out winners 72-60 leaving Stirling to rue the opening spell which gave the hosts their ten point advantage.
Top scorers for Knights were Donnelly on 17, David Porter 13, Matt Dick 12 with 14 rebounds and Jack Burgess chipping in 10. For Troon, veterans Andy Pearson and Euan Campbell impressed, with Ifedade Thomas also on fine form. Knights Head Coach Pete Duncan “This was always going to be a tough fixture given our absences, against a good team in good form. I thought we competed well though after a poor start. With the exception of the top two, we have given every team a game this season and with small adjustments we could easily be sitting third in the National League. We will look to get a few more wins under our belt in 2013 and hope to do well in the Playoffs.”
The Knights’ Men next game is January 12th away to Glasgow Storm. The club’s youth teams are all in action this weekend.


Saints rule over Knights

The Stirling Knights Senior Men travelled to Linwood last weekend in an early tip off against St Mirren, who boast four players from last summer's Scotland Senior Men's team and had defeated the Knights by more than thirty points in their previous National League encounter in September. With Knights missing four key rotational players through work and injury, Knights junior Connor Sharp (Wallace HS) was promoted to the senior side.
Both teams started brightly with Knights at last showing their scoring potential and producing some excellent team basketball and both ends of the floor. Fast Break dunks from Matthew Dick and Daniel Donnelly gave the Knights some much needed momentum and with Mark Duncan stepping up along with Jack Burgess playing well the Stirling side looked well in control but the hosts never gave up with Nick Collins and Fraser Glass keeping the game close.
 
A one point halftime lead for Stirling meant they had to come out firing in the third, and they did. Back to back three's from Burgess and a lay up from Donnelly put the Knights 8 points up , forcing Saints into a time out. The hosts came back thanks to a big three from Fraser Glass and then a technical foul on the Knights, who were forced into their own timeout. St Mirren continued to hold the momentum though, and three further three point shots saw them up by nine going into the final quarter. In a scrappy fourth quarter both teams lost their way a bit but a more disciplined final approach from the sides saw a final score of 94-83 to St Mirren.
 
In a pleasing performance, the Knights starting five all managed in double figure scoring with Dan Donnelly once again leading the team with 20 points and 13 rebounds, Mark Duncan with 18 points and 8 rebounds, Connor Rankin on 17 points in a good performance, Jack Burgess on 16 points and Matt Dick on 10 points and 14 rebounds. Head Coach Pete Duncan "This was a great performance from us, the team seems to have gelled well now and our scorers really stepped up. There's no doubt we can compete for a top three spot in future years. In this game, if we could have avoided our momentum changing technical fouls and made a few more of our easier chances the score would have been in our favour. Credit to St Mirren who, once again, came from behind to beat us. They have some quality players for sure."

Young Knights charge to the top
 
With no Senior games the focus for Stirling Knights Basketball was very much on the youth teams with Under 16, Under 14 and Under 12 boys all in action alongside the Under 14 and Under 16 girls, who were also competing in the monthly Regional Development Leagues hosted in Stirling last weekend.
 
It has been a long wait for the U12 boys since the disappointment of missing out on the Finals Weekend last year by baskets difference and they took to the court looking menacing in black, certain not to lose out this season. Whilst retaining the experience of Lewis McGlasson (Wallace HS) and Ruari Doherty (Cambusbarron PS) in the team, the U12 boys now also have great future players in the making like Nathan Cuthbert, Alex Jamieson, Oliver Yarrow, Callum McGlasson and Shay McIntyre along with others waiting to break through into the team. The launch of the Friday Knights Primary League has meant that new players are getting started in basketball through their Cluster Clubs and are learning fast. Indeed, the new players performed very well in what was an awesome performance in front of the Wallace HS crowd.

The day got off to a flying start with Knights overcoming West Lothian Wolves by 66-13. The Knights were then due to play Gracemount Panthers but their no-show meant a rearranged local derby with Knights v Fury. The Stirling youngsters again dominated, with a strong performance from Lewis McGlasson, finally coming out winners 44-8. The last game of the day saw the Knights pitch battle against the Lions with the Knights showing their metal and overcoming their feline friends 55-14.  An overall excellent performance by the young Knights, particularly the rookies, in a daunting atmosphere to score 165 points to 35 in return in sixty minutes of Basketball is a great achievement.
 
