Maree maintain composure to stun Superleague leaders

Maree Basketball Club is celebrating on the double after the men’s Superleague side stunned league leaders Belfast Star at the weekend, and the club’s women’s division one side eased into the cup semi-finals of the cup with a 30-point win away to Limerick Celtics.

The men’s side pulled off the shock of the season to date when ending Star’s seven-game winning run. In a superb display in Belfast, Maree climbed clear of the danger zone with an 80-74 win.

The visitors started well, and with Star perhaps taking them for granted, Mike Lynch’s side led 19-13 at the end of the first quarter. They did real damage in the second quarter to open up a 19-point lead (45-26 ) at half time.

The expected backlash from Star came in the third quarter, but Maree kept their composure and led 60-53 heading into the final quarter. With Sean Sellers and Niels Bunschoten scoring heavily, and Paul Freeman dominating rebounds, Maree held on for a six-point win to bag their third win of the season.

They have a chance to put further distance between themselves and the foot of the table this weekend when they host Killorglin of Kerry in Oranmore at 7pm on Saturday.

Maree: Sean Sellers (26 ), Paul Freeman (18 ), Eoin Rockall (4 ), John Burke (5 ), Niels Bunschoten (21 ), Stephen Commins (4 ), Charlie Crowley (2 ).

Women's top form continues

The women’s division one side continued their fine form, making it eight wins from eight across all competitions on Saturday when defeating Limerick Celtics 78-48 on the road in the division one cup quarter-finals.

Maree led 20-16 at the end of the first quarter, and had stretched 38-27 ahead by half-time, a margin that should have been bigger only for some sloppy finishing from the visitors who were completely dominant.

With Claire Rockall and Fiona Scally dominating the boards with 11 and 10 rebounds respectively, and Dayna Finn nailing a triple of three-point efforts, Maree were always in control against a side that was completely reliant on its two US imports for scores.

A brilliant third quarter performance which saw them reel off 20 unanswered points had Maree 66-34 ahead going into the final quarter, and they saw out the game in comfort to book a semi-final slot against Swords Thunder on the second weekend of January.

The women are on the road again this weekend as they travel to Kerry to take on St Mary’s Castleisland on Saturday (6.30pm ) in the league.

Maree : Claire Rockall (20 ), Catherine Connaire (10 ), Alison Blaney (22 ), Maggie Byrne (4 ), Fiona Scally (11 ), Dayna Finn (9 ), Nicola O’Connell, Eveann Kennedy, Clodagh McGrail, Laoise Walsh (2 ).

They are on the road again this weekend as they travel to Kerry to take on St Mary’s Castleisland on Saturday (6.30pm ) in the league.

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