Underage basketball in Oranmore-Maree and its environs continues to thrive as evidenced by a successul festive season.
Maree u-20 men’s December 23 defeat of Limerick Lakers saw them join four other local club and school teams in national semi-finals. On Wednesday January 13 in UL, Calasanctius College Oranmore contest three All-Ireland Schools A Cup semi-finals, and the following Saturday (January 16 ) in Neptune Stadium Cork, Maree play in two National Cup semi-finals. In addition, Maree u-12 boys gave notice that there is more to come over the next decade, when they won the Cork Open on December 19.
Maree’s quarter-final clash with Limerick Lakers was a high-octane affair. Maree won all four quarters, with Liam Conroy hitting a game-high 27 points, and Ken Hansberry good for 20.
Maree started in a 3–2 defence with George Rahmani, Con Crowley and Colm O'Hagan exerting pressure at the arc. This limited Limerick to 11 first-quarter points, while Maree hit 19. Colm O’Hagan grabbed the first two baskets, while Conroy shot six, and the impressive Ken Hansberry came off the bench to hit seven.
Captain David Hansberry led by example with aggressive defence and relentless offensive screens. Con Crowley and Colm O’Hagan worked hard to shut down Reidy and Dawson.
In the second period Maree went 20 up, including baskets from Conor Graham and Céimin Burke, only to see that lead cut to 13 at the half with Lakers running good fast breaks off unfinished Maree transitions. The half-time lead was 38-25, with Lakers still in the game.
Con Crowley hit a big three to start the third period, while David Hansberry chipped in with four and Mike Rockall and George Rahmani each contributed baskets. Conroy was good for nine more and took control of the game at point, taking Maree to a 62 – 41 lead with one quarter to go. The home team had switched to zone, and this proved effective, with Ciaran Harte and Conor O’Hagan putting in good shifts. The gap widened throughout the period, and the home team took the tie 90-58.
Maree u-20s: Con Crowley (11 ), Colm O’Hagan (10 ), George Rahmani (6 ), Conor O’Hagan, Michael Rockall (4 ), Céimin Burke (2 ), Conor Graham (3 ), David Hansberry (captain 5 ), Kenneth Hansberry (20 ), Liam Conroy (27 ), Ciarán Harte (2 ), Dáire Greene (inj ), Andrew Brennan (dnp ).