1st Year Bounce Through Hoops to Make Finals
Both 1st year teams were informed they were in semi-finals, to be then told they had to play quarter finals. Both came through quarters unscathed, the A team winning 50-0 while the B team won 19-14. They were then informed they would play each other in the semis, which was disputed, as they were both unbeaten on opposite sides of the draw. This decision was later reversed, and it was confirmed they would both play different opposition in the semi-finals, as had been scheduled in the first instance.
On Monday, the 1st year B team and the 2nd Year A team made the trip to ALSAA Sports Complex to play Santa Sabina B and Dominican College, Griffith Avenue respectively. These teams had already played each other, the bragging rights with Our Lady’s. First up was the 1st Years and a great start left them 10-2 up at the first break. Sadhbh Clinton was in unstoppable form, scoring 6 of these and Queen Aqunloye adding the other 4 points. The 2nd five players to take to the court added another 4 points, courtesy of Captain, Jessica Carr, while keeping Sabina scoreless. The 3rd quarter followed a similar pattern, with Santa Sabina once again kept scoreless, while the Boynesiders ran in a further 8 points. Leisha Archbold and Casey Nugent were excellent in defence, but it was the scoring power of Sadhbh Clinton that stole the day, as she finished on a game high 12 points. Her team reaching their first final on a 24 –4 score line.
TEAM& SCORES: Captain, Jessica Carr 4; Queen Agunloye 4; Leisha Archbold 2; Sadhbh Clinton 12; Katie Connolly; Emma Farrell; Jessica Hevey; Evie Kirwan; Deimena Makauskaite; Aine Marron; Sarah McGrath 2; Kuhle Mdlalo and Casey Nugent.
The 2nd Year A team, playing in the Premier Division, was next on the floor. Their opposition was Dominican College, Griffith Avenue. These two sides met in January, when just a single point separated them, 25-24 to Our Lady’s. On that day D.C.G.A. were missing two of their ‘Club’ players so they were hoping to reverse this score line, with the return of these players. However, Our Lady’s had their own script and fired out of the block. Loveth Edonwande running the length of the court on a few occasions, to give her team a 10-2 lead at the break. Kate McGuigan also getting on the score sheet early on. The next five players in quarter two did not let the momentum slip, and they also notched up 10 points. This time it was the turn of Sarah Jane Hughes to turn up the heat, as she hit 8 points, while Nicole Tully added the other basket. The side had to be careful in the 2nd half as there is no restriction on which players play, and they could not afford to let Dominican back into this game. Their defence in the second half was superb, with special mentions due to Nicole Tully, Ella Flanagan and Captain Niamh Byrne. The Dublin side never threatened as the Louth girls ran in a further 26 points, to leave the result in no doubt this time. The final score of 46 – 9, reflecting their dominance in the game, and earning them aplace in their first final. Sarah Jane Hughes was top scorer on 16 points, followed closely by Loveth Edonwande on 14.
TEAM& SCORES: Captain, Niamh Burke; Uyi Aghavbere; Subomi Dele; Loveth Edonwande 14; Ella Flanagan 2; Sarah Jane Hughes 16; Amelia Lawrence; Ellen McCarthy; Kate McGuigan 6; Cliona McKernan 2; Nicole Tully 6 and Jowita Wyka.
The following day it was the turn of the 2nd Year B and the 1st Year A teams to travel to ALSAA Sports Complex to play in their semi-finals. Both teams would play Maryfield College, and first up was their A side against Our Lady’s B. It was a slow start for both sides, with the first quarter ending at 2 points each. Alma Harrak the sole contributor. Unfortunately, the next quarter did not improve much, and the half time score was 3 – 4. Maryfield were first to start playing and scored 9 points in the 3rd quarter, while restricting the ‘College’ to just a single point, thanks to Katie Ryan. They were 4 – 13 down going into the last quarter and were now playing for pride. They clicked in somewhat and started to show their capabilities. Their defence was much better, allowing them to steal the ball, but failed to capitalise at the other end on them all. Two scores late in the quarter by Grace Awe and Rebecca Tully brought them right back in to it, but time was not on their side, and when the final whistle blew, just 4 points separated the sides, 10 – 14. Unfortunately, they will have to wait another season for silverware.
TEAM& SCORES: Captain, Rebecca Tully 3; Grace Awe 4; Caitlin Duffy; Molly Durnin; Keelin Foley; Lily Mae Harmon; Alma Harrak 2; Teigan Kavanagh; Stephanie Obisan; Katie Ryan 1; Neda Totilaite and Grace Woods.
The 1st Year A team took to the floor, knowing nothing but a win would do, but that win would also mean playing their own B team in the final. This team have cruised through the league, but nerves were very evident in the 1st quarter, as both sides scored a single basket. Captain, Jessica Carron their only scorer. In quarter two, the next five players were waiting in anticipation to show what they could do and wasted no time in doing this. Armela Hotaj and Erin Kearney were tenacious in defence and caused Maryfield to turn the ball over on several occasions. They scored 12 points, while restricting Maryfield to a single free-throw. Eabha Woods was brilliant under the offensive boards, hitting 8 points. Maryfield failed to put up any kind of opposition in the second half, and indeed only scored a further 2 points. The 25 – 5 final score, ensuring the two first year teams from Our Lady’s College would contest the 2nd Division Final. Woods was their top scorer, with a season high 14 points.
TEAM& SCORES: Captain, Jessica Carron 6; Heather Breen 2; Leah Brodigan; Katie Dawson; Molly Dixon (injured); Emily Fitzpatrick; Armela Hotaj; Liana Karkle; Erin Kearney; Kate McDermott; Sophie McNally; Kiera McWilliams; Joy Mooney; Clodagh O’Connor (absent); Sheila Whyte 3 and Eabha Woods 14.
Three teams will now travel to the National Basketball Arena on Thursday 21st March to contest the Secondary Schools Association finals. The 2nd Year Premier final will take place at 1.55pm and Our Lady’s College A will play Mount Sackville A. The 1st Year, 2nd Division final is at 3pm and will be contested by Our Lady’s College A & B teams. All support is greatly appreciated and welcome.