THERE WERE mixed fortunes for the Pres Bray Basketball Under-16 and Under-19 teams in their matches versus Oatlands College, Stillorgan, in the Pres gym.
The Pres Bray Under-16s started their match strong and held an 189 lead after the first quarter of play. Oatlands fought back in the second and third quarters to leave the score at 53-46 in favour of Pres Bray going into the final quarter.
The Oatlands pressure defence caused several costly Pres Bray turnovers in the fourth quarter and as the Pres players tired, a rejuvenated Oatlands team drove home their advantage and completed their comeback to win the match 65-63.
Top scorers for Pres Bray were Shane Davidson with 23 points and Dylan Terry with 17 points. The Pres Bray Under-16s will now travel to Ard Scoil Rís for their Leinster/East Region League semi-final.
The Under-19 match was a onesided affair with Pres Bray dominating rom start to finish. Andy Bartley was in magnificent form for Pres Bray and the Oatlands players had no answer for his offensive skills. Andy has recently been selected to the Irish Under-18 national team and it's obvious why on this 62point scoring performance. The match finished 107-34 to Pres Bray.
After going undefeated in their Leinster/East Region League matches, the Pres Bray team secured a home Leinster/East Region League semi-final versus St. Fintan's Sutton. The semi-final took place on Tues November 27, tipping off at midday in the Pres Bray gym.
Pres Bray had a terribly slow start to the match and their opponents, St. Fintan's, started on fire. The Fintan's guards were shooting very well from outside and Pres Bray were 14 points down at the end of the first quarter with the scoreboard reading 23-9 in the visitors' favour.
The second quarter saw Pres Bray switch to a man-to-man defence, which helped them get back into the match. Rebounds from David Mackin and Luke Gorman were vital against St. Fintan's 6' 7" centre.
Marc Lennon pushed the ball up the floor at pace throughout the quarter for Pres Bray to create scores for Lorcan Murphy and Andy Bartley, and the score at halftime was 27-25 to Fintan's, but Pres Bray had fought their way back into the match.
In the third quarter the high tempo Pres Bray played at was too much for St. Fintan's to handle. Lorcan Murphy and Andy Bartley continued to score with ease and Pres Bray took the lead in the match for the first time. As the quarter continued Pres Bray pressed home their advantage and the score going into the final quarter was 46-35 to a resurgent Pres Bray.
In the final quarter Marc Lennon kept up the defensive pressure on the St. Fintan's guards and stifled any chance they had of coming back into the match. Andy Bartley was unstoppable on the offensive end for Pres Bray and the full time score finished up 66-46 to Pres Bray.
In the Leinster/East Region League final, Pres Bray will take on Templeogue College, who defeated St. Paul's Raheny 72-51 in the other semi-final.
The Leinster/East Region League final is scheduled for Monday, December 10, in the Oblate Hall, Inchicore.
Pres Bray scorers: Andy Bartley, 24 points; Lorcan Murphy, 17 points; David Mackin and Marc Lennon, both ten points each; Luke Gorman, five points.
Finally, congratulations to Pres Bray fifth year student and Under19 basketball squad member, Andy Bartley, on his selection to the Irish Under-18 national team. This is a great reward for Andy's hard work at training and excellent contribution on the court over the years.
Andy is averaging 25 points a game for the Pres Bray Under-19 team this season and he has been a key member of both the Pres Bray Under-16 All-Ireland Schools Cupwinning team in 2010 and last season's all-conquering Undre-19 AllIreland Schools Cup team.