The Under 14 boys enjoyed a fine win over Boroughmuir Blaze with Iain Shilliday (St Modan's) showing his potential before succumbing to a bad ankle injury. In their second game, the Stirling boys performed well before eventually going down to Edinburgh Kings 26-20. Solid performances from George Muir (Bannockburn HS) and Jacob Franklyn (Lornshill) showed the improvement and potential in the team. The Under 14 girls squad performed very well in their games defeating East Lothian and Gracemount, with the Under 16 girls also enjoying their first win over Polonia Phoenix before losing to a strong Falkirk Fury side. The Under 16 boys rotated their squad for games against Dunfermline Reign and West Lothian Wolves, with many younger players notching their first points for Knights in two wins for the team. The Under 16 boys currently sit undefeated and top of the Regional Development League as well as holding top spot in the National League Division 2.  Knights club chief Pete Duncan said "It was a fantastic day for the Knights youth development. To have so many young players involved in basketball from across Stirling and Clacks in such a short time is fantastic and to actually be top of the leagues is an added bonus. Credit must go to my coaching team, who as individuals and as a team are really doing some fantastic work to develop the young players".

A Fantastic Knight at the Stirling Sports Awards
The Great Hall in Stirling Castle was the spectacular venue for the 2012 Stirling Sports Awards, which recognize and reward sporting endeavors across the Stirling area. GB Gold Medal winning Triathlete Alistair Brownlee was in attendance to present the awards and gave a speech on his fantastic Summer.
Stirling Knights Basketball club received their first ever award in their first ever season in 2010, when they picked up Charter Club status from ClubSport Stirling. In 2011, with development work just under way the Knights were nominated in the ‘Club of the Year’ category but lost out on the actual prize.
2012 saw the Knights represented in SIX categories, with the club nominating a seventh in GB Basketball Olympian Kieron Achara - who was up against Andy Murray for the night’s top award.
The first award of the evening was for Young Sportsmen of the year, with Knights’ own U12 Scotland star Lewis McGlasson nominated alongside many other young sporting contenders. Lewis lost out to a much older triathlete but gained great recognition for the club with his nomination - Lewis is the first ever male player from the Knights' development program to represent Scotland.
The next award was Young Coach of the Year, with Knights' Community Coach Jack Burgess scooping the prize to a rapturous applause from the crowd. Jack, recently appointed to the National Coaching Team for Under 14 boys,  gave a fantastic acceptance speech to the guests in the great hall highlighting his future plans and hopes for the Knights and himself.
Next up was the Sporting Endeavor award, which recognizes top sporting performers who have overcome adversity to achieve in their field. Knights’ Mitchell Graham claimed the honour, having had a fantastic year as the star of the GB Deaf Basketball Team playing in World and European Championships, Mitch (19) also carried the Olympic Torch through the streets of Stirling in June.
The next prize was for Young Sports Team of the year, with Knights Under 12 boys nominated for their outstanding achievements in their inaugural season. Coach Les McGlasson was on hand to collect the nomination but unfortunately lost out to the Stirling County RFC U18s team, who had gone the full season undefeated. No doubt a great achievement but Knights club officials were left wondering if perhaps this category should be split for U18s and U14s, given the sporting prowess in Stirling across this age group.
The next award was for Local service to Sport, given to an individual who had committed outstanding voluntary service in order to progress their club and sport in the local community. Knights Head of Basketball Pete Duncan was nominated in this category for his work in building the club from a single senior mens team into a leading development club. This award had 3 winners on the night, with Coach Duncan scooping one of them alongside Cricket Legend Raymond Bond and Triathlon supremo Graham Coull. A flabbergasted Pete received his award and highlighted the hard work of his team of coaches and officials, along with the support of Active Stirling and Active Schools - whilst also thanking his wife for her support.
The final award scooped by the Knights, was the most sought after by the club - “Development Club of the Year”. Pete Duncan was on hand once again to receive the nomination and a huge roar went through the Great Hall when Knights won their fourth award of the evening! A fantastic achievement for Knights and a super effort from all involved. Kieron lost out to fellow local hero Andy Murray on the night’s top award.
Head Coach Pete “We are extremely proud of our awards tonight, a lot of hard work goes into building and running the club and its great to be recognized in this way so shortly into our third season. However, we won’t rest on our laurels, we have exciting new projects underway with Friday Knights Primary League, National League Girls and a link to Stirling University and the Institute of Sport planned too. Watch this space.”


