The Caledonia Gladiators managed to secure a historic win against the table-topping London Lions at the Copper Box, inflicting just their third defeat on them in the British Basketball League after they beat them 94-100 in overtime.
With this win the Gladiators move up into second place, tied with the Cheshire Phoenix on a record of 10-5, while the Lions fall to 15-3.
London Lions starting five: Jordan Taylor, Conor Morgan, Kareem Queeley, Josh Sharma, Ciaran Sandy
Caledonia Gladiators starting five: Ian Dubose, Princeton Onwas, Patrick Whelan, Lukas Palyza, Fahro Alihodzic
The game started with a highlight straight away by none other than Josh Sharma who finished with a one-handed dunk following the pass by Ciaran Sandy (4-5).
Caledonia seemed to be the team that started the game better, going on a 6-0 run following Sharma’s dunk (4-11).
London then went on a small 5-0 run of their own after Luke Nelson connected from downtown (9-11).
As the first quarter drew to a close, the Gladiators gradually increased their lead.
Ian Dubose blocked Sharma, chased down the ball and dunked it, increasing the lead back up to six (9-15).
On the final play of the period, Trent Buttrick sunk the triple from the corner to give his team their first double-digit lead of the game (13-24).
The Lions started the second quarter with the clear intent of not allowing the game to get away from them.
A layup by Gabriel Olaseni, followed by a steal from Nelson and a three from Bradley Kaboza brought the game back to within six (18-24).
The two sides then proceeded to exchange threes, first by Conor Morgan, before Buttrick replied for Caledonia and then Kaboza and Nelson both draining one for London, to make it a one-point game (32-33).
The Lions got their first lead of the game shortly after, when Sharma pivoted expertly under the basket for the dunk (34-33).
Just when it looked like all the momentum was firmly on the side of the hosts, the Gladiators went on a 14-2 run (36-47) and turned the game on its head once more.
A pair of free throws by Nelson closed out the half, reducing the deficit to single digits (38-47).
The two sides exchanged a couple of big plays to start the second half.
First, Whelan drained a long three, before Nelson answered with an and-one (43-50).
Kaboza then provided an all-round highlight play when he boxed out the much taller Fahro Alihodzic, went coast-to-coast and dished it to Olaseni for the easy two (45-51).
That was followed by a steal on the halfway line by Kareem Queeley, who finished with the dunk and completed an 11-4 run for his team, making it a two-point game (49-51).
London completed their comeback (54-53) halfway through the third and re-took the lead when Olaseni dunked on the fast break.
It was Caledonia’s turn to go on a run, once again not allowing their opponents to capitalise on their momentum.
A dunk by Whelan, followed by a couple of baskets by Dubose gave the Scots a five-point lead (54-59).
Basketball is a sport filled with runs and this game proved it, as the Lions now went on a 7-2 run to tie the score at 61 apiece with one minute to go in the third.
For the final play of the quarter, Dubose held the ball to run down the clock and took the offence on his own, crossing over his defender before shooting a stepback three and connecting from downtown, giving his team a slim advantage (61-64) heading into the final 10 minutes.
The fourth quarter began with the Princeton Onwas and Jordan Taylor exchanging three-pointers (64-67).
Kaboza then provided another highlight play as he pivoted excellently under the basket, to lay it in unopposed (70-73).
Caledonia went on a 5-0 run when Whelan faked his defender and drained the triple with four minutes left (73-78).
Over the next three minutes London returned the favour with their own 5-0 run to tie it at 78 apiece.
That was followed by a layup from Whelan and a pair of free throws by Olaseni for a tied score of 80-80 with less than a minute left.
With 30 seconds left on the clock, Dubose took his time on offence, drove in and kicked it out for Buttrick who hit a massive three to put his team up by three points (80-83), with 11 seconds left.
Following the timeout, the Lions tried to get Morgan to shoot a three but Caledonia played excellent defence.
Instead, Taylor took the offence on himself and threw up an off balance shot at the buzzer, connecting and sending the home fans wild as the game headed into overtime (83-83).
The two sides exchanged threes to start overtime, with both Lukas Palyza and Taylor connecting from behind the arc (86-86).
A layup by Dubose and Buttrick’s jumpshot, followed by a layup by Olaseni gave Caledonia a two-point lead (88-90).
The Czech forward then put his team on his back and scored another three, this time banking it in and getting fouled, giving them a six-point lead (88-94).
Whelan then continued the three-point party, scoring his fifth triple of the night (90-97).
Palyza wasn’t done there however and put the cherry on the cake for a very famous win for the Scots, when he drained his third triple in overtime this time from way behind the 6.75m line.
Taylor scoring one of his two free throws was the last point of a very entertaining game that saw Caledonia come out victorious 94-100.