Maree Basketball Club has started the season on a successful note with two cup wins in major tournaments in Cork.
The u-18s and u-20s won both trophies on successive weekends with Liam Conroy winning a record 10th Cork title. George Rahmani (u-18 captain ) and Con Crowley were on both winning sides, as Maree started with five full internationals.
In the u-20 tournament Maree met Fr Matthews in their opening pool game, and ran out easy winners, 42-9. Against Blue Demons, Maree had problems coping with the Leesiders’ press, losing 56-44, but they went on to overcome the Limerick Lakers with ease, 48-36, to qualify for the semi-finals aginst Neptune. In a tight game, in which the lead changed several times, Maree, with seconds to go, were one point down. Con Crowley, from the free throw line, missed the first, but made the second, sending the game into overtime, and from there Maree went on to win 58 – 51.
This set up another meeting with Demons in the final, and from the start the Galway side was on fire. Maree were 42-21 up at half time, and they ran out 72-53 winners.
In the u- 18 competition, Maree started against Ballincollig, winning 44 -21. They dispatched Tramore 42-3, local rivals Claregalway, and St Matthews 62 - 17 for a semi-final with Tolka Rovers of Dublin.
Maree took Tolka apart 61-29, while Demons beat Claregalway well to set up the final – another Maree-Demons classic.
From the tip-off the final was tense, physical, tactical, and tight. After the first quarter, Demons led 7 – 6, and at the half, Maree were edging it 13 – 12. Maree switched to 2-1-2 zone to counter Demons and this paid instant dividends as Maree opened up a healthy 14-point gap before claiming the title yet again.
Maree u-20s: Jack Conroy (captain ), Darren Callanan, Ciaran Considine, David Hansberry, Céimin Burke, Michael Rockall, Brendan Considine, Dáire Greene, Con Crowley, George Rahmani.
Maree u-18s: George Rahmani (captain ), Con Crowley, Conor Foley, Liam Conroy, Colm O’Hagan, David Burke, Brian Kelly, Colin Whelan, Enda Walsh, Tomas Mictus, Eavan Fahy.