Mixed fortunes for Knights’ teams

On another busy weekend of action, the Stirling Knights Men hosted National League rivals Boroughmuir Blaze with Knights under 16 men playing a pair of games in the National League division 2.
In the men’s game, Knights started brightly with Connor Rankin, Matt Dick and Dan Donnelly scoring well but the visitors were also in fine form with Davy Rowan and Polish star Tomas Cicenas leading the scoring for Blaze as they went ahead 22-18 after the first quarter. In the second, both teams were a match again with Matt notching nine personal points in the period for Stirling while Blaze continued to put pressure on the Knights defence to go in at halftime ahead 40-37. In the third quarter, the game remained very close with both defences tightening up with Knights facing a fourth quarter deficit of 53-49. In the final period, both teams went all out for the win with Blaze hitting two massive three point shots while Knights failed to connect on any of their eight attempted three pointers.
With the game in the balance the calls didn’t go Knights way and in the end had to foul to stop the clock with the final score 68-62. Top performers for Knights were Matt Dick with 23 points and 14 rebounds in another fine display, with Dan Donnelly not far behind on 22 points and 13 rebounds. David Hannah and Cory McCabe continued to show the right attitude on defence but no doubts that offensively the Stirling men struggled. Knights Head Pete Duncan “We actually didn’t play that badly and at times some really good basketball was on show. Unfortunately for us, too many of our guys had an off night shooting wise. We can live with one player having a bad game but when three or four do its hard to compete, we didn’t really have anyone backing up Matt and Dan.”
In contrast, the Under 16 Knights continued their fine form in the National League Division 2 with impressive victories over the Tayside Musketeers and Boroughmuir Blaze ‘B’ teams, 93-49 and 107-43. The young teams were no match for the Stirling boys, who are performing at a level which should see them promoted to division 1 for next season. Ethan Dobbie and Gregor Bain performed excellently in the first game with Cammy O’Donnell shining in the second. All twelve players contributed to the great performance and the young Knights will now look to maintain their momentum which sees them top of the league with seven wins and one loss. In another boost for the side, Knights Under 15 star Michael Walker has been selected to the Scotland National U15 Team for the upcoming International campaign. Michael is the fourth Knight to be selected for Scotland during the club’s brief twenty month youth development program. With more selections expected at Under 12 and 14 level, the future remains bright for the club.


Champions Kings out manoeuvre Knights
The Stirling Knights mens team travelled to the capital to face red hot current league champions Edinburgh Kings. The Kings have once again made an undefeated start to the season behind the great play of star player Lee Reilly and their Eastern European imports Andrius Ciapas and Edgars Rekis.
Knights got off to a flying start and were initially more than a match for the Kings as they battled hard at both ends of the court. Dan Donnelly notching 7 points in the period for Stirling with captain Mark Duncan performing well on defence, only surpassed by Latvian Rekis with 12. In the second quarter, Knights had to manage without Jack Burgess who injuured his ankle and their good offensive spell suffered with the lightning fast Kings players turning every missed shot into an easy fast break score. In the second half, a tiring Knights side continued to suffer from the superior passing of Kings and despite some good spells from Connor Rankin, Euan Cameron and David Hannah were unable to keep in touch with a final score of 101-57. Top performers for Knights were Donnelly on 15 points and 11 rebounds, Matt Dick on 13 points and 12 rebounds with Connor Rankin on 10 points. For Kings, Rekis had 21 points and Paddy Campbell 20. Knights Head Coach Pete Duncan “We started very well and the effort levels throughout the game were tremendous, however Kings punish every error and they are a great team. Dan Donnelly was superb and was literally fouled everytime he went to the basket. I was disappointed with the referees tonight. We will move on and aim to beat blaze this week in Stirling”
The Knights will be looking to their fans for support when they host rivals Blaze this Friday at The Peak with an 8pm tip following the Friday Knights Primary League which starts at 6pm. 


