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Under 16's Lions go down………but not without a fight!!!

Under 16's Lions go down………but not without a fight!!!

On Saturday 13th February, Limerick Lions U16 boys played Ballincollig in a Cork Division A League Game. This game was played at St. Clements College – home to Lions.

Lions would face this Ballincollig side without their starting point guard Nathan Moore who was recovering from a minor injury. Joey Byrne stepped into the point guard position and played some great basketball.

The Lions boys have been continually improving this season and this was obvious with a much improved performance since they last played this Ballincollig side in the first half of the season.

The first quarter would see Joey Byrne starting in at the point guard position, Eoin O’Donnell and Andrew McMahon starting at the guard positions, Obi Josephs starting in at forward and Cathal Morrissey starting at centre.

Lions would put the first score on the board with Andrew scoring a strong drive. Ballincollig quickly responded with a three pointer, but Eoin answered right back with a big three for the Lions. The Lions boys played very intense active defense which led to Ballincollig turning the ball over and the Lions boys punishing them at the other end. This defensive intensity was stepped up a gear with the introduction of Dylan Sutton into the game during the first quarter which led the Lions boys extending their lead further. Obi and Cathal rebounded and scored well in this quarter. The score at the end of the first quarter was 28-17 to Lions.

Ballincollig made an expected run back at the Lions boys in the second quarter. The Lions lads got a bit sloppy with their passing and Ballincollig capitalised on this taking a three point lead at the half. Cathal, Andrew and Eoin made some great baskets during this quarter.

The second half kicked off at high speed with Ballincollig trying to extend their lead. The young Lions boys hung in there with Andrew getting two great steals that lead to Lions scores. Ronan Cregan checked into the game and made an immediate impact with good off the ball movement and a nice outside score. Obi, Andrew, Eoin and Joey continued to score for the Lions.

Going into the fourth quarter, there was just nine points between the sides with Ballincollig leading 60 – 51. Obi and Andrew lead the scoring in this quarter for the Lions but it wasn’t enough and Ballincollig pushed on to win comfortably in the end.

But the Lions coach has to be very happy with his teams overall performance, particularly without the scoring power of Nathan Moore. Ballincollig are a strong Cork side and the Lions boys certainly put it up to them for the majority of this game.

Top scorers for Lions were Andrew with 20 points, Obi with 17 points, Eoin with 12 points and Cathal, Dylan, Joey, Ronan and Cian combining for the remaining points.

Also other squad members who gave a great contribution to this victory are Sean Roche and Iarlaith Cosgrove.