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Team Montenotte secure sixth Cup
31 Jan 2016 20:08
Team Montenotte Hotel 96-64 Pyrobel Killester
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Team Montenotte Hotel cemented their place in Irish basketball history with a record sixth Hula Hoops Women’s National Cup win at the National Basketball Arena.
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The Glanmire club completed a second three-in-a-row by beating Pyrobel Killester 96-64 in a one-sided affair.
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Killester had lost none of the grace or steel that has seen them fight for silverware on two fronts this season. They were simply overpowered by a side peaking when it mattered most.
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“What I loved was the freedom we played with offensively,” said coach Mark Scannell. “We shot the ball well we weren’t trying to force it. And we had so many weapons on the floor and on the bench.”
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Aine McKenna was the big gun and revelled in her captain’s role. The MVP had 10 points in four minutes and the Glanmire club still had time for a 12-0 run, becoming just the second side of the Hula Hoops National Cup weekend to hit a 30-point quarter.
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Claire Rockall was also firing on all cylinders. The Galway women was marauding down the court after an injury-hampered 2015 finale.
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The one player who brought Killester’s form into the first half was Rae Contreras. While the robust defending of Casey Grace was keeping others at bay, the American was pouring in points at will.
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Killester coach Karl Kilbride gave his bench the opportunity to get to grips and put three Under-20 Women’s Cup Champions on the floor.
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Aoibheann Byrne and Aisling McCann rewarded his faith with baskets as Killester managed a considerable 20-point quarter.
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The only problem was that Glanmire repeated their first quarter trick and put up another 31 points. One by one they stepped up to hit their shots.
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Marie Breen hit a pair and Chantell Alford refused to miss. They had hit the half-century in 17 minutes of basketball, shooting at 67% on both sides of the three-point line. When the sides met in the 2015 decider, Team Montenotte Hotel won 62-36 on the back of a one-point lead at half time. This time around, they were already 62-34 clear at the break.
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In 32 years of National Cup basketball, only two women’s clubs have scored 80 points or more in 40 minutes. In 1991, Blarney beat Snowcream Wildcats 86-56 and were back at the Arena as part of their 25-year jubilee celebrations. Glanmire’s first National Cup win was courtesy of an 89-75 win over UL Aughinish. Marie Breen scored 29 points that day in 2007 and had a double-double in 2016.
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“You play the game not the occasion,” she said. “There would have been no history if we hadn’t won the game and that came to down to a team performance.”
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Team Hotel Montenotte Hotel: Aine McKenna 18, Claire Rockall 11, Chantell Alford 21, Grainne Dwyer 11, Marie Breen 10. Substitutes: Amanda O’Regan 4, Hanna McCarthy, Eve O’Mahony, Lesley Ann Wilkinson, Miriam Byrne 5, Haley Lenihan 5, Casey Grace 5, Niamh O’Dwyer, Lauren Falvey, Sarah Kenny 6
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Pyrobel Killester: Raeshel Contreras 35, Aisling Sullivan 7, Aoibheann Byrne 4, Rebecca Nagle 7, Anna Pupin 2. Substitutes: Ali Maguire 5, Michelle Clarke, Ally McGrath, Aisling McCann 3, Aine McDonnell 1, Emma Sherwood, Alex Troy.
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