U15s Cork Cup 1st Round Vs Carrigaline in Parochial Hall

Lions won the tip-off which set Ben Madden up for a quick 2 points to start the game. This was answered by Carrigaline who came out blazing, with Oisin O’Halloran and Sam Ryan hitting 3 threes in a row between them before Kirill Yakovlev got Lions next 2 points with an inside move. The Lions Coach was forced to call a time-out and switch up the defense in order to try and contain the outside shooting from Carrigaline with Oscar Martin and Darragh Krausen helping to apply the defensive pressure. Scores were hard to come by for Lions but Horkan and Madden kept penetrating and Horkan was rewarded with a couple of free throws. John Finn and Shubh Sharma contributed with some strong rebounds, leading to Lions getting some fast breaks which were finished by Madden and Horkan. Yakovlev added to his tally with a 12 foot shot but thanks to Carrigaline’s continued good shooting form, they were 24 – 16 ahead at the end of the 1st quarter.
Finn McCarthy had the hot hand for Carrigaline in the 2nd quarter, scoring 7 of Carrigaline’s points. Harry Smith and Chris Hickey were introduced to the fray in this quarter and contributed to Lion’s improved defensive effort, containing Carrigaline to 13. Horkan kept the scoring going for Lions with a combination of shots, layups and free throws and answered O’Halloran’s 4th three of the game with 1 of his own.
Madden finished the scoring for the half with another good fast break. 12 – 15 the score for the quarter to see the overall half time score with Carrigaline ahead 36 – 31.
The Lions team were being rotated in the 3rd quarter to keep up the defensive pressure and succeeded in containing Carrigaline to 11 in this quarter despite O’Halloran hitting his 5th three. Horkan and Madden again combined for the Lions scores in this quarter but only managed 10 points and Carrigaline stretched their lead to 47 – 41.
U15s Cork Cup 1st Round Vs Carrigaline in Parochial Hall
U15s Cork Cup 1st Round Vs Carrigaline in Parochial Hall

Lions came out determined in the 4th quarter with Finn grabbing an early offensive rebound and getting fouled as he put the ball back up. He converted 1 of the 2 free throws. Lions pressure from Martin and Krausen intensified in this quarter which led to numerous Carrigaline turnovers preventing them from building on their lead. Vital rebounding from Sharma and Finn, allowed baskets from Madden and Horkan to reduce the margin. Some missed opportunities on both sides in the middle of the quarter allowed Carrigaline to keep their lead at 3 with just a few mins remaining. Yakovlev broke the drought when he converted an excellent shot from the top of the key to  bridge the gap to just 1 point.

Horkan then put Lions ahead for the 1st time in the game, only to see McCarthy put Carrigaline back in front but this was answered again by Horkan with a step back jump shot. Ryan was fouled driving to the basket and he converted 1 of his free throws to tie the game at 54 each, with 20 secs remaining. Lions let the clock wind down and with 8 secs made their move but the pressure from Carrigaline’s defense resulted in a miss. The missed opportunity to go ahead provided Carrigaline with the last shot of the game but the long range attempt ricocheted off the backboard to send the game into Overtime.

Horkan started the additional 3 minutes with a strong layup but Carrigaline answered with a free throw from Ryan and O’Halloran’s 6th three of the game. This was then followed by another basket from Ryan to put Carrigaline 4 ahead with just over 1 minute to go. At this stage, an ever-growing crowd had all the money on Carrigaline for the victory but Lions kept their composure and had no intention of rolling over. Horkan then managed to steal the ball at half court to run in an uncontested layup. 2 between the teams with 21 secs remaining. Carrigaline called a timeout at this point and made the decision to inbound from their own baseline. Lions applied a full court press in the hope of achieving the miracle of a steal or a turnover.
Carrigaline got the ball past halfcourt and with 11 secs left and the game running away, pressure from Sharma forced the ball back to a Carrigaline player in the center circle where Madden and Horkan forced Carrigalne to fumble the ball. Horkan managed to grab the ball from the ensuing scramble and took off towards the basket with a Carrigaline defender in hot pursuit. As the duo leapt towards the basket, Horkan kept the ball at arms length away from the defender and was fouled while in the act of converting the layup. 3 secs left on the clock, game tied, and the bonus free throw to follow.
Horkan, undaunted, with the entire gym engrossed on the climax of the game, made the bonus shot after the ball bounced twice on the ring before finally falling into the net. Surely that was the game for Lions as Carrigaline, a point down, had only 3 secs to get the ball the full lenght of the court but there was more drama to follow. Full court pressure continued for Lions to ensure that Carrigaline didn’t have it easy and with the adrenalin flowing and much to the dismay of the Lions supporters, they did the unthinkable and fouled a Carrigaline player in their own half. The crowd couldn’t believe it as this provided Carrigaline with the gift of 2 free throws with only 1 sec remaining. However, the first shot missed and luckily for Lions the 2nd shot hit the back of the ring and fittingly Horkan leapt highest to grab the rebound and seal the victory. Final score 60 – 61 to Lions.
Amazing performances on the day from the 2 teams and while unfortunately for Carrigaline, it was Lions who were rewarded for their endeavours to complete the comeback and they advance to the quarter final where Neptune awaits them.
Lions Scorers:
Darragh Horkan – 42
Ben Madden – 12
Kirill Yakovlev – 6
The extremely happy and relieved Lions players after their most exciting win.