When Templeogue Basketball Club stepped on to the court in Oblate Hall on Sunday afternoon, the last home game seemed an awful long time ago. For Belfast Star it was their second game in less than 48 hours, as they travelled south to enter the fortress that is the Oblates.
Without star Neil Randolph, who is recovering from an ankle injury, under 18 players Mark Gilleran and Sam Walsh moved up the bench to hopefully secure some valuable minutes.
The first quarter was fast and furious, with both teams scoring readily and only 1 point separating them at the end, 24-23 to Templeogue. The second quarter started much as the first one ended at a fast pace, when Jason Killeen came into form and hit some nice inside baskets. Mike Bonaparte, not to be outdone, added a bucket and a three for good measure. But the ‘star’ of the first quarter, Baolach Morrisson, continued as he had started with some solid work and faultless shooting. Captain Stephen James, joined in on the action and sank two long distance 3’s alongside Puff Summers who added two of his own and then finished off the quarter with a spectacular off balance fade away bucket, to open the gap to 6 points. The half finishing 49-43 in favour of the hosts.
Head Coach Mark Keenan regrouped the troops and went through the strategy, and the game plan kicked in as the second half exploded into life for Templeogue – a 35 point 3rd quarter is hard for any team to challenge and a 21- 8 scoring run in 6 minutes put distance between the teams. Lorcan Murphy, following chants from the crowd, duly delivered some spectacular dunks, adding 13 points in this quarter alone.
However, man of the match performance went to Captain Stephen James, who led by example with a triple-double, 14 points; 10 assists and 10 steals; and almost had a quadruple double with 9 rebounds… maybe there was one more there that the statistician missed!! An inspiration to all the young supporters in the crowd.
The fourth quarter saw the introduction of the bench who maintained the scoring and notched up 106 points by the end. Mark Gilleran, barely off the bench, scored his first basket. Mike had a stellar performance with 23 points and 5 other players joined him in double digits, a nice way to finish the teams return to Oblate Hall.
As always, thank you to the best fans in the League who turned up to support the lads against Belfast Star. Templeogue travel Northside to take on KUBS in their next Super League game. The game tips off in Greendale this Sunday at 4pm – we hope to see the Red Army out in force to support the squad.
Templeogue Men’s Super League team are sponsored by Black Amber, Quillsen Estate Agents, Proteam Basketball and The Terenure Inn.
Let’s go Templeogue!!!