AYR Storm U16men returned to Scottish Basketball Championship Division Two action with the longest road trip of the season - up to Inverness to face the Lions.

An early start ensured the team got to the venue with plenty of time to relax, have a bite to eat and stretch the bus legs before warm-ups and tip time. All went to plan and the start 5 of Paul Gibbons, Matthew Morrison, Mathew Keegan, Harry Kerr and Gabriel Lorimer all scored early baskets to stretch a seven-poin lead. A switch to a higher tempo defence led to steals and baskets on the break and Ayr leading 28:11.

The second period was a tighter affair with both coaches looking to run their squads and mix lines - Inverness trying to cut the gap and Ayr trying to defend the lead. It finished 18-17 to the lions and Ayr had a 16-point lead at the half.

Strong rebounding from Darren Pirie and Harry Kerr, aided by Isaac Femi, in the third period limited the home sides 2nd chances and the only managed 9pts to Ayr's 27. With the win looking secure, the Storm bench looked more relaxed when they were on court and Brody Ferguson found his shooting range as did Cammy Lang, aided by Isaac Tomba taking over the guard role and showing he is ready for that role.

Dylan Martin and Ben Wheeler also put pressure on coach Danny Gibbons with displays showing they are ready for extended court time as the team won the period 26.16 and could look forward to the long trip home knowing they had secured a great win against the second-placed side. Full-time: Inverness Lions 54 Ayr Storm 98.

Coach Gibbons said: "I was pleased that four starters scored in double figures, making it harder for Lions to try and close us down. The full squad played well today and it made the nine hours in the minibus that much more comfortable".

Squad v Inverness: Gibbons (14pts), Lang (4), Tomba (2), Ferguson (7), Wheeler (2), Femi (4), Kerr (2), Lorimer (12) , Martin, Pirie, Morrison (22), Keegan (29)

The side also had a midweek SLBA Cadet men league fixture, hosting Ayrshire Tornadoes. A couple of squad changes to give players game experience made no difference to the performance as they came out flying and left the large crowd in Kyle Academy impressed with their shooting percentages and vision to make the steals. A very open game saw Storm win the opening period 32-19. Improved defence while maintaining a high scoring rate ensured Ayr picked up another win in the SLBA league taking the periods 29-11 24-12 and 25-14.

FT: Ayr Storm 110 Ayrshire Tornadoes 56.

Squad v Ayrshire: Gibbons (18pts), Tennant, Tomba (13), Ferguson (8), Wheeler (3), Femi (10), Kerr (4), Lorimer (20), Bradley (2), Pirie (4), Smith (2) Keegan (26).