Maree men’s basketball continue to set the pace in the National League when they prevailed 75-45 over local rivals Titans on Saturday evening.
Calasanctius gym was jammed for this season’s first clash between the two sides which saw Maree continue to top the division with a 5-1 record, while Titans dropped to third.
Now Titans will be looking for revenge when the two sides meet in the National Cup in what will be a much-anticipated rematch. Before then, though, the two sides will continue their league campaigns on Saturday with Maree’s away game in Tralee against St Brendan’s while Titans host the other Kerry MNL team - St Mary’s Castleisland.
Four Maree players were in double figures last Saturday with Liam Conroy hitting a game-high 16 points. Team-mate Sarunas Zvirblinskas recorded a double double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, while Titans Paul Freeman was best for his side with 11 points.
The game in Calasanctius started with a quick three from Conroy and Maree maintained a furious scoring pace for the whole quarter. Six different Maree players scored, with Zvirblinskas good for seven, Colm O’Hagan and Danny Finn hitting six, and the hustling Peter Finn notching five.
At the other end Titans could not shake the stingy Maree man-to-man defence, excellently marshalled by captain Darren Callanan. By the end of the period Maree had hit a huge 30 points and held a commanding 23-point lead.
Although smaller, Maree’s youngsters forced the pace and Titans’ height advantage in the paint was neutralised by Callanan, Zvirblinskas and Dave Hansberry.
In the second quarter Maree’s first five points came from free throws as Titans’ foul count mounted. Maree continued to fast-break at every opportunity and, although Titans settled a little more with Paul Freeman hitting eight, the home team still won the period 14 -12.
Maree continued to spread their half-court offence, drive and draw fouls, and although Titan’s Sean Carroll hit eight points, they only shaved a solitary point off the Maree lead which stood at 59-35.
Titan’s foul problems did help their cause as Carroll, Peldzius and Visockas were forced to sit out the end of the game on five fouls as Maree finished convincing 30-point winners.
Maree: Con Crowley (4 ), Colm O’Hagan (8 ), Dave Hansberry (5 ), Danny Finn (12 ), Darren Callanan (1 ), Niall Higgins, Sarunas Zvirblinskas (12 ), Liam Conroy (16 ), Ciaran Harte, Peter Finn (13 ), Brian Kelly, Ken Hansberry (3 ), Tomas Mitkus (1 ).