Stirling basketball was a tale of two halves this week. The Men’s 2nd team claimed an impressive victory in their first game of the semester, blowing away Dundee’s Men’s 2nd in an 82-50 win. Things weren’t as smooth for the Men’s 1st team however, as team captain Owain Clark suffered from an early injury in a game that saw the team lose 66-55 to Edinburgh’s Men’s 3rd.
Stirling’s Men’s 2nd team was eager for a rematch against Dundee after the two clashed at the end of last semester. Dundee won that game by just four points, so the Men’s 2nd team was eager to challenge them at home in Stirling. “We all felt like we had a bit of a point to prove”, said Men’s 2nd captain Ryan Travers.
An enormous effort on the day saw Stirling dominate, winning by a colossal 32 points and bumping the team up to 2nd in Scotland’s 5A Division. Dundee’s 2nd still claim the top spot, but Travers believes Stirling can win their remaining three games if they continue to play well.
Wednesday also saw Stirling’s Men’s 1st team play away against Edinburgh’s Men’s 3rd team in a 55-66 loss. Edinburgh played zone defence, where defenders guard an area of the floor instead of a specific player, and Stirling struggled to overcome it.
“It really stifled our offensive opportunities”, says Craig Stephen, president of men’s basketball and Men’s 1st team player.
Edinburgh holding home-court advantage brought further challenges, like the inclusion of additional opponents and an unfamiliar setting for Stirling.
Another component which may have contributed to Stirling’s loss came in the form of an early injury as team captain Owain Clark rolled his ankle halfway through the first quarter.
Playing defence, Clark darted to stop a player that became free near the basket, jumping to contest the shot. An awkward landing caused his ankle to roll, and after ten minutes on the bench Clark knew it was time for A&E.
Though he’s sustained ankle injuries before, Clark “knew straight away this was worse”. But how bad is the injury? Is it broken? How long will it last? These questions and more flashed through his mind.
Alongside the physical pain came the frustration of having to leave an important matchup. “It was honestly gutting”, Clark explains. “Probably what hurt and annoyed me the most was not being able to finish that game.”
It’s still unclear how bad the injury is, and Clark is still experiencing pain. He’s hoping to be fully recovered in time for the team’s next matchup, or at least well enough to play with a support. Stirling’s Men’s 1st team don’t play again until February 27, giving Clark another two weeks to recover.
The Wednesday coming has two matchups. The Men’s 2nd team plays against Glasgow Caledonian’s 2nd team in Stirling, and the Women’s 2nd team returns in their first game of the semester against Edinburgh College’s 1st team.