A well rounded team performance gave the Portlaoise Panthers U-13 girls their first win in their opening game of the year against Tipp Talons.
Portlaoise began the brighter of the two teams with a couple of baskets from Shauna Dooley and Sarah Fleming. But the Tipp Talons didn’t let Portlaoise have it all their own way with Emma Fitzpatrick keeping her team in the game.
Portlaoise went behind at one point in the first quarter but some excellent defence from Eleanor Healy and Ellen Garvey made it hard for the Tipp Talons to score. Ciara Byrne worked extremely hard and fought for every rebound and she was rewarded with a couple of well taken scores. Portlaoise lead by a few baskets at the end of the opening quarter.
The second quarter was much closer, with both teams working hard on defence. Scores were hard to come by but Ella Byrne and Grainne O’Reilly took their chances when they came and extended the Portlaoise lead. Good passing from Sinead Brady lead to a well take basket from Jasmine Burke.
Portlaoise worked extremely hard on defence in this quarter and with Rebecca Reddin grabbing any rebound that came her way, the Tipp Talons had very little second chances at scoring. Portlaoise were leading well at the half.
Portlaoise started the second half extremely well with Rachel Glynn scoring a couple of fine baskets. But Tipp Talons’ Emma Fitzpatrick wasn’t going to let the Panthers stroll away with the game and she scored a few more baskets. Portlaoise found another gear and some good passing led to some fast break baskets for Fleming and Byrne.
The final quarter was a close quarter scoring wise, but Portlaoise never allowed the Tipp Talons to close the lead that they work so hard to make. Sinead Murphy worked hard on defence and gave a few nice passes which led to some well taken baskets from O Reilly.
The Panthers ran out winners in the end. It was an excellent start to the year for the girls and Coach Lynda Scully was extremely happy with the girls’ performance.
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