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BASKETBALL: FOUR LETTERKENNY BLAZE TEAMS FOR ALL-IRELAND CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS

first_imgBASKETBALL: Under 14 Boys had already qualified for Super Cup Finals and All Ireland Club Championships having won the league outright. Our other three qualifying teams went on to win playoffs this weekend and therefore have also booked their places in the above. UNDER 16 BOYSBlaze under 16 boys went into the Northwest playoffs with the goal of securing a place in the All Ireland Club Championships. To succeed they would have to first have to over come a determined Ballyshannon side. Blaze started the game with full court man to man pressure in the hope of forcing Ballyshannon into turnovers. The plan worked and Blaze built up a strong lead of 31 to 4. With one eye on the final which was on later in the day Blaze started to run the bench and rest some players. Despite the score, Ballyshannon never gave up and started to close the gap. Blaze continued to push the ball offence and got some nice scores of the fast break. Blaze changed their defensive formation to zone and closed out the game with a score line of 53 to 22.Blaze would have to wait till after the next semi final between Donegal Town and Dungloe to see who they would be facing in the final. As it turned out Donegal Town emerged victorious from a very exciting match. Going into the final, Blaze knew that if they lost this game then they would have nothing to show for all their hard work. With everyone focused on the game, Blaze started were they left off against Ballyshannon. They started of playing their own brand of tenacious defence and fast moving of offence. Blaze played some excellent high energy defence and got their rewards with some easy scores of the fast break. Blaze went in at the half with a 39 to 23 lead. Donegal town continued to attack the basket and resulted in some of the Blaze players getting into foul trouble.  Blaze changed to a zone defence in an effort to stop the fouls and control the game. Blaze closed the game out with every player getting on the score sheet and a final score of 77 to 42. The Letterkenny boys are now looking forward to the Super Cup and the All Ireland’s.UNDER 16 GIRLS U16 North West Cup Semi Letterkenny Blaze 41 – Donegal Town 25Donegal Town got off to a great start and took an early lead in the opening quarter and led 15-8. Blaze came out fighting in the 2nd and played great defence and rebounded the ball really well to keep donegal scoreless in the 2nd quarter and  Blaze led 22-15 at half time.  A low scoring quarter from both teams  in the 3rd meant Blaze held onto their lead going into the final quarter leading by 10 points.  Blaze managed to control the final quarter and finished the game 41-25. Katherine Kelly had a great game for Blaze finishing the game with 17 points and Sophie Carr led the scorers for Donegal Town with 13 points. U16 North West Cup Final Letterkenny Blaze 41 Sligo All Stars 39 Letterkenny Blaze met Sligo All Stars in the final of the North West Cup. Having lost to All Stars twice in the league they knew it was going to be a tough battle. With only 2 points in it in the opening quarter, both teams would have to up their game to get ahead. Eilis Dolan had 7 points in a row and Aoibheann O Grady added 5 in the 2nd quarter to extend their lead to 7 points  at half time. Another tight quarter between the teams left Blaze with only a 6 point lead at the end of the 3rd with all to play for in the final quarter. We were left an exciting 4th quarter with both teams with players in foul trouble.  Sligo All stars were starting to catch with up the Blaze girls  however when the final whistle went it was Letterkenny Blaze on top with a 3 point lead.  Aoibheann o Grady finished the game with 11 points with Eilis Dolan and Eimear Quinn on 7 points for Blaze while All Stars Aishling O Reilly had 13 with Ciara Mooney on 11. UNDER 14 GIRLSLetterkenny Blaze U14 girls travelled to Ballyshannon on Sat March 5th to compete in the North West Play Offs. In their Semi Final they were matched up against a very spirited Sligo All Stars Team. It took both teams a little while to settle before Blaze got the first score of the game however this produced a quick response from Sligo and the game was up and running.Letterkenny gained the upper hand in the first quarter and this continued into the second quarter when a couple of converted fast breaks meant that Blaze went into the halftime interval leading by 9 points on a score line of 20-11.The Letterkenny team continued to add to their lead in the third quarter with some good teamwork on both ends of the court and while the fourth quarter was a closer affair the Letterkenny girls ran out comfortable winners with a final score of 34 – 26. A good performance with 9 different players getting on the score sheet.  Next up in the Final was a very well drilled Ballyshannon Team. Previous meetings between these two sides were very close hard fought games and this would prove to be the case once more.Both teams didn’t want to give any advantage to the opposition early on so the start of this game was a bit cagey with both teams not wanting to make any mistakes. This lead to a low scoring game however it did not lack in excitement as both teams worked hard for scores. A mixture of nerves and solid defence saw the first half end with Blaze ahead by 2 points at 13 -11. The large home crowd got behind their team in the second half however they were ably matched in noise levels by the loyal travelling support for Blaze. The second half mirrored the first with scores hard to come by however the young girls from Letterkenny Blaze were able to stretch their lead in the 3rd quarter and hold out for a well-deserved victory on a score of 23 – 18. Next up for the U14 girls is a meeting with Donegal in the North West Super Cup Final on March 13th with a 13.30 tip off in the Abbey Vocational School, Donegal Town. Donegal are North West League winners and will be strong favourites for the final particularly with home court advantage however something tells me that this team from Letterkenny Blaze will not be just going over to make up the numbers.Under 12 Boys and U12 Girls are in Ballyshannon this weekend to play in the League Finals for that age group.  Good luck to all the boys and girls.BASKETBALL: FOUR LETTERKENNY BLAZE TEAMS FOR ALL-IRELAND CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS was last modified: March 11th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:all-irelandbasketballLetterkenny blazeu14last_img read more