Kirovograd Kirov

Kirov marches to Higher League success

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Kirovograd KirovKirovograd Kirov won the Ukrainian Higher League title after defeating Avangard 82-67 in the Final game in Kiev. The result means Kirov wins the second tier league and will progress to the Ukraine Superleague for the 2014/2015 season.

It was a game controlled by Kirov as the team took an early initiative and never looked back, taking the first quarter 27-17. That ten point cushion gave the leaders a strong base and in the second frame Kirov controlled the pace of the game and dictated the floor. While only winning the stanza by 3 points, Kirov held a commanding 46-33 lead heading into the changing room at halftime. The first half success had been built on an unselfish passing game, with the title winners dishing out 26 assists throughout the contest. The third quarter continued in the same vein as Kirov continued to ascend in the game, eventually holding a 69-49 lead after 30 minutes of play. With 20 points the difference, Kirov could ease off in the fourth stanza, allowing Avangard to steal the period, but it was too little too late for the losing team.

Maxim Balashov led the scoring for Kirov with a game high 21 points, while Quintrell Thomas (image) logged 19 points and 9 rebounds. DeAndre Mays also contributed for the winners with 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 12 assists.

There were two double-double performances on the Avangard roster. Volodymyr Gurtovyy took 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Oleg Saltovets claimed 14 points and 14 rebounds as both players kept Avangard in the game.

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