A surge late in the third quarter was ultimately what put St Andrew’s College, Booterstown, on the road to Under-19 B All-Ireland Schools League glory.
They ultimately ran out 59-49 point winners over Colaiste Ide agus Iosef of Limerick at the National Basketball Arena on Tuesday.
An MVP performance from St Andrew’s Sotiris Miltiadis was supported by superb work from captain Matt McGrath and Jake Owen to see them home to glory in what was a close and hotly contested affair.
Andrew’s drove into an early lead, opening up a 7-2 gap by the midway point of the first thanks to big scoring from Miltiadis and McGrath.
Colaiste Íde were merely finding their feet though and Muriríoch McNulty found his rhythm soon after, putting up some big scores and a big three from Adam Maynard, followed by another McNulty score saw the Limerick side into the lead by one.
Two coolly taken free throws at the other end though saw St Andrew’s into a slim 14-13 lead at the end of the first.
Nothing separated the sides in the second quarter either with McNulty, John Sexton and DJ Stack running the show for Colaiste Íde, making St Andrew’s work extremely hard on defense to try to keep them at bay.
The Dubliners had threats all over the court as well, with Miltiadis, Owen and Anthony Tiernan proving tricky for the Limerick side and by half time, Colaiste Ide led by just one, 32-33.
An absorbing third quarter followed, with again, nothing between the teams at either end. Huge defence from Colaiste Íde began to limit the inside threat of Andrew’s, but point guard Owen stepped up to the mantle, and had some big assists.
By the closing stages of the quarter, a big surge from Andrew’s saw them begin to find some breathing room on the scoreboard thanks to a late 6-0 run in the closing stages led Tiernan, Miltiadis and Sam Lucas to lead 45-37 going into the last.
Momentum stayed with St Andrew’s in the fourth, despite the best efforts of the hugely impressive McNulty, Stack and Adam Maynard.
By the midway point, Andrew’s had opened up a 51-37 point lead, and didn’t look back from there, with McGrath closing proceedings with six points in a row to see them win out 59-49.