Written by Sam Scouller

It was Caledonia who opened the scoring as Fraser Malcolm drove to the net and landed an early layup. The Gladiators built on that opening point well as they dominated the scoring throughout the first thanks to Jeremiah Bailey and David Sloan. The hosts also did well to remain resilient in defence with Ali Fraser and David Sloan tidying up on the back end. Sloan was the stand-out man in the first as he acted as a threat across the court for Caledonia.

Patrick Tape helped to maintain the Gladiators’ control of the first as he sank a clean three-pointer to extend the lead to 15 points. Later in the quarter, Tape drilled an eye-watering dunk over the Riders’ defence. The Riders responded with some sparse attacks, but they couldn’t halt their opposition’s dominance as the Gladiators closed out the opening quarter with a big lead. Fraser Malcolm ended the first with an emphatic, contested layup which sent the crowd to their feet as the buzzer sounded with a 31-12 score-line.

Bailey continued the Gladiators’ impressive scoring in the second as he started the quarter with a mid-range two pointer. Despite strong performances from Sloan, Malcolm and Tape, it was the Riders who dominated the second as they shortened the deficit massively. The half-time buzzer was sounded with another Malcolm layup as the scoreboard read 46-39 after Leicester’s efforts to drop the gap.

Sloan furthered his reputation as a threat in the third as he displayed sweet hands to steal the ball at half-court before setting up Bailey for a big dunk to get the third quarter started in style. Bailey remained in the spotlight as he continued to score some imposing layups as he helped his side onto 13 unanswered points after the break. Debutant Jordan Burns made a good first impression as he scored consecutive buckets to extend the Gladiators lead to 16 points. The Gladiators ended the tightly contested third with a 67-53 lead with only one quarter remaining.

Burns started the fourth quarter with a huge three pointer as the Gladiators made further progress towards closing out the game. Bunyan had the eyes of the crowd glued to his hands in the fourth as he landed three huge three pointers early in the final quarter. Caledonia grabbed a 26-point lead early in the fourth thanks to a highly successful offensive surge from Bunyan, Sloan and Burns. The home side also did well to minimize the Riders’ scoring as they shut out the basket thanks to Fraser and Onwas. Sloan continued to score important points for the Gladiators as they progressed to a huge 92-66 win  over the reigning champions.

This extends Caledonia’s home performance to three wins out of three this season.