Crossmolina Lakers remain unbeaten in Mayo League
THE Mayo Under 16 Boys Basketball League has been well contested, but it is Crossmolina Lakers who remain unbeaten following victory over Ballintubber Bulls at Gortnor Abbey School gym last week.
An early three-pointer from Jack Diffily set the tone for the first quarter as Ballintubber went toe-to-toe with Crossmolina, who were slow to get into their stride.
Diffily, who finished with 21 points, Philp Walsh and Tom Duffy hit some good baskets in that first quarter but it was Crossmolina who led by 17-14, with top scorer Kobe McDonald finishing on 22 points and Esmond Maughan and Dylan Flynn beginning to find the target too, Flynn finishing with 17 points.
Crossmolina began to run the floor in the second half, which they won 13-7, Flynn doing a lot of damage with his baseline driving, while Ballintubber’s outside shooting was not as accurate as it had been in that first quarter.
Ballintubber got stuck in to match Crossmolina in the third quarter, while the sides shared the fourth quarter 11 points each.
However, despite getting it back to a six-point game, Ballintubber couldn’t close the gap any further.
Crossmolina scorers: Kobe McDonald 22, Dylan Flynn 17, Esmond Maughan 7. Ballintubber scorers: Jack Diffily 21, Luke Lydon 7, Sean Feerick 4, Tom Duffy 4.
It is easy to understand why they call themselves Ballina Braves as they had to battle hard against Kiltimagh Giants in a recent Under 16 Mayo League clash. It finished 49-41 in favour of the Ballina lads, but Kiltimagh were in this up to the last quarter, which they lost 15-5 in a high tempo game at the St. Louis Community School gym.
The first quarter went to the Giants 13-11, the Kiltimagh boys also winning the second quarter 11-7, but the Braves came back strongly to win the third 16-12 and then turned up the heat in the fourth quarter to secure it 15-5.
Not surprisingly, a big performance from Nathan Roddy, who has been recruited to the Irish Under 16 boys basketball development panel, was key to Ballina’s success, the St. Muredach’s College student finishing the game with 28 points. He opened his account with an early three-pointer.
Kiltimagh will feel they could have snatched this one and certainly had the chances but a few baskets just didn’t fall. Liam Smyth produced another excellent performance for them, finishing on 17 points.
The game marked the return of top referee Michael Moran, who has been off duty with a knee injury he picked up when playing with Mayo Masters recently. By all accounts he looks as sharp as ever.