Day 1 Recap: 2016 All Ireland Schools League Finals
February 22, 2016
January 22nd, 2016, National Basketball Arena
All Ireland Schools League U19C Boys Final
Adamstown CS 64, Blackrock College 60
Adamstown Community College claimed their first ever All-Ireland title with victory over Blackrock College in the All Ireland Schools U19C Boys League final. It was a game of two contrasting styles - Blackrock had boundless athletic ability while the basketball nous of Adamstown and MVP Lourd Valenzuela in particular that saw them through.
They set up in a zone defence to offset their size disadvantage and used quick transition to tee up solid outside shooting for Mikus Salna. When they put the ball on the floor they had the winning of the game but Blackrock were enjoying playing on a big stage in front of their fans once Tom Dowdall and Calum Henry got up to speed.
Henryâs juggernaut drives were a feature of the first half but it was the offensive rebounding of Andrew Keenan that put Blackrock into the lead. The big forward hit six points in a row for his side before Karl Conroyâs first basket of the game nudged his side in front 25-23 at the break.
Conroy used more available space to give Blackrock their biggest lead of the game in the third quarter. Rory Linane and Rob Somers were also putting in a decent shift but the sides were level when Chiolo Anoneuvo arched in a three-pointer and got on the end of incisive passing from Valenzuela and Michael Lenghel.
The crowdâs style was as contrasting as the players. Blackrock were drumming and chanting in response to Adamstown popping and locking. It was the precision and guile of Adamstownâs players that saw them move out in front with a 10-0 run, capped when Valenzuela converted his own steal.
Dowdallâs drive up the middle had Blackrock back in the hunt, necessitating a pile-driver three from Valenzuela and another from Anoneuvo to see Adamstown through.
Adamstown Coach Andrew Flynn said: âItâs the second time we beat Blackrock this season. They are massive boys, very well drilled and very hard to defend against, but we beat them by four in the Dublin final. We stuck it out again today because we never know when weâre beaten. This was our first ever All-Ireland Final.â
Adamstown CS: Mikus Salna 17, Michael Lenghel 8, Lourd Valenzeula 30, Chiolo Anonuevo 9, Pudens Nsiete. Substitutes: Geadal Mande, Ciaran Cullen, Sean Eniola, Oleg Kuvinikov, Rahul Kondassema, Luqmann Mohammed, John Birhiray
Blackrock College: Tom Dowdall 6, Andrew Keenan 16, Rory Linane 12, Karl Conroy 9, Calum Henry 12. Substitutes: Aidan Murphy, Barry OâSullivan, Rob Somers 4, Rhys Hennessy, Niall Godfrey, Rob Johnson, Mark Crowley
HT: Adamstown CS 23, Blackrock College 25
MVP: Lourd Valenzeula
All Ireland Schools League U19C Girls Final
Loreto Crumlin 33, St. Aidanâs Cork 27
The girls of Loreto Crumlin were U19C victors at the All-Ireland Schools League finals, making amends for defeat at the semi-finals stage of last yearâs U16C competition. They beat St. Aidanâs of Cork 33-27, with all five starters getting on the score sheet.
âItâs 10 years of hard work to get where we are and badly needed in the school,â said winning coach Darren McGuinness. âWe knew St. Aidanâs would struggle outside, so our focus was to keep the defence compact and force them to shoot from distance. With our two Ireland players, we thought we had the advantage.â
Crumlinâs players of international experience were Claire Quinn Nealon and Ciara White. Quinn-Nealonâs bazooka right arm and step up in the fourth quarter earned her an MVP award while Whiteâs constant hustle set a trend well maintained by Niamh White and Reanne Devlin.
St. Aidanâs were rocked by a pre-game injury to captain, point-guard and National Cup winner Kelly Murphy and lacked an element of control in the early possessions. Loreto looked to target any hesitation in the back court with a high press and plenty of trapping.
Loreto pushed out to a 9-3 lead before St. Aidanâs grew into the game. Jodie Forde fired in the first basket of the second quarter for the Cork side and was a constant threat inside the free-throw line. She was swarmed by Crumlin but still had the tenacity to get shots away and narrow the gap further still from the free-throw line.
Kaitlyn Longâs fast-break finish had the margin back to 19-15 by the end of the third quarter. Loreto Crumlin had a clear offensive edge, but it wasnât translating into baskets.
Crucially through, St. Aidanâs missed their chance to make it a one-possession game. Crumlin pounced with a 10-0 run sparked by Quinn Neylonâs baseline drive and although St. Aidanâs applied plenty of pressure down the home stretch, they were up against it in the shortened format of eight-minute quarters.
Loreto College Crumlin: Claire Quinn Nealon 14, Ciara White 9, Reanne Devlin 13, Eniola Salami 2, Niamh White 3. Substitutes: Chelsea Whelan, Rebecca Bohan 2, Jol Neuda, Honey Gamil, Niamh White, Kristia Segovia, Julia Cortez.
St Aidanâs Community College Cork: Kaitlyn Long 7, Jodie Forde 14, Niamh Nolan, Sarah OâConnell, Donna OâNeill 2. Substitutes: Eadaoin OâKeffee, Fawazzi Shabowale, Nicole Creagh, Sophie Murphy, Lydia Conway, Nicole Bolger 4, Kelly Murphy.
