FOR the first time last weekend, Ayr Storm basketball club had not one, but two male sides qualify for the Scottish Basketball Championship play-offs in the same season. Both the U16men and U18men finished in their respective division 2 leagues in 2nd place. However, it was to be a weekend of highs, lows and heartache.

On Saturday both squads and their supporters battled through the weather to play their games in Perth. The U16men opened the day with a semi-final v Glasgow Rocks. Storm struggled in the opening period and found themselves behind - however fast break points from Mathew Keegan and Luca Sgarlata limited the damage to just two points behind as P1 ended 15:17. The second saw Rocks stretch their lead. In the second half, each time Ayr pulled themselves into the game, Rocks would find a way to stretch away again and eventually ended up 12 ahead. With all looking lost, Ayr made a dramatic come back and were just three points behind with 30seconds left but struggled to get the ball back. When they did finally get it and raced for a final shot, Keegan was fouled and went to the line with 1.2 seconds left. He scored both free throws, but Ayr could not get the steel and Rocks advanced to the final. The U18 men, second second from the east East faced third sees from the East, City of Edinburgh Kings. After the first period, Ayr trailed 14-15. A strong performance from Matthew Morrison in P2 helped Ayr take control of the game – he was dominating the defensive boards and then scoring at the other end. Ayr led 29-23 at half -time. They ultimately won 58 -53

Sunday saw the U18men at the Oriam in Edinburgh to face East number one seeds Dundee Madsons in the play-offs semi-final. Morrison secured 11 of Storm’s opening 22 points – which looked enough to tie the opening 10 minutes but Dundee hit a buzzer-beating three to go in 25:22 up. In the second period, with Gibbons and Mathew Keegan (33pts) gave Storm three scoring threats. As the game neared midway, Ayr led 49:45.Paul Gibbons (15pts) was fouled – and he calmly sank all throws. However Dundee won 95-87.