Knights strengthened their claim for a third straight Albany Basketball Association men’s A-grade title, warming up for next week’s second semifinal clash with Railways Tigers with a nine-point win over the same opponent on Tuesday night. Both Knights and Railways were safe in the top two heading into the last regular game of the season but Knights had lost their past two encounters between the two. Knights led by four points at half-time and then a strong five-minute period in the second half set up their nine-point victory. Railways got the margin back to four points early in the second half but Knights kept finding answers as Luke McGuire and Ezra Marques blew the margin out to 12 in the space of three minutes. The margin was quickly out to a game-high 16 points and despite Railways again challenging, the classy defending champions prevailed 49-40. Mcguire and Marques top-scored in the win with 12 points each while Cyrus Upson led the way for Railways with 12 also. Barking Owls pushed their way back into the top four after a convincing 76-46 win over Blazers. Owls sat outside the top four heading into the final round, needing a win to jump ahead of Tigers who had the bye in round 16. A second half onslaught guided Owls into yet another finals appearance, as youngster Liam Murdock dominated with 26 points and reliable veteran Justin Benson dropped 24 in the 30-point win. Ambassadors will take some confidence into the finals after an impressive 87-49 win over Raiders. Ambassadors took control after half time, scoring 51 points in the second half to run away with their seventh win of the year and finish in third place. Caleb Carman as he has done all year led from the front with 29 points and Todd Kniuman added 16.