HT: Loreto Crumlin 17, St Aidanâs 10
MVP: Claire Quinn Nealon
All Ireland Schools League U16B Boys Final
St. Aidanâs Cork 45, DLS Waterford 41
De La Salle Waterford missed out on the chance to land an elusive league and cup double, losing narrowly to St. Aidanâs of Cork in the All-Ireland League U16B Boys decider at the National Basketball Arena.
Coach Dean Kavanagh started with the same five who were convincing winners in the Subway Schools Cup final a month earlier, but was up against a determined Cork side with plenty of pedigree on the floor.
Blount is a potent name in Irish Basketball. Jordan Blount was the top scorer at the U18 Menâs European Champions for Ireland and his younger brother was driving hard in a similar fashion as St. Aidanâs opened at breakneck speed. Blountâs early three-pointers put them out in front along with some fine individual skill and it was Blount again in the final quarter with the crucial baskets.
âDe La Salle are a very talented team,â said St. Aidanâs Coach Jodi Furlong. âWe watched them in the cup final and it could have gone either way. Theyâve achieved so much already this year at U16 and U19 level so Iâm sure theyâll be back next year.â
The win rarely looked out of reach for De La Salle. They dropped into a zone to take the sting out of St. Aidanâs surging offence and but for a couple of missed layups would have been ahead for the first quarter.
When St Aidanâs applied more pace to the ball than their feet they were able to get out in front. Jake Collins finished an easy layup off a 70-foot pass and dropped a late assist to Neil Francisco for a 17-13 lead.
Scott Dunphyâs return to the floor gave De La Salle more dynamism on offence. His mid-air dish to Osi Oshiojwemoh really caught the eye and a 6-0 run at the start of the third quarter put the DÃ©ise men in front.
Sean Walsh was enjoying a good battle with EJ Albino and stepped up with simple finishes on offence and big stops on defence as the game progressed. Blount snapped the run with another 50-foot drive and Albinoâs shooting finesse helped St. Aidanâs retake the lead.
The scrappy end to the third quarter didnât suit De La Salle and they found it harder and harder to penetrate. Geography was also causing a problem as they coughed up a number of shooting opportunities by stepping out of bounds.
Walsh got De La Salle back to within a point with two minutes remaining, but they were without Oshiojwemoh at the stage while St. Aidanâs were getting enough shots up to land the ones they needed.
St. Aidanâs Community College: Joel Ouethy, Jake Collins 9, Neil Francisco 8, Gareth Blount 21, EJ Albino 7. Substitutes: Josh Galvin, Eoin McCarthy, Christopher Bell, Neil Francisco, David Aluko, Michael Mc Elhinney, Colm Blount.
DLS Waterford: Angel Agharia 10, Scott Dunphy 9, Seaghan Walsh 13, Osi Oshiojwemoh 6, Jay Kavanagh 3. Substitutes: Shane Roche, Kiernan Murphy, Kalem Walsh, Harry Clooney, Chris Malone.
HT: St Aidanâs Cork 22, DLS Waterford 19
MVP: Gareth Blount
All Ireland Schools League U16C Girls Final
Kings Hospital Palmerston 41, St Ronans Lurgan 35
Sophie Muro was the star of the show as Kings Hospital Palmerstown saw off St. Ronanâs of Lurgan in the U16C Girls All Ireland League Final at the National Basketball Arena. The MVP who is originally from the north of Spain accounted for over 70% of her sideâs points total en route to a 41-35 win.
It didnât look that way early in the game as crisp and incisive ball movement put the Armagh school out to a 6-1 lead in the first quarter.
âWe talked about nerves and composure before the game and I thought we did a good job of settling in after a couple of baskets,â said Kings Hospital Coach Rob White. âWeâre a very sporting school and this is our first All-Ireland win for the girls side. Theyâve worked hard.â
Maebh McCambridge opened the scoring for St. Ronanâs after just three seconds and Towe had plenty of time to stretch their advantage. The Ulster girls getting plenty of possession on offence as they repeatedly crashed the boards but they lacked a little composure when it was time to pull the trigger and Kings Hospital got their noses in front with the help of Irene Amezqueta.
St. Ronanâs had leveled matters by half time. Elisha Donnelly was covering a huge amount of court and helped herself to four points with Dearbhla Coleman picking up the equalizer off a ricochet for 18-all.
Coleman was to finish as St. Ronanâs top scorer. She scored six points in the fourth quarter alone to keep the sides tied at 32-32 with four minutes to go. Muro was facing a wall of players at the half way line but she had the skill levels to break through and St. Ronanâs were sooned pegged back by team fouls. That allowed Eve Dowling to add to the scoring as Kingâs Hospital eventually pulled out of range.
Kingâs Hospital: Kacie Hackett 5, Beten Navarro, Ella Murtagh, Irene Amezqueta 4, Sofia Muro 29. Substitutes: Eve Dowling 1, Ella Barton, Monique Botha, Georgia Dunlop, Sky Wrafter, Maeve Macken 2, Moyin Lawal
St Ronanâs College, Lurgan: Michaela Doyle 4, Cait Towe 7, Dearbhla Coleman 12, Elisha Donnelly 6, Maebh McCambridge 6. Substitutes: Sophie Corbett, Oonagh McConville, Lily Towe, Katie McConville, Chloe Doone, Ella Beatty.
HT: Kingâs Hospital 18, St Ronanâs 18
MVP: Sofia Muro