AYR Storm's U16 girls have continued their impressive run of form in the Scottish Basketball Championship. Competing in the NDL (National Development League) this season, the girls took their record to 6-1 with wins over Portlethen Panthers and Glasgow Fever.

The game against Panthers was a thriller and went right down to the wire. Storm started slowly and couldn't buy a basket, but a run of 8 points in the second quarter from Melissa Graham saw Ayr claw their way back into proceedings and trail 23-16 at the half. A further eight points from Graham (who had a game-high 21 points), in the third, enabled Storm to stay within six points heading into the final eight minutes.

Captain Abbie Middleton, was immense under the boards, and her 21 rebounds coupled with 13 points was in large part responsible for seeing Ayr gain parity midway through the fourth. However, an injury, which sidelined point guard, Niamh Keenan, seemed to have stalled the comeback. Panthers opened up another slender advantage only for two quick baskets from Katie Storrar to give Ayr their first lead since the opening minutes of the game. The drama wasn't over.

With less than a minute on the clock, Panthers had regained a one point advantage, when 11 year old Alix McIntosh was fouled, and sent to the line. Calmness personified, she nailed both free throws to the loud cheers from the travelling support. Storm saw out the clock and a further free throw from Middleton saw Ayr win 48-46.

Head Coach, Laura Nisbet was delighted with the win and said: 'The girls showed true grit and determination to dig out the win, and what can I say about young Alix - nerves of steel!!"

The girls' busy week wasn't over and a further game against Glasgow Fever was to come six days later. In stark contrast to the Panthers game, the Storm girls came out the traps with a bang and opened up an early 17-4 advantage, with an aggressive defensive performance led by Middleton and Keenan, the latter having recovered from her weekend knock. Keenan was pulling the strings offensively, and created a couple of quick turnovers which led to her own baskets.

As ever they showed true fighting spirit and battled their way back into the game, and it was only a trademark three from Graham, and a fine individual basket from Michaela McNeil just before the half-time buzzer that saw Ayr hold a 33-21 interval lead.

Baskets were hard to come by for both teams early in the third, but a return to their full court defence midway through the quarter saw Storm create several turnovers that they capitalised on, and lead 48-21 heading into the fourth period.

Although a low scoring final quarter, both Middleton and Graham finished with 'double doubles' which saw Storm across the line 54-37. (Middleton 18pts, 15 rebounds, and Graham 21pts, 10 rebounds). Assistant coach Alan Nisbet commented afterwards: "These girls continue to surprise us. The improvement throughout the season has been incredible, but the results are nothing more than they deserve for all the hard work they've been putting in."

The squad currently sit third in the NDL, with the aim a top four finish that would see them compete in the end of season play-offs.