Portlaoise travelled to Mountmellick to play against the Cougars Friday night looking to keep up their unbeaten run.
Portlaoise started very strong with fine steals and scores from Danielle Keane, Donna O’Connell and Sharon Regan. The Cougars tried so hard to fight back but they were no match for a strong Portlaoise side. Portlaoise stood there ground on defence which is a great boost for their offence and transition game and further scores from Sharon Regan saw Portlaoise take a convincing fifteen point lead after the first quarter, Cougars 5 Portlaoise 20.
Portlaoise came out in the second quarter to continue their impressive start. Cougars started to play good basketball but were not able to break Portlaoises’ defence. Portlaoise continued to put pressure on the home side with baskets from Niamh Sweeney and Anna Fraizer. Coach Shane O Neill called a time out to change up the team and the introduction of new players further increased the team’s intensity.
With great rebounding on both ends and great scores in offence from Grace Delaney and Rebecca Kelly, Portlaoise powered on and extended their lead even further. Portlaoise finished at half time in cruise control with the scoreline reading; Cougars 16 Portlaoise 46.
The Cougars started the third quarter by putting pressure on the Panthers girls but failed to add points to the board in offence. Portlaoise started to put the pressure back onto Cougars with fine scores from Grace Delaney and Danielle Keane. A change in personnel again freshened up things for the visitors and following turnovers from Cougars,
Portlaoise took advantage with lay ups off of fast breaks from Amy Dunphy and Aoife Brennan. The cougars fought hard to continue their come back but Portlaoise’ defence was just too strong and at the end of the third quarter, the scoreline was Cougars 16 Portlaoise 68
Portlaoise coach Shane O’Neill changed the team again to see out the remainder of the game, but also kept it competitive.
The Cougars came out strong with fine passing and shooting from Collette O’Connell and Joan Mc Evoy which gave the Cougars a good lift but Portlaoise continued to dominate the game with outstanding rebounding from Rebecca Kelly and scores from Amy Dunphy and Zoe O’Dea. Portlaoise kept calm and moved the ball around to finish well deserved winners to continue their winning streak. The end scoreline was Cougars 25 Portlaoise 82.
Portlaoise Panthers: Grace Delaney, Dorothy Fahy, Amy Dunphy, Leanne Hayes, Donna O’Connell, Annie Fraizer, Sharon Regan, Rebecca Kelly, Niamh Sweeney, Emma Scully, Danielle Keane, Aoife Brennan, Zoe O’Dea, Jane Dowling. Coach: Shane O’Neill.