After much conjecture the Stags opted to play in the Silver Division of the Grampian League this season due to number of players who had moved on for one reason or another.
As a result of this it has been possible to give some of the less experienced players a chance to play in the Stags team and still be competitive. This has worked out well and they are 100% so far in the league.
It has been in the cups however that they have really sparkled this year and following a 30 point win in Glasgow over Glasgow Storm they were drawn against top of the Gold Division Granite City Grizzlies in the last 16 of the national Chairman’s Cup.
Grizzlies, who had 100% record in the Gold Div, were one of the favourites to win the Chairman’s Cup but on a Wednesday night in late November they were to be knocked out in dramatic fashion. Grizzlies led by 2 points with 7 seconds of extra time remaining and they had a free throw.
Coach Scott Williams called a time-out to plan the last play and it worked; Rob Smith missed the free throw and Stuart Gray took the rebound and passed to Matt Halliwell who ran the length of the court and released a shot just before the buzzer.
To the absolute delight of the Stags and their supporters the ball swished through the net to give them a one point victory and a place in the last eight in Scotland.
The Grizzlies, who were still unbeaten in the league, were to have a chance to get revenge in mid-December when they were at home to the Stags in the quarter-final of the Grampian Cup.
On the night though the Stags controlled the game and proved to be too strong for a disheartened looking Grizzlies team. Matt Halliwell, who once again travelled up from Glasgow for the game, orchestrated the plays along with Karim Nassar but the real star of the show was Stuart Gray who top scored with 28 points. Scott Williams, Glen Fotherinham, Ray Thompson and Tim Garry were also on the scoreboard that night.
The junior section has been going well with Banchory U18s winning all their matches to reach the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup and they lead the U18 league locally as well.
The girls have had a more difficult start to their competitions but both U18s and Under 15s continue to improve and results will go their way soon.
All in all it has been an encouraging start to the season and hopes are high of winning some silverware in March.