The girls of Presentation Castleisland won the Subway Schools All –Ireland under 14 Cup in the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght by one point in a thriller on Tuesday, February 20th.
The semi-finals and final, if reached, were both to be played in the National Arena on the same day.
A Close Encounter
The first game was against Virginia College, Cavan and this was a very close encounter as the Pres Girls trailed by three points at the start of the fourth quarter.
The girls had played the first three quarters full court man to man defence and the Cavan girls were visibly tiring.
The last quarter was won 13 points to two and the scene was set for an all Kerry final as Pobal Scoil Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore had advanced to the final by defeating Malahide Community School by 40 – 38.
Went to Overtime
The final was a very close and exciting affair, so close that the teams could not be separated in regulation time and the game went to overtime.
Rathmore won the first quarter 10-7 and held a slender one point lead at the half.
Castleisland enjoyed a purple patch in the third quarter and at one point lead by seven points but Rathmore scored a nice basket at the end of the third and the lead was down to five points.
Lead Changed Hands
Rathmore came out of their zone defence at the start of the fourth quarter and went full court man to man, they went into the lead with four minutes remaining.
From this point on the lead changed hands on several occasions. Castleisland went into the lead by two points with seconds remaining only to be pegged back when Rathmore scored two free throws under serious pressure.
Momentum With Rathmore
This put the game into overtime and the momentum was with Rathmore.
The Sliabh Luachra girls scored first in overtime but the lead was reduced when the Pres girls scored one free throw.
With just 20 seconds left Castleisland scored a basket and held out in a nail biting finish to win by just one point.
Tuesday’s win means that Coach John Enright has been instrumental in bringing a total of 22 All-Ireland titles to the school since the late 1980s.
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