Portlaoise U-16 boys travelled to Newbridge to start their Midland League season against Tullamore.
Portlaoise needed to step up their defence to stop Tullamore getting scores after the Offaly side started strongly, and they started to move the ball around and great passing from Liam Kinsella and Paddy Farrell led to some great scores from Dan Wolski.
Portlaoise came out fighting again with great defence from Conor McKenna and Jack O’Reilly which led to great scores from Cian Nolan and James Spillane. Tullamore didn’t sit back and they stepped up their defence and started getting scores from Edvinas who hit some big three pointers. At the end of the half Portlaoise led 26-23.
Portlaoise started the third quarter with lazy defence and Tullamore got easy scores from fast breaks from Jordan Anang. Portlaoise called a timeout to change things and to settle things down. Portlaoise came out a lot more confident and started to play better defence and ended the quarter in a great position, leading 41-32.
Tullamore came out in the last quarter slowly thinking the game was won but Portlaoise had a different idea and played great defence and worked very hard and got great scores Dan Wolski. Conor McKenna stepped up then and hit a huge three pointer which brought the Panthers to within three points. Portlaoise continued to fight to the end but came up just short 50-44 the final score.
Portlaoise took on Kildare Gliders in their second game of the day. Gliders started the game strong with baskets from Callum. Portlaoise needed to step up there defence to stop Gliders getting scores. Portlaoise then started to move the ball around with great passing from Liam kinsella and Jack O’Reilly and got great scores from Dan Wolski.
Portlaoise came out fighting again with great defence from Cian Nolan and Jack O’Reilly but unfortunately could not get the baskets at the other end. At the end of the second quarter Gliders had a commanding 20-9 lead.
Portlaoise started the third quarter strong with great defence and yet again the lads were made work very hard for every score. Gliders were getting nervous with the great play from the Portlaoise boys and they had to call a timeout to break the rhythm. Portlaoise came out a lot more confident and started to play some great basketball and ended the quarter in a great position for a fight back. Gliders 30 Portlaoise 17.
Portlaoise came on strong in the final quarter, but lost out 32-28 in the end.