On Wednesday the Newry men’s basketball team made the long trip to Letterkenny for one of the few remaining matches of the season. The team arrived at the destination with only six players which set them up for a very challenging game.
With a long journey and a few delays in the game, the Newry team found it difficult to get into the swing of the match straight away. Letterkenny scored a couple of early three pointers so the men found themselves in trouble. Fortunately Newry captain Paul Crawley was there to score a few baskets and get his team on the scoreboard along with a helping hand from Eoin McStay. The first quarter consisted of great Newry defence and a constant attack from the home team but ended at 13 points each.
The second quarter was much like the first with the strong Newry defence holding the Letterkenny offence at bay, however Blaze guard M. Thornton had found shooting form early and continued to score for his team. The answer to this scoring once again came from Crawley, getting more points on the board. Newry centre Declan Mathers also started to get to work under the basket adding to the score and once again this quarter ended even, at 28 points each, thanks to some late baskets from Daniel McCaughey.
After a short half time break the Newry team was eager to get back on the court, but none more eager than Aaron Miller, who was making his return to the squad in this game. Miller took to the court scoring the next 9 points for his team and 11 in the quarter, but even still the quarter ended even once again as Blaze continued to score and had found some consistency in their jump shots.
Going into the last quarter all square, the Newry team found their points coming from many different players and the team’s defence remained strong. Blaze struggled to score any baskets down low as a result of hard work from Mathers and Walsh, the Newry big men. However it was Letterkenny’s night as their shots continued to fall and they pulled away. A late basket from Mathers gave the away team hope as they found themselves down by 3 points in the closing seconds of the game, but unfortunately the last second 3 point attempt from Miller was unsuccessful and the game was lost. Final score, Blaze – 57, Newry – 54.
Scorers: Miller – 19, P. Crawley (C) – 18, D. Mathers – 8, E. McStay – 5, D. McCaughey – 4, M. Walsh