Game 1: Thunder 42 – Clippers 53
Conor Dorrian (Thunder) got off the mark early in this one and punished the Clippers inside through his post play. That was before Steve Cannon began to heat up hitting three consecutive three-pointers for the Clippers. Paul Murray was in fine form also as he worked extremely hard for his Clippers to give them a 5-point halftime lead. Thunder’s Padhraic Coll, who has played well during the Summerleague despite his teams record, notched scores on the break, but these were quickly cancelled out by Necip Gercek. Moe Ismail rallied the Clippers to a win in the last few minutes. Top Scorers: (Thunder) Conor Dorrian 18pts and (Clippers) Steve Cannon 16pts.
Game 2: Celtics 48 – Magic 52
This was a close game from start to finish, with multiple lead changes. Pete Rose shot the ball good in the first half for the Celtics, while Edvinas Dapsys continued slashing to the basket and converting in traffic for Magic. Daniel McArdle grabbed a few steals, which resulted into easy lay-ups, and Erik Dragunas attacked the basket for scores to give Magic a one-point lead towards the end. Paul McHugh responded with a number of drives of his own to restore the lead for Celtics 48-46 with less than a minute to go. Mark Cannon calmly knocked down two free throws to tie and then Erik Dragunas stole the ball and found Cannon under the basket for a lay-up to seal the game for the Magic. Top Scorers: (Celtics) Paul Mc Hugh 24pts and (Magic) Mark Cannon 15pts.
With Lakers needing a win to stay in the playoff race, they had to dig deep all the way until the buzzer in this one. Big Ger Murray was huge in the opening half for the Bulls scoring all 12 of his points in it, however he barely touched the ball in the second half, which ultimately hurt their chances of progressing to the playoffs. John Cronin hit a couple of midrange jump shots for the Lakers, while Kieran O’Neill attacked the rim time and time again with success. Troy Morris matched him with drives of his own for the Bulls, while Pauric Carr began to come into the game in the second half. Bulls scored on a lay-up with 15 seconds to go to put them up one point. Lakers came down the court and O’Neill hit a three to send the Lakers up by two points and they held on to win the game in an exciting finish. Top Scorers: (Lakers) Kieran O Neill 26pts and (Bulls) Pauric Carr 17pts.
Game 4: Celtics 62 – Bulls 60
The winner of this game would go to the semi-finals, while the loser would be out of contention and into the spooner game. Celtics only had four so the game would be played 4v4, which meant there was a lot more space on the court for drives, and one person in particular took advantage of this to the maximum with an outstanding individual performance from Paul McHugh who netted a Summerleague record 49points for the Celtics. He scored drive after drive in the opening half as the Bulls switched defenders on him but to no avail. Conor McGoohan and Troy Morris (Bulls) hit numerous mid ranger shots between tem to keep this close throughout. Celtics responded with Manus Crampsey and Renatas Jocys getting on the scoreboard. James Potts was strong on the defensive end for Celtics. Pauric Carr had a number of sweet drives to the basket, while Ger Murray came into the game more as he got the ball in a position that could hurt their opponents. The game went score for score in the final minutes and McHugh eventually got the score that would seal their place in the playoffs, in yet another nail biting Summerleague game that went down to the end. Top Scorers: (Celtics) Paul McHugh 49pts and (Bulls) Pauric Carr 22pts.
Game 5: Lakers51 – Thunder 46
Lakers got another much needed win to secure their playoff spot and raced out to an early lead 12-0 before Billy Banda entered the game and used his strength and experience to hurt the Lakers inside. The comeback was on for the Thunder and they were beginning to rattle the Lakers. However they responded through Eduardas Diktonis and Padraig Barrett working well together inside. Connor Reid had a big first half for the Thunder to reduce the gap to five points. The second half was close, with Mike Foy drawing a nice charge, before Billy Banda dominated the post at the other end. Kieran O Neill showed stepped up with a number of big blocks and plays for his Lakers team to help them holds on for the win and a playoff spot. Top Scorers: (Lakers) Kieran O Neill 15pts and (Thunder) Billy Banda 25pts.
Game 6: Magic 62 – Clippers 48
This game did not really mean too much as both teams had qualified for the playoffs, it just determined the seeding, with the winner taking 1st place. Magic started strong and led from start to finish in this one. Mark Cannon had a few nice passes as he found his team-mates on their cuts to the basket for easy scores. The Clippers Paul Murray scored well inside for his team to keep them close. Zak Balogun had a big game for the Magic as he controlled everything inside, and scored at will. Steve Cannon tried hard to lift the Clippers and proved to be a constant scoring threat all game, along with Rory O Brien who played good defence throughout, but Magic held on through Joseph King and Edvinas Dapsys as they won the game and topped the league standings. Top Scorers: (Magic) Zak Balogun 26pts and (Clippers) Steve Cannon 24pts.
The semi final match ups will see the 1st place team (Magic) against the 4th placed (Celtics), while the 2nd placed (Clippers) take on the 3rd placed (Lakers). The Bulls and Thunder will square off in the wooden spoon game.
All our information (stats, fixtures, results and more) can be viewed online at http://www.edwinfoley.ie/Letterkenny-Summer-League-2012