It was an historic occasion for Calasanctius Oranmore as Galway schools celebrated multiple title wins in this year’s All Ireland schools basketball finals.
The county powerhouse Calasanctius Oranmore enjoyed three All Ireland A title wins this year, while Galway city school Coláiste Éinde bagged two titles at u-16 and u-19 C levels.
Not only did Calasanctius claim their first win at u-16A boys’ level, but both the girls’ u-16A and u-19A won their respective national titles - each side completing a rare three-in-a-row.
This “double treble” is unprecedented in Irish schools basketball, and now the schools has the unique achievement of both girls and boys’ u-16 teams representing Ireland in the World Schools Championship in China in 2011.
The u-16 girls claimed the first victory of the finals, winning their historic three in a row when defeating Skibereen from Cork 54-39.
MVP Ailish O'Reilly led her team to victory with a magnificent 34 points, aided by Caitriona Finn and Sarah Reymolds. Oranmore led 34 -17 at half time and continued their assault to finish comfortable winners.
The u-16A boys, competing in their first final, overcame St Aidan's from Cork by 66-33. Early scores from Craig Hansberry and captain Enda Walsh settled any nerves, while at the other end Padraig Burke, Eavan Finn and Cormac Shields were super in defence.
Ahead 14-9, Oranmore introduced Eoghan Stenson to guard Cork’s main threat Downey, while Walsh was unstoppable inside and continued to score off good passes from Burke and Shields. Calasanctius increased their lead to 40-16 at half time and scores from Burke, Walsh, Shields, Nash and Hansberry kept the scoreline ticking over to claim a first national title at this level.
The u-19 A girls faced faced Dublin’s Colaiste Iosagain in a repeat of the u-19 cup semi-final, which Oranmore won 63-59. However on this occasion Oranmore achieved their historic triple double long before the final whistle. All five starters scored in the first half, Ailish O'Reilly had 14, Caitriona Foley 13, Carol McCarthy 12, Ciara Newell 4 and Kate Lyons 4 to give Calasanctius a 47 - 15 half time lead before finishing 76-55.
Five of the girls, currently sitting their Leaving Certs, have won three leagues and three cups in the last three years - Carol McCarthy, Caitriona Foley, Ciara Newell, Kate Lyons, and Lua Rahmani.
Calansanctius u-19A girls: Carol McCarthy MVP 21,Caitriona Foley 18, Ciara Newell 14, Kate Lyons 4, Lua Rahmani, Ailish O'Reilly (19pts ), Emily Gill, Sarah Reynolds, Orla Trayers.
Calasanactius u-16A girls: Alish O'Reilly (34 ), Sarah Reynolds (8 ), Caitriona Finn (6 ), Aoife Fogarty (5 ), Natasha Crawford, Aileen Crowley, Treasa Delaney, Melissa Flanagan, Orla Geoghegan, Edel Gormally, Ciara Hanniffy, Sinead Jacobsen, Sonia O'Neill.
Calansanctius u-16A boys: Ryan Murray, Oisin McMichael, Eavan Finn (3 ), Comac Shields (5 ), Eoghan Stenson, Paul O'Donnell, Padraig Burke (18 ), Ronan Nash (4 ), Enda Walsh (24 ), Diarmuid Considine, Eoghan Byrne, Craig Hansberry (10 ).