Maree once again got the better of Moycullen when the new Basketball Ireland Superleague opened at the weekend.
Maree prevailed 70-58 and now host Coughlan C & S Neptune at the Jes on Saturday (8pm ), while it does not get any easier for Moycullen who head to Dublin to face Pyrobel Killester in Clontarf.
Last season was difficult for Moycullen, who suffered a couple of narrow losses against some of the league's more beatable sides, and ended the season in a tough relegation battle. However, they manged to void the drop, but will be hoping to fare better this season, despite the poor start.
The club has recruited two new Americans, Grant Olsson of Lincoln University, Missouri, and Daniel Vila of Johns Hopkins University, and although Superleague rules allow only one player to be on the court at any one time, the two players will provide Moycullen coach John Cunningham with some extra tactical options this year.
However, it was not the start Moycullen would have wanted against local rivals Maree. Very little went right for Moycullen, and their usually solid three-point shooting was all but non-existent.
Nevertheless, Cunningham was positive about the performance rather than the result.
"While the result was hugely disappointing, I was pretty happy with our overall structure. I think we got a lot of the looks we wanted, we just had a horrible night at the offensive end of the floor," he said.
"We shot very poorly, but the fact we were still in the game until close to the end reflected well on our defensive performance, I think.
"If we’d turned 20 seconds of good defence into 24 on a few occasions, we could have stuck around that bit longer," he added.
Moycullen got off to slow start in the game.
Their offensive sets were working, but the shots just did not want to fall and Conor Curran carried much of Moycullen's scoring load early on.
The second quarter was not much better. The home side did manage to hold Maree to a modest first half scoring-output of 36 points, but Moycullen could only mange 22 points in the opening two periods.
Moycullen's third quarter was undoubtedly their best with both Americans contributing scores as they started to chip away at Maree's lead.
At one point the lead was reduced to four, but that was as close as it got. Moycullen's offence again began to falter, free-throws were missed, and scoring opportunities went unconverted, and Maree killed Moycullen off when Darin Johnson hit a pair of timely three-pointers.
Moycullen: Conor Curran (18 ), Daniel Vila (9 ), Grant Olsson (8 ), Paddy Lyons (7 ), Joshua Marvesely (4 ), Kyle Cunningham (3 ), Joseph Tummon (3 ), James Conaire (3 ), Paul Kelly, James Lyons, Dara Kenna.