Two teams from Presentation Bray competed in the Leinster/East Region Schools Basketball League finals recently.
The U-19 squad were up against Templeogue College in the U-19 League final and were looking to repeat as Leinster Champions.
The school's U-16 team were playing Coolmine CS in the U-16 League 3rd/4th place play-off, looking to become U16 Leinster bronze medallists and also improve their seeding for the upcoming U-16 All-Ireland League qualifiers in the New Year.
In the U-19 Leinster final Templeogue started the match much quicker than their Bray opponents, who took a while to get going.
Lorcan Murphy and Andy Bartley combined for 11 points in the first quarter and Marc Lennon chipped in with 4 points to leave the score at 19-15 in favour of Templeogue at the end of the opening quarter.
In the second quarter Pres Bray fought back to take a 3533 half-time lead. Lorcan Murphy and Reece O'Callaghan were key elements in the Presentation comeback, with Lorcan scoring 6 points and Reece scoring 10 points in the second quarter.
Templeogue opened the third quarter with two big 3 point scores to regain the lead. Presentation Bray struggled to put the ball in the basket with any consistency and as the missed chances began to mount up, Templeogue stretched their lead with some excellent outside shooting punishing poor Bray defending.
Andy Bartley and Luke Gorman scored all 10 points for Bray in the third quarter and Templeogue held a 58-45 lead going in to the final quarter.
In the fourth and final quarter Presentation Bray worked hard to try and get back into the match, however every time they scored to eat into the Templeogue lead they failed to get the stop they needed at the defensive end of the court.
Lorcan Murphy scored an excellent 19 points in the final quarter, but it was on defence that the Bray lads suffered the most as they were unable to stop Templeogue players from scoring on the fast break.
As the match reached the final few minutes, Marc Lennon fouled out after giving his all for the cause. The final whistle soon followed and Templeogue were crowned U-19 Leinster champions with a well deserved 82-71 victory over Presentation Bray.
The Bray U-19 team will now move onto the U-19 All-Ireland League qualifiers in early February as the U-19 Leinster/East Region League silver medallists.
Pres Scorers: Lorcan Murphy 31pts, Andy Bartley 16pts, Reece O'Callaghan 14pts, Marc Lennon 5pts, Luke Gorman 4pts, Ash O'Callaghan 1pt.
The Presentation Bray U-16 team were up next and were determined to win their match after watching their U-19 counterparts lose out to Templeogue in the U-19 Leinster Final.
The first quarter started well for the Bray side with Marcus Nolan and Shane Davidson both scoring with ease inside.
Josh Ekada was in good form for Presentation Bray on both ends of the floor and he scored a nice basket on the fast break as well as creating scores for Donal Ring and Dylan Brady with his decisive offensive play. Bray ended the first quarter leading by 8 points on a 15-7 score line.
Coolmine CS came roaring back in the second quarter and poor defence from Presentation Bray allowed them get to the basket too easily.
Robert Wilson was the most consistent threat for Bray offensively in the second quarter and he scored 9 points to keep Presentation in the match.
Further scores from the free throw line from Adam Mullery and Ryan Tuffy completed the scoring for Bray in the firstst half and the match was tied at 28.
The second half opened with a strong drive to the basket from Robert Wilson and two great finishes by Josh Ekada to put the Bray side back in the driving seat.
Dylan Terry came off the bench for Presentation Bray to score 7 points with some quick and fluid moves to the basket.
Donal Ring was a rock for Bray on the defensive end of the court and repeatedly covered for his team-mates and pulled down some big rebounds.
The Pres Bray third quarter scoring blitz was too much for their overwhelmed opponents from Coolmine CS and it left the score at 55-34 in Bray's favour going into the final quarter.
Presentation Bray continued to punish the Coolmine CS defensive frailties and scores from Dylan Terry and Josh Ekada extended the lead. Ryan Tuffy and Marcus Nolan completed the Bray scoring and the final score of the match was 72-41 to Presentation Bray.
The Pres Bray U16 team will now move onto the U16 AllIreland League Qualifiers in late January as the U16 Leinster/East Region League bronze medallists.