Team Coppers Portlaoise set down a marker on Sunday night in St.Marys Hall showing that they will have a major say in how the league standings finishes up while also putting themselves back in a great position for the end of year Top 4 finals.
This was a highly entertaining game from start to finish with the Portlaoise Panthers club side showing the depth of talent within the club. They led this game from start to finish notching up a brilliant score in the process.
This excellent all-round performance started from the tip-off with Team Coppers totally dominating in offence, playing a patient passing game while taking the right options by getting the ball inside to twin peaks Craig and Jack Scully. While the Falcons defence were forced to collapse in to stop the threat of the Scully brothers, Declan Kearney punished them from the outside with three massive three pointers. The pace of the game was unbelievable with the home side pressing after every basket keeping Longford to 15 first quarter points while notching up and impressive 31 points in reply.
Team Coppers have found themselves in this position in games of late but have let teams back into the game. The second quarter saw them keep their advantage without actually building on it, but again they showed how basketball should be played by pushing the ball down the floor at lightning speed with Kevin Donoghue and Jack Scully finishing time and again.
A well taken shot by David Glynn on a three point play got the crowd going with a second left in the second quarter and the crowd were on their feet when Craig Scully finished off a missed free throw with his finger tip on the buzzer.
The third quarter saw Team Coppers build on their lead as they again let the ball do the work, patiently playing the ball around in offence waiting for the right time to attack. Big man Craig Scully added to his game-high total of 25 points while Declan Kearney added another three pointer to his account. At the other end great defence from David Keane, Jack Scully and Renaldas Bartusevicius ensured Team Coppers would take a convincing lead into the last quarter.
The home side piled on the pressure in the final quarter as they looked to hit the 100 mark. Three quick baskets from Jamie Dooley and another three from Declan Kearney put them in a position to hit the milestone for the third time this year. Coach Martin Conroy introduced a number of the underage club players who all made their own mark on the game. Great passing from Mark Bartley found Jack Dooley wide open on the three point line who nailed it to leave them needing one basket to make the hundred. Unfortunately Team Coppers missed their final attempt but can be proud of the way they disposed of a very good Longford Falcons side.
Team Coppers: Jack Dooley 3, David Glynn 2, Aaron Brady 2, Renaldas Bartusevicius, Mark Bartley, Jamie Dooley 6, Craig Scully 25, Erikas Kosac, Kevin Donoghue 21, Declan Kearney 19, Jack Scully 18, David Keane 2. Coach: Martin Conroy.