All-Ireland basketball joy for CCC

by Gazette Reporter
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Castleknock Community College were celebrating last week when their senior basketball team won the All-Ireland Under-19 B Girls’ cup title at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght against Cross and Passion of Kilcullen on a final score of 52-25.

Top scorer for the college was Whitney Moia, whose 22 points alongside her contribution in terms of rebounds and blocks led her to being declared the cup final’s MVP.

Kilcullen had averaged 58 points per game in the run up to the final, but Castleknock’s defence curbed their scoring run. The defensive effort was led by Moia with 22 blocked shots and Lauren O’Neill with 12 rebounds.

Another significant contributions came from St Brigid’s camogie player Leah Mullins, who scored 14 points and helped to shut down Kilcullen’s high scoring guard Ciara Wheeler, who had averaged 25 points per game in Kilcullen’s previous cup matches, and who was only able to provide eight points in the final.

Castleknock captain and point guard Laura Carolan was also in fine form, linking with forwards Kotryna Cikanaviciute and Lauren O’Neill as the trio’s passing and movement caused problems for Kilcullen throughout the game, as well as impressively converting a three-point opportunity just feet away from the halfway line.

A poor first half performance by Kilcullen cost them dearly as they trailed 28-10 at the interval.

Castleknock began to quickly break away from their opponents in the third quarter with a fluid passing game that Kilcullen were slow to respond to.

The fourth and final quarter was a scrappy affair which saw Kilcullen sacrifice their defensive play in an attempt to overload their opponents and attempt a comeback but Castleknock scored 12 points in the final quarter to seal their victory.

Castleknock coach Ron Antoniotti said after the game: “This victory was a total team effort. Each of our players came through with their finest efforts of the year on the biggest stage. Our team has worked for three years to get to this opportunity and we fulfilled our dream.”

Antoniotti credited first and second year coach Fiona Clancy for the hard work she put in to develop the team in their formative basketball years.

“The entire school is chuffed with this win. It’s a great day for CCC.”


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