St Helens Saints beat Leicester Warriors 88-67 to complete a weekend of gruelling fixtures with back-to-back victories.

They won their first game of the weekend in a close encounter with Myerscough Academy, beating them 98-92.

In their Sunday clash, The Saints came out with all guns blazing, scoring eight unanswered points and forcing an early timeout for Leicester.

The Warriors’ zone defence provided little resistance and the home side’s constant off-ball movement created shooting opportunities.

The impressive jump-shooting of Wyatt Self extended their lead. The point guard was in the right place at the right time to knock down shots. Leicester, on the other hand, weren’t able to operate with the same efficiency as the North Carolina native.

The away side then started to show their own offensive qualities. Centre Eljhi Jabby used his towering frame to grab rebounds and turn these second opportunities for his side into points.

St Helens relied on their bench options to take the initiative in the first five minutes of the second quarter.  Seventeen-year-old Kadir Crawford contributed with his first ever points for the Division Two Men’s team. Ellis Evans and Nathan County also helped carry the scoring load.

St Helens led comfortably at half time.

Half time score in game between St Helens Saints and Leicester Warriors

At the start of the second half, the Saints were performing like a completely different team to the one that had been so impressive in the first half. They turned the ball over many times and missed good scoring chances close to the basket.

Frustrations built as Disraeli Lufadeju received a technical foul for arguing with the referee. The verbal attacks continued back-and-forth after the game.

After just three minutes of the third quarter, the Saints hadn’t scored a point and their lead had been almost halved. Coach Dominic O’Neill was forced into using a timeout to stop the 12-0 run from Leicester. The load of playing two games in as many days had started to show its effects on the second-seeded side.

Shooting guard Leon Henry led the Leicester charge, scoring 10 points in the first five minutes of the second half. His hot hand from behind the three-point line was found multiple times by point guard Carl Pearson.

The scoring form of Shomari Simmonds meant the Saints were able to keep their opposition at arm’s length. His eight points in the latter half of the third quarter meant that the lead was only down to 18 at the start of the fourth.

Small forward Connor Murtagh’s off ball movement led to open shots and layups for himself in the final 10 minutes. The 28-year-old extended the lead, but the Warriors’ kept answering back. Henry went shot for shot with his counterpart, but Leicester couldn’t overcome the lead built by the Saints in the first half.

St Helens are now guaranteed to be the second seed in the upcoming playoffs, having won 18 games out of 20. They will play which ever team finishes seventh in their division, which, at this moment, is Leicester.