Prienai struggle late, fall in Jekabpils

Photo: Lasma Irsa

JEKABPILS – After a back-and-forth contest, Jekabpils proved too strong for visiting Prienai, as they celebrated a 76-68 (19-24; 19-12; 26-22; 12-10) victory.


Jekabpils now hold a record of 2-1, while Prienai suffered their third loss in three games.

The two teams came in trading baskets at a high rate, but Prienai used a couple of successful plays on both ends of the court to push their lead to eight – 24-16. However, the hosts nailed a three-pointer and ended the quarter with a five-point deficit.

The start of the second quarter could be described as chaotic to say the least, as the teams had more turnovers than shots made during the first four minutes. With three minutes remaining, the Latvians tied the score up at 30 apiece. At the end of the quarter, Jekabpils enjoyed a fragile 38-36 lead.

As soon as Jekabpils took hold of a tangible lead, Prienai came firing right back with a run of their own and soon tied the score. Neither team could get any further from their opponents for the rest of the quarter and the fourth quarter waited with only a couple of shots separating the two teams.

Jekabpils gained momentum in the final quarter and with great plays on both ends, got away with a seven point advantage. Neither team managed to set up an attack with a successful ending for quite a while before Jekabpils finally broke the silence with two free-throws. Jekabpils looked at a 9 point lead with a minute and a half remaining and it looked all but over. The home side took a well-deserved 76-68 victory.

Rinalds Sirsins led Jekabpils in scoring with 17 points to his name. Devin Taylor scored 11 points and also grabbed 9 rebounds (6 offensive), while Janis Poznaks and Mikus Sokolovs ended the game with 10 apiece.

Giedrius Staniulis scored a game-high 19 points, while tearing down 8 rebounds. Paulius Vaitiekunas was even more dominant under the backboards, as he nabbed 11 rebounds to go along his 14 points. Sarunas Vingelis scored 13 points, while Ovidijus Varanauskas ended the game with 11 points and 7 assists.