LETTERKENNY Blaze U18 Men’s team travelled to Calasanctius College, Oranmore last weekend to compete in the qualifying tournament for the Basketball Ireland U18 Men’s National Cup.
Six teams competed for the prestigious prize of a home draw in the cup quarter final.
Blaze were up against host club Maree and South Tipp Titans on Saturday and came out on top in both games by comfortable margins. The full panel played their part in both games and all players contributed with baskets and worked hard in defence to restrict the other teams’ scoring opportunities.
Saturday’s success resulted in a semi-final match up with a much fancied and confident St Vincent’s team from Dublin.
The Dublin outfit found it hard to stay with the fast pace and accurate shooting from Blaze in the first quarter which ended with the Letterkenny lads leading 24 – 12. St Vincent’s came out in the second and third quarter and played a very high tempo game, only reducing the margin to 8 and still in favour of Blaze. After withstanding everything St Vincent’s could throw at them, Blaze took control of the game in the fourth and ran out winners by 81 to 65 (T Hickey 36, A McGeever 15, C Hickey 14).
The final saw Blaze matched against Kestrels from Laois. This was the fourth game in two days for both teams however that did not reduce the pace or level of skill on display from both teams. Blaze started the game well and used the fast break to their advantage. With the Blaze players working hard in defence, this greatly limited the Laois lads inside opportunities. The first half ended with Blaze leading by 13 on a score line of 42 -29.
The second half followed a similar pattern and Letterkenny Blaze ran out convincing winners 70 – 53 (T Hickey 28, C Hickey 17, A McGeever 9)
Letterkenny Blaze now look forward to a home quarter final against last year’s winners Belfast Star on the weekend of the 7th/8th of December.
Speaking after the game, coaches Mark and Ian said that they were delighted with the performance of all 10 panel members.
Basketballdirect.co.uk will be in the Loreto gym during training this Saturday with all the latest basketball gear available at very keen prices.
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