Cruz control for Oatlands
Oatlands College 40 Patrician High School 38
After a slightly disappointing start to their league campaign, Oatlands College U16s bounced back to kick start what will hopefully be a good cup run.
Monday's game in Phoenix Sports Complex, Carrickmacross was a very exciting affair which saw Patrician College begin very strongly with the help of Irish U16 panellist Kevin O' Hanlon.
Patrician had taken an 18-4 first quarter lead with Oatlands missing numerous easy shots although the scoreline did not fully reflect the closeness between the two.
Oatlands upped their tempo in the second quarter and registered two early baskets with Aaron Tiedt and Uzoma Emuchay combining offence and defence to good effect.
However, with O'Hanlon sinking two of his four three-pointers in the second quarter, the Monaghan school kept in it as two free throws at the end of the half from Alejandro T Fernadez put Patrician 28-18 up at the big interval.
Oatlands dominated the rebounds in the third quarter with Dublin Raiders club player Uzoma Emuchay getting three big blocks at important times. And with Patrician pressing, the Dublin side capitalised with some good finishing and assists from guard Paolo Cruz as well as some high defensive efforts by Eamon Dabulavicius.
Oatlands closed out the third quarter well leaving the game tightly poised going into the final quarter 32-29 behind and, as the final period started, the tension was visible on both sides with each team missing crucial chances to score under the board.
But with O'Hanlon hitting yet another two shots it looked like Patrician had the game sewn up. However, the Dublin boys drew together and grew stronger.
And courtesy of some good defence they stopped more points which led to scores on the offensive end through Cruz and Emuchay.
With 46 seconds left in the game, the score stood at 38-38 and with Patrician on the line shooting two free shots the game was finely balanced.
But two misses gave the Dublin team a chance to go up the floor and saw Fernandez feed Cruz, who hit his 14th point of the game to complete the comeback and allow Oatlands to come out on top 40-38.
Oatlands now travel to play Catlerea CS in the second round.
Patrician High School: Kevin O'Hanlon, Niall Loughman, Peter Linden, Liam Capaldi, Dean Jones, Aaron McMahon, Patrick McMahon, Jack Thornton, Padraig Quinn, Gerry Duffy, Lucas Gutauskas, Luke Doran. Coach: Colm McEneaney. Assistant: Sheila Quinn.
Oatlands College: Aaron Tiedt, Paolo Cruz, John Paul Fernandez, Billy Fernandez, Greg Bautista, Gareth O'Reilly, Uzoma Emuchay, Eamon Dabulavicius, Hubert Bielinski, John Robert, Alejandro T Fernandez. Coach: Gavin Holmes. Assistant: Mark Bonfil.