Fliers Soar High Over Queens
Newry Fliers 32 Queens 21
Newry Fliers U16 boys got the second half of their season off to a strong start with an impressive, yet sometimes frustrating, win over Queens.
The Fliers started off quickly thanks to point guard Euan McKeown breaking to the basket for 2 points and a free throw. Queens responded quickly in the form of a lay up from C Doherty. The opening minute of this game suggested it was going to be a close encounter and it failed to disappoint, as both teams battled for a jump up the league table. The remaining seven minutes of the first quarter were fast paced and often manic, as both teams tried to find their stride and settle into the game. The Fliers settled first, with some fast break work from game MVP Conor Mathers, giving the home team an 8-4 lead at the end of the quarter.
The second quarter saw a turn of the tables, with Queens dominating from start to finish. Whilst the Fliers worked hard in defence, they had gaps which Queens’ D Toner took advantage of, driving to the basket. Sloppy hands got the Fliers into foul trouble early on, adding to Queens’ score. At the other end of the court Queens’ hustling at the top of the key proved tough for the Fliers, as the struggled to get near the basket, scoring just one point compared to Queens’ 10, giving the visiting side a 9-14 lead at the half.
The third quarter proved quiet for both teams in terms of scoring. Once again Mathers stepped up to the plate for the Fliers in a desperate bid to claw back some points and close the gap. Defensively, the Fliers looked at their strongest. The boys worked as a unit, shutting down any attempts at the basket and clearing up on rebounds. The hard work kept Queens at bay, with only three points in eight minutes.
Apart from the early points of Mathers, the Fliers failed to take advantage of their defensive efforts on the court. Queens got themselves into foul trouble within the first four minutes and despite the encouragement from the Fliers’ coaches, the home side failed to drive to the basket, instead focusing on outside shots, resulting in Queens still leading 15-17 going into the final quarter.
With only a basket in the difference, the final quarter was to be intense and exciting, and it failed to disappoint. The Fliers’ came back on, pumped and ready to dominate, and they did just that. Three turnovers in the opening minute turned the game around, with the Fliers taking the lead for the first time since the first quarter. This confidence boost allowed the Fliers to soar for the remaining minutes, dominating defensively and attacking hard in offence. Despite their best efforts, Queens had no way back, scoring 4 points compared to the Fliers’ 17 points in the final quarter, giving the Fliers a 32-21 victory.