Tuesday last was the first game of the New Year for the U-12 girls in the Kilkenny League.
This was a home game for the girls and they really put on a top performance for their supporters with a huge win.
Portlaoise quickly settled into the game with Rebecca Reddin opening the score immediately with consecutive baskets. Great ball control from their ball handler Ciera Byrne helped add to the score and impressive defense by Jesse Preston kept the away team at bay at all times.
As the game went on Portlaoise went up a gear running the ball at every opportunity resulting in fine scores from Ellen Garvey and Grainne O’Reilly to help their team to a massive lead at the break.
Entering the second quarter the home side proved superior, in both defensive and offense play especially from Caoimhe Sweeney and Sinead Brady.
Old Loughlin played hard on defense and tried endlessly to prevent the home side getting to the boards but they were no match and Shauna Dooley effortlessly netted baskets. Sarah Fleming kept her fight going under the boards and landed herself on the free throw line netting an excellent basket. Old Leighlin to their credit battled hard but Portlaoise took every opportunity they were given resulting in scores from Jasmine Burke.
Portlaoise continued to dominate thanks to Ciera Byrne and Grainne O’ Reilly. Ella Byrne stepped up the defense getting her hand to every ball that attempted to pass her. In this quarter Jessie Preston made her reliable bank shot to help push the score even further apart.
Rachel Glynn was making the defense work very hard, she had some good steals and she finished extremely well. Old Leighlin battled hard but failed to finish and again Portlaoise’s defense was on top.
Portlaoise’s win was cemented by their excellent defensive play especially by top scorer Shauna Dooley who had a personal tally of 44 points and the team’s passion to fight for every ball in every quarter.
Shauna pushed hard in this game and it was clear from the start how hungry and eager Dooley was. With her outstanding performance she helped her team to a highly comprehensive win.
A score like this is truly amazing for such a young team and no doubt this is a team to watch in the not so distant future. Well done to all the girls.
Team: Shauna Dooley, Sarah Fleming, Jasmine Burke, Sinead Brady, Caoimhe Sweeney, Ciera Byre, Grainne O’Reilly, Rebecca Reddin, Ellen Garvey, Jessica Preston, Ella Byrne, Rachel Glynn, Ellenor Healy.
Coach: Niamh Sweeney, Assistant Coach: Shay Dooley