Maree’s hopes of making the play-offs in this year’s National League division one basketball are still alive, despite losing to local rivals Titans by 86-76 on Saturday.
Currently second behind leaders Team Garvey St Mary’s, Maree followed up the defeat with a 80-54 victory over Queen’s in Oranmore on Sunday.
Although Maree had won the honours in the October home tie against Titans, the tables were turned in Renmore Gym where the home team was the deserving winner. Technicals on Maree coach Sean Conroy and on players Con Crowley and Colm O’Hagan did not help Maree’s cause, while their free-throw shooting was below par. Titans’ Sean Carroll was the game’s high scorer with 28; Maree’s Liam Conroy and Sarunas Zvirblinskas hit 21 apiece.
The first quarter was free-flowing and high-scoring, ending 26-26, and at half time there was just a point between the sides with Titans ahead by 42-41. However Titans established a lead though more Carroll scores, along with six from Paulius Peldzius as Maree trailed 57- 66 with one period to go. A succession of fouls saw Con Crowley, Colm O’Hagan, Ken Hansberry and Sarunas Zvirblinskas all sit out the final minutes, and although Finn and Conroy hit threes, it was not enough to overhaul Titans as Carroll steered his side home to an 86-76 win.
Following that disappointment Maree were back on track in Oranmore against Queen’s, helped by Conroy’s game-high 34 points. Maree’s offence was consistent throughout the game, but it was the defence that won the day. David Hansberry, Sarunas Zvirblinskas, Darren Callanan, Liam Conroy and Con Crowley exerted the necessary pressure, while Colm O’Hagan, ending a dazzling 10 days that saw him win All-Ireland Under 19A Schools’ Cup and Under 20 National Cup gold, also gave the Queen’s guards a torrid time.
Maree: Con Crowley, Colm O’Hagan, Danny Finn, Eddie Forde, Darren Callanan, Jack Conroy, Liam Conroy, David Hansberry, Sarunas Zvirblinskas, Ken Hansberry.
Titans: David O’Keefe, Paulius Peldzius, Danas Pusinskas, Rimvydas Visockas, Paul Freeman, Sean Carroll, Pat O’Neill, Colin Turke, John Hunt, Ignacio Torres, Niki Carrolan.