Maree consolidated their position as the No 1 u-18 basketball team in the country when they retained the title won last year for the first time.
Maree overcame Templeogue by 70-43 in the National Cup with Liam Conroy posting a game-high 27 points and 14 rebounds, which earned him the MVP award.
Conroy was also the top scorer in the u-20 final when a young Maree outfit tangled with UCD Marian. Just one point short of claiming the double, Maree fell by 57-56 after the Dubliners grabbed a three-pointer in the dying seconds.
Starting as favourites, Maree took control early and within 10 minutes the crown was heading west again. In a strong offensive first quarter they produced 30 points while limiting Templeogue to just nine. Liam Conroy, in a wonderful display at point guard, hit nine first-quarter points, while the ultra-aggressive Conor Foley, with Con Crowley and Colm O’Hagan, denied the Templelogue shooters. George Rahmani and Kenneth Hansberry also put in a big shift as six Maree players scored in the quarter.
More of the same followed in the second as Maree led at the break by 46-21, and although
Templeogue came back to a 19-point deficit briefly in the third, before Maree eased to a 70 – 43 win.
In the u-20 cup final Maree were cruelly undone by a UCD Marian three-pointer with just 10 seconds to go, turning a two-point lead into a one-point loss.
Even without internationals Darren Callanan, who was deemed ineligible to play having lined out for Titans in the National League, and Cathal Finn, away in the USA, this young Maree team, fought all the way.
Maree’s David Hansberry, MVP of the 2008 u-18 final, was physically well able for the bigger UCD side, point guard Liam Conroy took up where he left off in the u-18 final the day before, and 16-years-old Colm O’Hagan was unfazed. Shifts by the older Jack Conroy and Ciarán Considine also helped, and Maree looked the better team, leading from the start until a few minutes from the end. At 56-54 in favour of Maree, and with just 10 seconds to go, UCD’s Daniel James attempted an unlikely three, and nailed it to give UCD a 57 – 56 lead.
Maree u-18: Liam Conroy, Con Crowley, Conor Foley, George Rahmani, Colm O’Hagan, Kenneth Hansberry, Ciarán Harte, David Burke, Brian Kelly, Colin Whelan, Dónal Greene, Evan Fahy.
Maree u-20: Jack Conroy (captain ), Ciarán Considine, David Hansberry, Michael Rockall, Dáire Greene, Céimin Burke, Liam Conroy, Con Crowley, Conor Foley, George Rahmani , Colm O’Hagan, Kenneth Hansberry.