Jasmine Burke landed a team-high 19 points in a brilliant performances with the senior team.
Portlaoise Panthers women’s team got back to winning ways after an impressive win away to UL Huskies in Limerick over the weekend.
Portlaoise Panthers 85
UL Huskies 61
The team suffered a hard defeat at the hands of Maree the week previously, so it was important that they earned a victory here. The game started slowly for Portlaoise as Abbie Goodsell and Orlaith Woods were a constant thorn in the away side.
American star Goodsell would shoot on sight and would rarely miss while Woods crashed the boards and converted many scores as a result. Sharon Melia and Catherine Ashe gave Portlaoise their first scores of the game, but UL were proving very difficult to handle. Jamie Sherburne stepped up her game to score seven points in the quarter.
UL Huskies are a very physical team and they picked up many fouls in the first quarter which would hurt them later in the game. Huskies led at the end of the quarter 21-12.
The second quarter was an end to end battle and would be a joy to watch for the neutral spectator. Deirdre Tomlinson and Ciara Byrne hit some fast break scores, but it was youngster Jasmine Burke who really stepped up the Portlaoise offence.
Burke picked up offensive boards and attacked at ease to convert ten points in the quarter. Sinead Melia and Ashe hit some big scores while the introduction of Claire Melia towards the end of the quarter changed the focus of the offense.
Huskies continued to foul hard which resulted in Portlaoise getting to the line on many occasions. Goodsell drained four threes in the quarter to keep Huskies in the game. Portlaoise scored a massive 29pts in the quarter to leave the game tied 41-41 at the break.
The third quarter in all these high-level games tends to be the focal point of the result and it was no different here. Portlaoise’s triangle and two offence upped their game and turned the Huskies side over time and time again.
Sherburne and Byrne were outstanding on their individual defensive pursuit of Goodsell. The teamwork was immense and forced Huskies into tough shots. The offensive end was a joy to watch as Byrne, Melia, Sherburne, Burke and Shauna Dooley all contributed. Portlaoise outscored Huskies 25-10 in this quarter.
The final quarter turned into a very physical battle as Huskies were not happy with going down easy. Their indiscipline would always be their downfall. Portlaoise must be credited with how they handled the hard hits and stayed focused on their game.
Sharon and Sinead Melia hit some big scores while Ashe hit a three pointer to seal the deal for Portlaoise. Portlaoise ran out winners on a score line of 85-61.
This performance was really needed from the team after their recent tough defeat. It was a great all-round team performance, and everyone put points on the board. It was a great moment for Jasmine Burke as it was only her second game for the team and she finished on a game high 19 points.
The girls now face potentially one of the biggest games to date next weekend against Ulster Elks. The team lost to Elks by a large margin in the National Cup semi-final but will be hoping to make amends for this.
All support is both needed and greatly appreciated. Tip off on Saturday 16th February at 7:30pm in St. Mary’s Hall.
Top Scorers: Jasmine Burke 19, Jamie Sherburne 17, Claire Melia 11, Ciara Byrne 11.