Junior Knights charge to the top
The Stirling Knights Under 16 Men continued their excellent form in the National League Division 2, with comprehensive victories over Glasgow Rens and St Mirren. The boys, in only their second season, have been working hard to learn the style of play expected of them and started well against Glasgow with good transition basketball leading to easy baskets and a halftime score of 36-21. In the second half, Knights managed to give their younger players experience and finished the game with a good win,78-54.  Top performers for Knights were Ethan Dobbie on a season high of 35 points, James McNeil on 14, Gregor Bain on 13 and Cameron O’Donnell with 8 blocked shots.
 
In the second game, a young St Mirren side were no match for Knights who continued to provide easy scoring opportunities by playing very good defence. Knights got off to a high tempo start and quickly ran up points from fast breaks and steels.  Led by James McNeil and Michael Jozajtis, Stirling were 36-4 ahead after the first quarter.   With the team running their bench, St Mirren really struggled to cope with the pace and movement of the Knights and the half finished at 63-9.   With more of the fringe players getting good minutes on the court, the pace of the game eased and in the end the Knights ran out the game comfortably 89-26.  Top players for Knights were Ethan Dobbie 27, James McNeil 21, Michael Jozajtis 17 and Cameron O’Donnell on 14. Coach Lynch commented after the game “I am really pleased at how we played offensively today.  In training we work on quick ball movement and passing and today we were able to deliver that in the games.  Defensively there is still things to work on, however I am pleased at our progress in the National League this year.”

The new Friday Knights Primary League continued with a great turnout of youngsters from the across the area. Wallace Warriors continued to show their potential with wins over the Stirling Steelers and Bannockburn Bulls. This new initiative is sure to secure the future of the club with future Knights stars having the chance to play from an early age.

In the Senior National League, the Knights lost heavily in the local derby game against National League leaders Falkirk Fury. A very poor start from Knights saw them unable to execute the easy chances and quickly went down in the first quarter 19-8. Foul trouble then hampered their cause as Scotland point guard Jonny Bunyan continued to score for Falkirk play after play. In the second half, Stirling guards Cory McCabe and David Hannah showed the desire expected in the game but Knights scoring woes continued resulting in their worst performance of the season with the only positive being Matthew Dick's double double of 12 points and 13 rebounds. Knights Head Coach Pete Duncan "We were in good form going into the game but it just didn't happen tonight. We haven't even done the basics well in the game and we did not compete. Our usual scorers didn't step up at all."
Knights Men travel this week to Edinburgh to play the current league champions Kings.


Knights ‘hit the Rocks’ to secure home win
Another huge turnout of over 300 fans packed The Peak last Friday to see the Knights take on Glasgow Rocks’ National League team. The Rocks, who have added 6ft 7” Lithuanian Justin Mamaitis to their ranks, have made a strong start to the season and have been competing well in their games which meant the Knights did not take their opponents lightly. In a closely fought game, both teams started brightly with Stirling edging their opponents 23-19 in the first quarter with some good play form David Hannah and David Porter at the guard positions. In the second, both teams remained on form and were unable to make a run to pull away with Knights edging halftime 39-36. The third quarter saw the Stirling men tighten up on defence with veteran Scotland player Mark Duncan doing a terrific job on the Rocks main threat and Euan Cameron having a solid spell from the bench. In the final quarter, the Knights finally managed to pull away from the Rocks and behind a big three pointer from Dan Donnelly closed the game out to win 72-65. 
 
Top performers for Knights were club captain Mark Duncan who had 20 points, 8 rebounds and 6 steals showing that fifteen years after his senior league debut, he is still one of the league’s leading defensive players by closing down Mamaitis and holding him to only 6 second half points. Dan Donnelly led all scorers with 23 points and 11 rebounds, for the season his league scoring average is 25 points per game. Matthew Dick had a fine performance notching 12 points and 8 rebounds. Head Coach Pete Duncan “This was an important win against a good team and we have shown tremendous team spirit this season with all 12 players working for each other. We will have to work hard this week and make sure we can compete with a very strong Falkirk team in our next game.”
 
This Friday, Knights continue national league duties when they take on early season league leaders Falkirk Fury in the central derby game with an 8pm tip off at The Peak.
 
