By Paul McCotter
We recently took 3 teams to Ballyshannon. The under 12 girls, under 14 development boys and under 14 boys left Belfast last Sunday and journeyed together on a coach to Ballyshannon to play a series of friendlies.
3 hours and 1 toilet stop later we were ready to play the first match of the day. The under 14 development boys got us under way and eventually pulled away in a low scoring affair winning 21-7. Jake McCotter top scored with 6 points, and 4 points each from Patrick Doran and Callum Morgan helped us along. Congratulations to Conal Shaw and Patrick Lyons who played their first matches in a star shirt. Patrick also got his first Star points with a great layup.
Next up were the under 14 boys. The match started slowly and the teams were closely matched in the first quarter. Darragh Ferguson made a couple of trademark leftie layups to put some daylight on the scoreboard and Star took control. Indial and big Niall contributed some more baskets and the result was heading our way. Saul, Darragh Maguire and Thomas Morgan also scored to seal the win comfortably. The game gave coach Sherlock a chance to bring Jake, Thomas and Luke Donnelly to play up a level and gain some much needed experience. Special mention goes to Luke O'Connor who fouled out in 6 minutes!! The transition from hurling season to basketball taking him by surprise maybe?
Last up were the girls who had patiently waited for their chance to play. The Ballyshannon girls were a bit older and bigger and it was a tough start for them. The first quarter went very quickly and a more determined team came out for the second. Scores from Layla and Orla settled the team and Emma, Kearna and Aoibhin also hit some shots. The boys were in great voice and provided much needed support which seemed to lift the girls to raise their game in the second half. Hannah, Ruth, Mia and Lucy raised their game and what looked like being a blowout at the start of the game turned into a respectable defeat. Coach Mullan was quoted as being "happy with the improvement during the game". When the girls play at their own age group they will prove difficult to beat.
We eventually brought a coach full of tired Stars home by 9pm as promised!
Many thanks to Tracey and Ballyshannon for providing a great afternoon of basketball and tea and sandwiches for all. We look forward to you coming to visit us in the new year.