Season 2014-15: Fixtures
Saturday 1st November
Away to North Star , 3.15pm W
Saturday 16th November
Home to Steelers, 2pm W
Sunday 30th November
Home to Tyrone towers , 1.15pm W
Saturday 20th December
Away to Tyrone Towers, 1,45 W 59-14
Sun 11 Jan
Home to North Star, 1pm
Sun 18th Jan
Home to Blaze, 2pm
Tues 27th Jan
Away to Queens, 8pm Wellington College
Saturday 31st Jan
Away to Phoenix, 11am (La salle)
Sunday 8th Feb
Home to Phoenix, 12.45pm
Sunday 15th Feb
Away to Steelers
Sunday 22nd Feb
Away to Blaze 12.15 Loretto
Friday 27th Feb
Home to Queens 17.15
QUEENS 38 STAR 40 @ Methody 26 January 2015
Star made the short trip across town to Methody for the first of two jousts with old friends Queens in a short space of time, and came away with the ‘W’ which they just about deserved, in a tight game which swung back and forth before finally settling in Star’s favour.
Star got out of the blocks well, with the new ‘numba 7’ Le John Smye connecting on his first three field goals including a trey to go 7-0 up. With Ethan Gibson playing his best game of the season, and Michael McWilliams & John Moran focused in on the job in hand, the starting 5 cantered off to a 12-2 lead by end of the first quarter, the highlight being a nice ‘oop’ to McWilliams from a side-line possession.
However, the tide turned in the second quarter, when Queens came roaring back, pouring in 16 unanswered points to take the lead, behind the strong play of Matthew Rooney & a few treys from Jordan McKinney. Eoin Nagle dug deep to steady the ship, and finally when Niall McGinnity got going Star got some momentum back and finally started to make some free-throws to sneak back into the lead by the half, 20-18.
Star finally started playing a bit more like themselves to start the third quarter, and with aggressive play and finally a bit of ball movement, started to carve out opportunities for themselves, and forcing Queens to foul, and by 2 minutes into the third quarter, team fouls were sending Star to the charity stripe. However, the team were unable to take advantage – they would end up missing 17 free throws over the game – and should really have put the game beyond reach. Inevitably, some calls started to go against them as so often happens when a team appears to be suffering a disadvantage, and Queens hung in to go into the final quarter only 3 behind.
Star pushed the lead out to 7 points, when a horrible call for an offensive foul on Le John - when he drew the foul and scored and walked to the line for his ‘and 1’ - was blown, and sure enough Queens went down the other end and hit a nice trey from Daniel Leggett – a big six point swing. To be fair, Leggett followed up with another trey from the same side, and it was a 1 point game again instead of being closed out at 10. The team regrouped again behind the solid play of Ethan Gibson and Eoin Nagle in the backcourt, and Niall McGinnity & Michael McWilliams at the 4 and 5, and after John Smye was fouled out with a few minutes to go, it was fitting that Niall scooped an offensive board to go ahead again, and Eoin connected on 1 of 2 freethrows to leave 3 in it. But it still wasn’t over yet, as Queens made one of two free throws, and when Star lost composure and turned the ball over off the ensuing in-bounds, Queens had a final chance to snatch a basket and send the game to overtime. One solid defensive play closed the game out, but not without a fright. Whilst nobody had a stand out game, Eoin Nagle was the deserved MVP with a very solid performance.
Plenty to reflect on for the team then, after this one. Whilst it was good to gut the ‘W’ out away from home against a good Queens team, the team needs to reflect on the mental lapses which caused multiple missed simple lay-ups, sloppy passing particularly from in-bounds, and of course a horde of missed free-throws. Hopefully the time allocated for shooting in the next training sessions will be taken with a bit more seriousness, as it nearly came back to bite the team in this close encounter with old friends.
Sat 20 December
Tyrone Towers 14 Star 59
Star moved to 4 - 0 for the season with a comfortable W in Dungannon, beating the hosts 59-14 in a rather one-sided affair. The depth of the squad this year proved its value, as several players were unavailable and a few disappointed with a no-show, but this proved to be a good opportunity for other players to put their hand up as the season moves into full swing.
John Smye got going right from the tip, rattling in 8 unanswered points without reply, as a starting 5 featuring John Moran at the point set the desired tempo. With Michael McWilliams controlling the boards, and Dara McGinn & Przemak Kwiecien getting out on the break, the scoreboard ticked over nicely as Star finished the quarter 15-3 to the good.
The second quarter faces changed, but the song remained the same, with Eoin Nagle driving the team forward and setting the done defensively on the perimeter. The double act of Niall McGinnity and Peter Henvey dominated the paint, and this time it was Dermott Maguire & Rory Brolly getting out and punishing Towers on transition.
The game was effectively over as a contest by half-time, and the real challenge for Star was to stay focused and disciplined, as frustrations began to boil for a few of the Towers players. To their credit this is what Star did, and the team played out the second half one play at a time, demonstrating a mental toughness which will serve them well in future contests.
The aggressive but smart defense was a real highlight of the performance, reflected in the fact Towers could only muster 14 points in the game. Just as pleasing though was the tempo the team kept up the whole game, driven on by John Moran, Eoin Nagle and Peter Henvey. But Michael McWilliams just about edged everybody else out with an MVP performance, capping off a fine display with the Royal Mail-sponsored Delivery Of The Week, a behind-the-back pass on transition to a flying Eoin Nagle…nice. Next up, North Star in St Malachy's Gaaaaden on the 11th Jan, come and see this up-and-coming team.
Sat 26th October
Queen's 15 Star 65
Star's U16 squad got off to an eagerly anticipated start at the weekend against Queen's B.C.
Since Rip n' Run camp in the summer the boys have been preparing for their season ahead, keen to get of to a good start.
All players were able to get on the score board in the first quarter while holding the Queen's offence to 5 points (23-5). Isaac Byrne was a noticeable presence on the boards at both ends and very strong particularly when Jack Corr was able to find him at the low post.
The second quarter was much the same with consistent scores from Sean Mc Parland and Josh Briers providing a comfortable lead going into the half (43-9).
Throughout the game the U16 players were able to show a lot of variety in their offensive plays, making good decisions while keeping up a high intensity and pressuring the wall on defence.
After nursing an illness last week, Niall Mc Keown stood out in the last quarter with 5 rebounds and 8 points.
The next U16 game will be at Tyrone Towers on Saturday 16th November.