12,000 Expected to Attend Christmas Basketball Blitz

At the launch of the 49th annual St. Mary’s Basketball Blitz were: seated: Donal O’Connor, Vince Barry, Theresa Curtin and Bríd Kenny. Back from left: Cathaoirleach of Killarney Municipal District Cllr.John Sheahan, Tom McCarthy National League team sponsor and Tom Kenny.
At the launch of the 49th annual St. Mary’s Basketball Blitz were club chairman, Eamon Egan, Angela O’Donoghue, Munster Joinery and Donal O’Connor, tournament director.

St. Mary’s Basketball Club launched its 49th Annual Blitz on Friday evening in Tom McCarthy’s Bar, Castleisland.

The event is recognised as the biggest basketball tournament in Ireland.

By Liz Galwey, PRO

This year 22 competitions will be run off, there will be 164 games and 93 hours of basketball taking place over the five days.

12,000 Attendance Expected

It is expected that in the region of 12,000 will attend over the five days. The competitions cater for everyone from second class in primary school to superleague teams.

The big event will be the Munster Joinery Premier competition which sees some local rivalry in Superleague sides Garvey’s Tralee Warriors and Keanes Supervalu while division one sides, Scotts Lakers St. Paul’s and Limerick Celtics will also contest the title.

Major Sponsors

Sponsorship for the event is raised locally by many businesses in Castleisland and throughout the county while the major sponsors are Munster Joinery, Garvey’s Supervalu, Den Joes Restaurants and Walsh Colour Print/educate.ie

Speakers at the event included Cathaoirleach of Killarney Municiple District, John Sheahan who praised the founder Donal O’Connor, Chairman Eamon Egan and the committee for their ongoing dedication.

The blitz commences on December 26th and runs through December 30th when the final game of the evening will be the Premier men’s final.

Defeat for Team Tom McCarthy’s

Team Tom McCarthy’s suffered a defeat in the quarter final of the division one women’s cup at the weekend.

They started well with a spread of scores saw them lead 21 points to 11 at the end of the first.

The tables turned in the second quarter with Swords Thunder hitting 21 while holding St. Mary’s to 10 to see the home team lead by a point at half time.

The third quarter was evenly contested with Team Tom McCarthy’s taking it by a point to see the sides level as they entered the final period.

Harsh Calls Made

Some harsh calls had been made and St. Mary’s had several players in foul trouble. Deirdre Geaney sustained an injury and was forced to leave the game which was a huge loss. Lorraine Scanlon picked up her fifth foul and was missed under the boards at both end of the court. Swords took full advantage of the losses and powered ahead to outscore the Castleisland girls by fourteen and take the game on a score line of 77 points to 63.

Top Scorers for St. Mary’s: Lorraine Scanlon, 15; Deirdre Geaney, 14; Meabh Barry, 13; Labhaoise Walmsley, 10; Mary Herlihy, 7 and Cliona Coffey 4.

Team Tom McCarthy’s play at home next weekend, they tip off at 6.30pm against table toppers Maree.

U-18 Girls Out of National Cup

St. Mary’s U-18 girls bowed out of the National Cup at the weekend. Their Garvey’s SuperValu home game against Waterford Wildcats was played on Sunday afternoon.

Waterford won the tip but failed to convert. Both sides had turnovers before Shauna Ahern registered the first score of the game for the home side.

Shauna Ahern Levelled for Mary’s

Waterford’s Robyn Morrissey responed and Debbie Ogayemi added another to put the visitors ahead before Ahern levelled for St. Mary’s.

Wildcats took control and went eight points up. Millie Luck and Emma O’Regan kept St. Mary’s in touch

Shauna Ahern won rebounds at both ends of the court and the home side reduced the gap to six points at the end of the first.

Baskets Added

Emma O’Regan opened for the home side, both Ciara Ryan and Millie Luck added baskets to reduce the gap but Waterfords team captain Abby Flynn along with Robyn Morrissey ensured that WildCats kept their lead as the quarter progressed. Mary’s captain Danni Reidy hit her first score of the game and added a bonus.

Irish International Siofra O’Shea made a great steal and set Gemma Kearney up for a score but once again Abby Flynn responded.

Series of Scores

The sides traded baskets throughout the remainder of the quarter and just five points separated the sides at the half time interval.

It was the home side once again who opened the scoring in the third quarter with a basket from Millie Luck but this was followed by a series of scores from Wildcats who widened the gap to seven as the sides entered the final quarter. St. Mary’s managed just one score in the first five minutes of the fourth while Wildcats pushed ahead to take the game by 13.

Final score: St. Mary’s 57 WIT Wildcats 70

Team and Scorers

St. Mary’s: Shauna Ahern, 15; Emma O’Regan, 9; Millie Luck, 8; Siofra O’Shea, 7; Rachel Ryan, 7; Gemma Kearney, 4; Danni Reidy, 3; Ciara Ryan, 2; Aoife Dunlea, 2.

WIT Wildcats: Abby Flynn, 23; Robyn Morrissey, 14; Debbie Ogayemi,13; Katie Hickey, 12; Anna Grogan, 4; Bami Olukayode, 2.

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