Bury St. Edmunds Basketball Club, sponsored by Kuda Automotive and Moreton Hall Community Centre, hosted Hemel Storm II in Division 3 East of the National Basketball League, earning a thrilling 115-108 triple overtime win at Skyliner. With Captain Billy Smith and experienced guard Tom Guerrero missing out due to injury, Ashley MacDonald slid into the starting line-up and provided a defensive spark for the home side.
In a tight first half, a late run from Hemel saw the guests open up a six point lead. After a score from Nick Allin, the hosts held the guests without a field goal for the next six minutes as the Bulldogs built an eight point lead of their own, with Vytautas Girdzius and Adam Ball each connecting from range twice, however, Hemel stayed within touching distance and after MacDonald left the game injured, they re-took the lead in the middle of the fourth quarter, before a three from Matt Spurling gave the home side an 86-83 lead with just 30 seconds to go, however, Storm executed down the stretch to tie the game up as Girdzius fouled-out.
The first overtime was a nervy affair, dominated at the foul line, and while Bulldogs had an opportunity to close the game out, the game moved to another extra period. Bury raced out to start the second overtime, with Jimmy Steedman, Ed & Matt Spurling building a lead, before Storm pegged them back from behind the arc. Tied at 103 apiece, the game moved to a third period of overtime, but crucially with Kahn fouling out in the dying seconds of the period, Storm had to play the third overtime with just four players.
MacDonald shook-off a dead-leg to come back into the game and sparked the Bulldogs - holding Storm without a field goal, while Denby Ablard dominated the period around both rims, en route to a historic win for Bury.
“All credit to Hemel, they played their hearts out today.” Said Coach Arron MacDonald, adding “I’m delighted with the win. Everyone played their part today. Adam led the side vocally and by example, Denby was superb for us, Vyto defended every inch of the floor and the Spurling brothers were clutch for us; but it was Ashley’s energy and effort that sparked this from minute one. He laid down a marker and the rest of the guys followed his lead. Having achieved Clubmark status for the club this week, too, this was a fitting end to an amazing week for our club."
Adam Ball led the Bulldogs with 28 points and 10 rebounds, Denby Ablard added 25 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks, and Matt Spurling added 19 points and 3 steals.
Next up for the Bulldogs is a trip to face Nottingham Trent University Hoods on Sunday 10th November, before a home Double-Header on 16th November.