Portlaoise Panthers U-12 Boys
The Portlaoise U-12 Boys basketball team travelled to Thurles to play Tipp Talons in the Kilkenny Area League and came away with an impressive win.
Having remained unbeaten in the Midland League this season where they secured league and Top 4 wins, they now turn their full attention to the Kilkenny Area league for the last couple of weeks of the season.
They sit in second place in the league table behind Waterford Vikings with four games left but they still are unbeaten in this league with two games less played than all other teams.
The home team hit the ground running with the first couple of baskets despite good work from Sam Menendez and Christian Webb.
Portlaoise settled and started to dominate the game with an excellent running game that ended with baskets from Luke Bowe and Daniel Booth. As the quarter came to a close the Panthers boys were in control and went on to get a couple of fine scores from Riley Comerford after good work from Sam Menendez and Christian Webb to see them open up a sixpoint lead.
The second quarter saw a new five players from each club take to the floor.
Portlaoise started to dominate again right from the start resulting in baskets from Jack Fennell after good work from Jayden Bowe and Brayan De Sousa. Portlaoise continued to play well keeping the scoreboard ticking over with good work from Dinny Troy.
Tipp Talons were also playing well with some fine baskets of their own in what was turning out to be a quality game. The stand out performer of this quarter was the Panthers Captain Fionn Stack who was eventually top scorer of the game with an excellent 16 points.
As the halftime whistle approached Portlaoise maintained their lead with Brayan De Sousa and Jack Fennell putting in great performances to see them lead by seven points. 21-14.
The second half turned into a defensive battle with both teams working hard. Portlaoise had good performances from Oran Masterson and Daniel Booth.
As the quarter went on, Portlaoise were eventually rewarded for their hard work with some good scores from Riley Comerford after excellent passing inside from Luke Bowe andTipp Talons were struggling to put points on the board.
While baskets were at a premium, the quarter was no less intense as both sets of players put in a huge work rate. Portlaoise maintained the seven point gap with a couple of fine baskets from Christian Webb after good work from Daniel Booth and Oran Masterson.
The last quarter saw Panthers come out strong with fine shooting from Brayan De Sousa and Fionn Stack after good work from Callum Kernan. For the first time in the game, Tipp Talons began to struggle with the huge defensive pressure as they could not put points on the scoreboard.
Portlaoise on the other hand kept the scoreboard ticking over with Jack Fennell and Brayan De Souza putting in great work.
Portlaoise went on to control the last couple of minutes of the game as they went on to a hard fought but deserved win that see them take another step towards their goal of a Midland and Kilkenny league double win.
Portlaoise: Fionn Stack (Capt), Luke Bowe, Jack Fennell, Oran Masterson, Sam Menendez, Christian Webb, Dinny Troy, Riley Comerford, Callum Kernan, David Apopei, Jayden Bowe, Brayan De Sousa, Daniel Booth. Coaches: Miriam Fennell & Alan Comerford