THE Ayr Storm U16 men, reached the halfway point of their debut Scottish Basketball Championship season with a won five lost four record and in the top half of the league.

And they were looking to build on that as they hosted Perth Phoenix and the second half of the season got underway at the weekend.

A dominant start from captain Paul Gibbons and forward Mathew Keegan saw them combine for 16 of Ayr's 18 points in the opening period. And this got the home side off to a great start.

Strong rebounding from Gabriel Lorimer and Isaac Femi, combined with interceptions from Isaac Tomba limited the visitors to 8pts and Ayr led 19-8. The second period saw Lorimer find his shooting range as did Harrison Smyth when he came on court. Perth could not find a way to basket past the Ayr players and continued to try the outside shot without success - and this time Harry Kerr and Darren Pirrie were picking up all the rebounds for Ayr. At half-time, Ayr were leading 32-18.

Coach Danny Gibbons took the chance to run the full bench early and Ben Wheeler took the opportunity with a big three point shot to help stretch the lead further. Another fine defensive performance in period three kept Phoenix in single figures again as Ayr took the period 16-9.

The final period was a tighter affair, but Ayr remained in control though tout and ensured the lead was never threatened, taking period four 15-14 and a great start to the second half of the campaign. Full-time score: Ayr Storm 64 Perth Phoenix 41.

Off- court things are looking bright as well - with new warm up tops from a sponsorship from local Prestwick company SMT of the clubs three sides that play in the Scottish Basketball Championship.

Squad v Perth: Gibbons (9pts), Lang (4), Tomba, Ferguson, Wheeler (5), Femi (6), Kerr, Lorimer (8) , Bradley (2), Pirie (2), Smith (7), Keegan (21)

The U18 men had a tougher day as they were hosting the league leaders, Grampian Flyers. A strong fast break start from Hamish Ablett, aided by passes from Ben Wigton, got the team off to a good start. However the more experienced flyers side showed why they are favourites to make their stay in Division Two a short one after last season's relegation. FT: Ayr Storm 48 Grampian Flyers 90.

Coach Chris Morrison was pleased with the play in spells and said: "If we can take the good parts from this game into our next SLBA league fixture, we should be looking to return to winning ways."