In related news, the undefeated Stirling local league side SK Central Jaguars currently sit top of the Lothian League Division 2 with six wins after a great win over their closest rivals Edinburgh Lions. Led by Cameron Kerr, Matt Hoffman and Robert Thomson the Jags played some terrific basketball and will now look to keep up their record in the next part of the season.
 
Last weekend saw the inaugural games in the new ‘Friday Knights Primary League’, the latest project from Stirling Knights Basketball Club, Active Stirling and Basketball Scotland’s ‘Future Clubz’ program, which involves primary five to primary seven aged teams from four clusters in a tournament on The Peak showcourt. The first night of games had thirty new young players taking part, representing their cluster and having great fun. The Balfron Beez showed some good form against the Stirling Steelers, who in the end were too strong. The Wallace Wolves showed their potential in a good win against the Bannockburn Bulls and all teams will return this Friday for the next round of action from 6pm. Primary League Co-ordinator Jay Runga “The young players of Stirling have a great opportunity now to get on our basketball pathway early and to learn and enjoy basketball in a fun environment. We also have our young leaders helping to coach and referee which is great development for them and we are looking for interested parents to get involved too.”


Knights Men suffer defeat in busy weekend of action


A very busy weekend for Stirling Knights Basketball saw six of the club’s team involved in league action across Scotland.
 
First up, was the National League Men’s team who travelled to Glasgow University to take on a very talented group of mainly foreign students. The hosts started the game well, with Canadian player Al Alilovic capitalising on some poor passing and execution from Knights who ended the first period down 16-6. In the second, Knights found their offensive rhythm led by guard David Porter and continued to play some good defence closing the gap to 3 points before the University regained composure to go in at halftime 36-28 ahead. Crucially, Knights star Dan Donnelly picked up his 4th foul just before halftime and had to sit for most of the third period, which gave the Students a chance to take advantage behind Canadian guard John Bustin who rattled in the first twelve points of the quarter. Donnelly re entered the action and Knights fought back but lost captain Mark Duncan to his 5th foul and in the end the easy opportunities missed by Stirling meant a final score line of 83-71. Knights still managed to have four players in double figures with Donnelly on 18, David Porter 17, Jack Burgess 12 and Matt Dick 10.  The students Canadian combo of Alilovic and Bustin added 27 and 24, with Lithuanian Zaliusmaus on 14. Knights Head Coach Pete Duncan “We’ve lost by 12 but we must have gifted them at least 20 points and that’s not including the easy stuff we missed round the basket. Their foreign imports are great players but we are more than a match for them and hope to win against them in the return game at The Peak.” Next up for the men is a crucial home clash this Friday against Glasgow Rocks, 8pm tip off where guards Cory McCabe and David Hannah should return for the home side.
 
The Knights U18 Men were in National League Division 2 action on Sunday at The Peak. The boys, in their first ever season, lost to a good Renfrew Rocks side in their first match up while in the second game Knights suffered an agonising overtime defeat to Pentland Tigers. The U16 Men led by Coach Lynch faired better in the first Regional Development League day of the new season, winning against Edinburgh Kings and Falkirk Fury to go top of the league. The U14 boys and girls and Coaches Burgess and Evans had to field severely weakened teams due to the school holidays but the available players gave their all despite losing their matchups in Edinburgh. The newly affiliated SK Central Jaguars won their tie with Pleasance Pace and currently sit top of the Lothian League with five wins and no losses. That record is under threat when they face fellow table toppers Edinburgh Lions this Friday.
 
This week s
ees the launch of the new Friday Knights Primary League, a new initiave by the Knights supported by basketballscotland’s ‘Future Clubz’ campaign to encourage basketball participation from Primary 5 - 7. Cluster coaching sessions for Wallace, Stirling, Balfron and Bannockburn will take place during the week and are followed by mini league on a Friday before the Men’s game. Knights Head Coach Pete Duncan “Its an exciting time for basketball in Stirling, we only started our youth teams 18 months ago and a lot of progress has been made. The Friday Knights league will ensure we are giving the best possible preparation to our future players by involving them from as young as Primary 5. I hope in 5 years that we will be fighting it out at the top of all the youth leagues.”
 
