Blaze U16 girls welcomed Donegal Town to the convent in a top of the table clash in the last North West league game of the season.
Only two points separated the teams in last week’s clash and with automatic qualification to All Ireland Club Championships at stake both teams were gunning for a win.
The opening quarter was a low scoring affair with both teams struggling to convert their chances and ended with Donegal taking a 1 point lead to finish 6-5. In the 2nd quarter the home side upped the intensity on defence and this created scoring opportunities with Laura Kealy getting to the basket at ease.
Blaze’s shooting duo of Eilish Dolan and Anna Curley were starting to find their range and pitched in with 9 points to help extend Blaze’s lead to 7 at half time.
Blaze opened the 2nd half with back to back 3’s from Dolan. Donegal weren’t going to give up without a fight with Sophie Carr and Amy Lorinyenko attacking the basket well and punishing Blaze from the free throw line. Blaze controlled the boards throughout the game with Eimear Quinn, Aoibheann O’ Grady and Katherine Kelly doing trojan work pulling down rebounds at both ends of the floor.
More back to back 3’s this time from Curley to end the quarter would keep pushing out the lead to finish with a 16 point gap. In the final quarter Blaze’s defence would hold Donegal to just 4 points and with the home side showing no signs of slowing down scoring another 20 points to run out as winners on a scoreline of 67-35.
It was a great team performance and preparations are now underway for the All Ireland Club Championships. Laura Kealy led all scorers with 21 points, Eilis Dolan 14, Anna Curley 9. For the visitors Sophie Carr 13, Amy Lorinyenko 7 and team captain Andrea Furey 6
This weekend sees NW semi-final Cup action with U16 boys meeting Kilcar BC on Sat 18th in Ballyshannon. The following week sees the finals of the cup with u14 Blaze boys already through to play Ballyshannon in AVS Donegal Town. The winners of the Cup are then in the Supercup the weekend of the 1/2 April in the AURA Leisure Centre. The winner of the league and the winner of the cup both progress to the AICC’s.
BIG basketball action that weekend of 1/2 April in the LYIT also. The mens/ladies Superleague semi finals and finals are being played together with that of Division 1. The Superleague is a semi professional league and therefore it is the chance to see many professional players on court. At the moment it’s looking like top 4 being Templeogue BC (who won the league), Griffith Swords Thunder (who won National Cup), Warriors BC Tralee for whom Kieran Donaghy (GAA) plays and UCD Marian. In the ladies its just the final being played and at the moment Glanmire BC Cork are sure to be through with the second place still up for grabs. This really is an opportunity to see the best of senior basketball played. Games at 12.00, 14.00, 16.00, 18.00 & 20.00 Sat and 12.00, 14.00 & 16.00 on Sunday.