Our U18’s faced off against Ballincollig in the quarter final of the National Cup in St. Clements on 4th December. It promised to be a cracking game of basketball and it did not disappoint!
Lions got off to a bit of a shaky start struggling to contain the sharp shooting Ballincollig lads, with Gabe O’Mahony nailing three 3-point shots in the first quarter, and Rory O’Flynn hitting us hard in the mid-range and with lay-ups to the ring. Despite some good scoring from Liam Price and Michael Fahy we finished the quarter down 22-34.
Our lads came out defensively stronger in the second quarter preventing the open shots that Ballincollig had in the first. Shots were dropping for us with Liam Price hitting four 3-point shots and Sean Morrissey running in some good scores under the basket. Half-time ended in our favour 54-51.
Ballincollig stepped up their defense in the third, forcing some mistakes from our lads. It went basket for basket in this quarter with Darragh Horkan and Sean Morrissey stepping up and making some strong scores. We finished up 78-73.
Ballincollig knew that it was all to play for in the fourth and it was go big or go home for those boys. They upped their defense and our lads found a big physical barrier every time they drove to the basket. Despite being physically contested Michael Fahy managed to put in some crucial scores both in play and from the free throw line.
At the other end of the court our lads found themselves in serious foul trouble with Danny Shahab and Patryk Rejowicz being particularly in trouble. A few calls didn’t go our way and it was not looking good for our lads. With 14 seconds on the clock we were 97-100 down.
Coach Trevor Moore called an important time-out which ensured we got possession in the front court. Danny Shahab in-bounded the ball to Darragh Horkan, Darragh took a couple of dribbles towards the basket, pulled up and looked for a shot but spotted Liam Price open on the 3-point line. Passed the ball to Liam who threw the ball up and hit the 3-point shot along with being fouled on the shot!!!! The crowd went wild! The score was 100-100, with 4 seconds on the clock. Liam stepped up to the free throw line, held his nerve and hit the shot. It was 101-100 in our favour with 4 seconds on the clock.
All we had to do was hold out defensively for the last 4 seconds. Ballincollig inbounded the ball. A wayward pass was fumbled and intercepted by the Lions and the final whistle went!!!!!! We took an amazing win!
Credit to all of the boys on both teams. They played their hearts out and left it all on the court. They gave the crowd an amazing and exciting game of basketball and reminded us all of why we love this game! Onwards to the semi-final now for the Lions!
Liam Price – 36
Darragh Horkan – 24
Michael Fahy – 19