The Knigh
ts have been nominated for seven awards at the upcoming Stirling Sports Awards, which is held at Stirling Castle with this year’s guest speaker being Olympic Gold Medal winning triathlete Alistair Brownlee. The award nominations for Knights are: Development Club of the year, Lewis McGlasson - Young Sports Person, Knights U12 boys - Young Sports Team, Jack Burgess - Young Coach, Mitch Graham - Sporting Endeavour and Pete Duncan - Service to Sport. Stirling’s GB Olympic Basketball hero Kieron Achara was nominated by the club for Sports Person of the Year in recognition of his outstanding performances and achievements.

Knights join forces with Jaguars
Stirling Knights Basketball Club have further extended their pathway by merging with Lothian League team The Central Jaguars. The Jags, who include players from across Stirling, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire, currently play in Division 2 of the local league and have made a winning start so far to in the new season. The move will see players on the periphery of the Knights National League squad gaining match experience by representing the Jags with a joint training session once a week. Head of Knights Pete Duncan "I'm delighted to have made this move which will benfit both teams greatly. We are only in our third season but will shortly be producing a lot of young players who will need a competitive outlet which the Jags will provide. The players are really good guys and are keen to have a more professional approach and learn from the more experienced guys, the future looks bright." The team will now be called The S.K. Central Jaguars and you can follow their progress on the Knights facebook page, website and http://lothian.leaguerepublic.com/


Knights calm the storm
Glasgow Storm were the visitors to a packed Stirling Sports Village at The Peak last Friday to take on the Knights Senior Men in the Scottish National Basketball League. With the crowd providing a buzz the Knights got off to a brilliant start scoring four 3 point shots in the opening period which saw them race to a 21-12 lead, with all 12 of the visitors points scored by their big man Martin Walmsley.
In the second quarter, Storm found their rhythm and Scotland Under 23 Guard Kevin Scott went on a run to hit 15 points with Knights own Scotland Star Dan Donnelly replying with 9 to keep his team 36-35 up going in at halftime. In the third, Knights’ veteran defender David Hannah was introduced to the line up and shut Storm’s danger man Scott down. This improved the team defence and the Stirling side held their Glaswegian visitors to just 9 points in the period whilst notching 20 themselves, led again by the unstoppable Donnelly who drew numerous fouls and scored 8 of his 10 third quarter points from the foul line. In the fourth, Knights were up by as much as twenty points with coach Duncan running his bench but the aggressive Storm team fought back and made a game of it, picking up numerous fouls and unsportsmanlike calls with four of the team fouling out. Knights held on for their first home league win 74-66 and maintain their fourth placed league position.
Top players for Knights were Dan Donnelly with 30 points and 14 rebounds, supported by Matt Dick with 10 points, 18 rebounds and 4 blocks. Connor Rankin and Mark Duncan added 11 points each with the defence of David Hannah worth special mention. For Storm, Kevin Scott had 21 and Martin Walmsley 22.
Knights Captain Mark Duncan “We performed well on defence tonight and our offence was much better too. We still missed some easy stuff and we missed 17 free throws, we could have won by much more but we’re pretty happy with how we’re developing”.
Indeed, the development of the club as a whole is impressive with around 150 members now from Under 12 up to Senior and with crowds continuing to pack The Peak many supporters have commented how fantastic it is to see the youth of Stirling having such a great opportunity in Basketball and on a Friday night being involved in something positive.
The Knights have a break this weekend and pick up league action again on Saturday 20th October away to Glasgow University.


