St. Mary’s U-16 Girls Bring First International Title Home

St. Mary's U-16 Girls / Tour to Spain team 27/03/2017

International Tournament Champions: The St. Mary’s Girls’ U-16 Basketball team in their Irish Drain Services sponsored Spanish tour gear. Included are: front from left: Gemma Kearney, Millie Luck, Shauna Ahern, Liam Brosnan, Irish Drain, Main Sponsor; Kayla O’Connor, Emma O’Regan and Abbie Brosnan. Back row: Aoife Nolan, Coach; Sadhbh Prendiville, Saoirse Murphy, Áine Sheehan, Danni Reidy, Aoife Dunlea, Bríd Moriarty and Conor Brosnan, Coach.

St. Mary’s Basketball Club’s U-16 girls made the long journey last week to Malgrat de Mar in Barcelona to take part in the 32nd annual Tomas Sola tournament.

They also made history by winning it – and the first ever international title for the club in its many illustrious years in existence.

Report by Liz Galwey

The journey proved to be worthwhile as the girls had a brilliant run and came home tournament winners.

This is the first international for St. Mary’s club and a fantastic achievement for the team and their coaches, Conor Brosnan and Aoife Nolan.

Made Their Mark

The girls received a walkover in the first game scheduled. The second game was against Gruner Stern Keltern from Germany and the Castleisland girls made their mark here with a series of fast breaks, brilliant defence and great team work saw them take the game 61 points to 16.

Game three was against French side Defi Sport and again defence and quick accurate passing resulted in yet another comprehensive win.

Final score here was St. Mary’s 86 Defi Sport 12.

Physical and Tough

The semi-final was physical and tough, the opponents were Swiss side Del Basket who were tall and physically stronger than the Kerry girls.

It was in the last quarter that St. Mary’s pulled well away to book a place in the final on a score line of 45 points to 27.

The final was without doubt the game of the weekend for the girls who were now down to 10 players. The opponents were Hurther BC from Germany, these girls boasted three German Internationals.

Stuck With It

The Castleisland girls got into foul trouble early in the game but the pressure pushed them to step outside their comfort zone. With an international title within grasp the girls stepped up to the challenge, post players netted threes down the stretch and everyone stuck with it to the bitter end. St. Mary’s were rewarded winning the game by a single basket.

Final score St. Mary’s 36 Hurther BC 34.

The team will arrive home at some unGodly hour during the week and I’m sure that the club will arrange an appropriate stage from which the girls and their coaches can show their international winnings. They’re a credit to their community.

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