The mens and ladies basketball teams at AIT enjoyed mixed fortunes last weekend against DBS opposition.
AIT men faced off against Colleges League favourites DBS in a highly entertaining and high scoring match. DBS, boasting three American players who are playing Super League with Éanna Basketball Club, started the game brightly, with their 6’8 centre Mlynue Reeves dominating early with a number of inside scores. When AIT collapsed down to deal with this threat, it afforded room for his teammate Tamron Manning to hit the outside shot.
After facing this early onslaught, AIT began to grow into the game. Alessandro Cornacchia started to dictate the tempo from the point, driving through the key for a number of scores. AIT`s own talismanic centre, Alberto Viggiano was not to be out done, scoring with a variety of inside moves to narrow the lead. Cathal Gill benefited from the room being afforded to the outside guards, hitting four three pointers. At half-time AIT trailed DBS by 41 to 52.
Defensive intensity picked up for both teams at the start of the second half, with AIT's Ken Ighor and Rory Doyle setting the tone for their teammates. Giovanni Di Mauro continued the outside threat with a brace of three pointers. Alan Jennings provided a physical presence under the boards, limiting the physically imposing opposition to one shot opportunities. As the game progressed, the strength in depth of both teams’ benches was tested. John Evans provided a spark in the last quarter increasing the tempo for the home team.
AIT ran out of time to close the gap in the last quarter, but can be very proud of their efforts in this closely fought contest, losing out by 83 to 96. Lessons will be learned from this defeat.
AIT ladies' team however recorded a 74 to 48 victory over DBS. The ladies' team continued their undefeated winning streak with this comprehensive win. Although the margin of victory was substantial, it was not until the fourth quarter that the team put this game to bed.
AIT started the brighter team with a succession of fast break scores from Amy Mc Teggart. Bridget Gleeson and Kat Sucic dominated the boards both offensively and defensively. They set up fast break scores for their team mates and punished any defensive lapses with easy put backs. AIT welcomed half-time 44 to 23 to the good.
DBS were not giving up the game despite the home team’s substantial lead. Holli Dunne and Louise Huegen stepped up the defensive intensity for the visitors and had a number of outside shots to reduce the deficit by the end of the third quarter.
Emma Fagan controlled the offensive tempo for AIT, hitting the big three pointers and creating easy scoring opportunities. Courtney Rapple Mc Dowell punished DBS turnovers with a run of fast break scores to open up the lead again. AIT finished comfortable winners on this occasion.