Knights crash out of cup
All three Stirling National League basketball teams crashed out of the Scottish Cup last weekend, with the Under 16s losing out to visitors Dunfermline - despite an outstanding game from Balfron’s Cameron O’Donnell. The newly formed Under 18s also lost to high flying Boroughmuir Blaze. The top level Knights men’s team lost away to Blaze in the senior competition in what turned out to be a close game at The Crags, Edinburgh - one of only three all National League ties in this round.
It was the hosts who started the better, with former Scotland guard Kevin Anderson rolling back the years to lead his team into a 20-13 first quarter lead. In the second, Knights hit back through good play from Dan Donnelly and Matt Dick but once again Anderson thwarted the come back going in at half time with 16 points, with his team leading 48-32.
A change of tactics from Knights in the half time team talk saw a renewed energy and focus on defence, and the Stirling side had halved the deficit within minutes of the restart with David Porter, Dan Donnelly and Euan Cameron all contributing. Going into the fourth, the deficit for Stirling was six points and with continued defensive pressure the Knights narrowed it to 1 point after a three pointer from Connor Rankin. However, Kevin Anderson once again stepped up for the home team and nailed a three in return. Knights then lost captain Mark Duncan to his fifth foul and continued to miss easy opportunities to steal the game, despite tremendous play from young big man Matt Dick, with the hosts holding on for a 71-64 win.
Top performers for Knights were Matt Dick with 16 points and 15 rebounds, Dan Donnelly on 12, Connor Rankin 9 and Mark Duncan 8. For Blaze, Anderson had 22 with Liam McCabe on 17 and Andrius Ciernas on 15.
Head of Knights Pete Duncan “We gave them too big a lead in the first half and Kevin was on form but I’m pleased with what I saw from my team in the second half. We only gave up 23 points and had plenty of chances to put points on the board but again our execution round the basket has let us down.”
Next up for Knights is a home league tie against Glasgow Storm this Friday 8pm at The Peak.


Knights must bounce back after defeat

The Stirling Knights men's team - missing four key players including star man and top scorer Dan Donnelly - lost to Troon last Saturday in the Scottish National League at The Peak. With the two bleacher seats packed with 200 fans, the Stirling side got off to a good start thanks to the sharp shooting of Knights Community Coach Jack Burgess. The visitors kept themselves in the game though and through the speed of Scotland Guard Ifedade Thomas edged the first quarter 22-17. In the second quarter, Troon turned the screw and showed some good team play hitting four 3 pointers to go in at half time up 44-28. Knights sparked back into life through good play from David Porter and Matt Dick, with captain Mark Duncan beginning to rediscover his form. With Coach Duncan running the bench for the home side, junior players Connor Sharp and James Lindsay saw some court time - each performing well in their role. However, the experienced Troon side remained in control of the game to secure a 76-55 win. 
 
Top scorers for Knights were Mark Duncan with 14 and 7 rebounds, Jack Burgess with 13, Matt Dick with 7 points and 12 rebounds. Ifedade Thomas had 18 points with veteran Andy Pearson on 15 for Troon.  Knights Head Coach Pete Duncan "We started brightly but our heads went down quickly when things weren't going our way in the second quarter. Once again, we have shot a pretty poor percentage and need to improve. We obviously were weakened today and missed Dan's scoring and defence but we will look to bounce back for next week."
 
This week is Scottish Cup weekend, starting with a double header at The Peak on Friday 28th September when the Under 16 and Under 18 men host Dunfermline Reign and Boroughmuir Blaze. Saturday sees the men travel to the capital to face Blaze in a vital cup match.


New Spalding kit unveiled




Massive crowd as Knights fall to Saints

The Stirling Knights Men’s basketball team hosted Scottish Cup holders St Mirren at The Peak last Friday in their first home game of the new season. Cheered on by a near 400 strong crowd, it was the Knights who started better forcing Saints into some early mistakes and taking advantage to end the first quarter up 18-15.
In the second quarter, St Mirren - boasting four current Scotland Senior Internationalists - started to find their rhythm as Knights struggled against the pressing defence whilst also failing to execute easy scoring opportunities. Knights own star player Dan Donnelly keeping his team in contention with twelve of his side’s fifteen second quarter points to go in 49-33 down at the half.
In the second half, the Stirling side’s scoring woes continued as the team struggled to connect allowing St Mirren to further stretch their advantage, showing they mean title challenging business this season with the final score 96-61.
Top scorers for Knights were Dan Donnelly on 25 points with 8 rebounds, Mark Duncan on 11 points and 7 rebounds with Matt Dick on 8 points and 9 rebounds. St Mirren had Nick Collins 19, Chris Cleary 18, Colin Railley 17 and Fraser Glass on 16 points.
Despite the disappointing scoreline there is much for Stirling Knights to be proud of with basketball currently booming in Stirling. A fantastic league leading support of nearly 400, containing many families with the kids play court packed full of inspired youngsters and potential future players. Many spectators commented to the club officials on the outstanding work being done by Knights and how fantastic the home game night experience is. Olympian Kieron Achara was also in attendance and spent much of his time signing autographs and posing for pictures. Club chief Pete Duncan “We started really well and showed that we can compete with the top teams when we are on our game but unfortunately we made too many errors and shot poorly, although St Mirren were fantastic and shot the ball really well. In my opinion they will challenge Kings and Fury for the top spot this season. This is our third season now, we have a tremendous set up and with many new projects starting for young players the work to develop basketball in the Stirling area goes from strength to strength. I have no doubt that one day we will challenge the league’s best teams but our aim this season is to be in the top four.”
The quest for a top four finish this season continues with a massive game against Troon Tornadoes, this Saturday at The Peak with a 1.45pm tip off. A large crowd is anticipated again to support the Knights in this vital game.
 
