Letterkenny’s U18 Girls Basketball Team travelled to Gormanston College in Co. Meath last weekend to compete in the qualifying tournament for the Hula Hoops Basketball Ireland U18 Girls National Cup.
Six teams competed in Pool 1, with the top two teams earning a prestigious place in the Cup quarter-finals.
Blaze were drawn against Donegal Town and Templeogue on Saturday. First up was Donegal Town and both teams started brightly with Blaze holding a slender margin of two points at the end of the first quarter.
Blaze gained the upper hand in the 2nd quarter and maintained the momentum until the final whistle and winning 65 – 41.
The second game on Saturday was a much tougher game against the highly fancied Templeogue. It was the Dublin team that got off to a fast start and they maintained control of the game in the first two quarters, leading 31 – 16 at have time.
Blaze worked hard at both ends of the court in the final two quarters but the gap was too big to make-up and Templeogue won the game 60-41.
The win against Donegal Town on Saturday ensured that Blaze earned a place in the semifinal on Sunday against last years National Cup runners-up, Glanmire of Cork.
Blaze would have been labelled the underdogs going into this game but the Letterkenny ladies had other ideas and brought the game to the cork side leaving only three points between the team at halftime on a score of 30-27 in favour of Glanmire.
Blaze gained control of the game in the 3rd and 4th quarters turning a three-point deficit into a six-point victory, with the final score of 51 – 45.
This victory meant that Blaze were one of eight teams into the quarter-finals of the Hula Hoops National Cup.
The final game of the weekend saw a repeat of Saturday’s match-up against Templeogue with the winner being rewarded with a home draw in the quarterfinals.
This was a much closer affair with only the bare minimum of one-point between the teams at halftime on a score of 31-30 in favour of Templeogue. Blaze took a slender lead early in the third quarter and had the Dublin side showing signs of panic.
However, their efforts in the previous three games started to take its toll with tiredness starting to creep up on the Letterkenny girls and Templeogue ran in a few fast breaks to regain control and eventually running out winners on a flattering score of 69-57.
This was a fantastic team performance with every one of the nine girls making a significant contribution to creating history – becoming the first girl’s team from the North West to reach the quarter-final stages of the U18 Girls National Cup.
Next up is an away trip to the infamous Parochial Hall in Cork to play Glanmire in mid-December.
Team: K Kelly, C Kelly, K McGovern, L Kealy, E Quinn, A Curley, C McGeever, A O’Grady, S CunninghamTags: