PRESTON — Myerscough eliminated the East London All Stars with an 86-81 win to reach the National Shield finals on Saturday.
Konrad Kantorski scored 2o of his game-high 26 points in the first half to lead Myerscough into the finals, which will be played on Feb. 25 at Worcester Arena.
Mate Okros added 20 points and 11 rebounds, hitting his last five shots after starting 3-of-9 from the field. Callan Low chipped in 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including a trio of 3-pointers.
“As a programme we strive to be playing for titles each year and there’s a certain pressure that comes with that that you have to play through and absorb,” said Myerscough coach Neal Hopkins. “For a majority of the game we did what we had to, but at the end of the day the win is the most important thing.”
Myerscough opened up a 23-16 behind back-to-back 3-pointers from Konrad Kantorski and Edoardo Del Cadia, but East London used a 10-0 run to take a three-point lead. Kantorski, who hit four threes in the game, halted the momentum to tie the game at 26-all.
The teams traded the lead seven times before Myerscough grabbed a 40-36 advantage. The hosts then extended the gap to match its largest of seven at the break.
East London used a 7-1 run to peg back a 60-53 deficit to within one and then tied the game at 64.
The lead would exchange hands five times over a five-minute stretch before Edvards Sirmbardis and Kantorski combined to score the next six points for Myerscough to build an 83-77 lead.
East London pulled to within two with less than two minutes to go, but Myerscough hit 3-of-4 free throws to close the game out.
“We really showed some toughness and maturity when we fell behind by two or three and it was a great response from the guys,” said Myerscough guard Kantorski.
Daniel Delgado led East London with 19 points and A Semapala added 15 in the loss. S Hemmings and A Okereafor each finished with 13.
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