In the Under 16 Men’s National League, the Knights sit top of division two after a brilliant opening day, defeating Glasgow Rocks  and Edinburgh Lions by a combined 35 points, with Balfron’s Cameron O’Donnell and Alva’s James McNeil impressing throughout.

................................................................................................................................................................

Knights win season opener

Stirling Knights senior men basketball team got off to a winning start in the National League season opener defeating hosts Dunfermline Reign 79-73.
It was Reign who got off to the better start with point guard Callum O’Donnell scoring 15 of his 29 points in the opening quarter, giving his team a 22-21 lead. In the second quarter, Knights went to a pressing defence which enabled them to open up a seven point halftime lead. However, Reign would not be put away and continued to fight to the end but Knights remained in control to claim an opening day win,.
Daniel Donnelly led the Knights with 29 points with captain Mark Duncan on 13, Jack Burgess 12 and Matt Dick 11 with 12 rebounds. Valuable contributions also came from Connor Rankin, Euan Cameron, Mitch Graham and Sean Mitchell who all made their Knights debuts. The returning Cory McCabe had a tremendous game on defence forcing many steals and turnovers. Head Coach Pete Duncan “We didn’t start the game well on defense but improved quickly. We still have some work to do, we were a bit sloppy round the basket and gave the ball away too much”
Knights will have to improve their execution for their first home game this Friday 14th September, when Scottish Cup Champions St Mirren visit The Peak for an 8pm tip off. All spectators welcome to what should be a great game.
 
In the Under 18 National League, the Knights boys had mixed fortunes in their opening two games losing to Glasgow Rocks in the season opener. However, they did claim an impressive win in their second game taming the Edinburgh Lions 79-42 with Zak Beattie and James Penman performing well.


..............................................................................................................................................................

Its Knight time as local stars gear up for new season
 
Stirling High former pupil Connor Rankin, leads a group of six new signings in the Knights Men’s team into the new season of Scotland’s top basketball league. The 19 year old from Cowie joins the club from Falkirk Fury where he played in their youth set up, due to there being no basketball club in the Stirling area, has also represented Scotland at Under 18 level and is one the top young players in the league. Connor said “I’m really happy to be playing in Stirling, the Knights have done a fantastic job in their short time and the future for Basketball in the area looks really good. The people at Falkirk were great but I’m delighted to get the chance to prove myself in the Men’s league”. Connor is joined by fellow local lad Mitchell Graham in the Knights top team. Mitchell (19) from Stirling, has recently graduated from Mary Hare School for the Deaf in Reading where he represented Great Britain in the European Deaf Basketball Championships. Head Coach Pete Duncan “I’m very pleased with our new signings, Mitchell is a very good rebounder and he has a level of hustle that you can’t teach. Connor is a fast and exciting young player and has really developed his game and is a threat at both ends of the court”.
Ex Edinburgh player Sean Mitchell along with David Porter, Euan Cameron and Ross Matheson complete the new look line up for the Knights who still include Scotland internationals Mark Duncan, Jack Burgess and Dan Donnelly in their starting line up. 
The Knights new Scottish League campaign gets under way this coming Sunday with an away fixture at Dunfermline Reign, followed by the first home game of the new season at The Peak on the 14th September against St Mirren at 8

 

© Stirling Knights Basketball Club - 2011

 

Powered by Wild Apricot. Try our all-in-one platform for easy membership management