Microgaming Cavaliers 74, Phillies 29
by Dave Minay
The top two placed teams in the Men’s Basketball League drew each other in the semi-final of the Isle of Man Basketball Association Cup and Phillies would have eyed this fixture as very winnable with Cavaliers adjusting to life without the towering presence of Bob Gibson.
However, after an opening few minutes of cagey play, the Cavs unleashed a ferocious full-court press that Phillies struggled to cope with.
With Callum Randle, Sean Doyle and David Clark choking the backcourt with high energy and tempo, multiple turnovers and strong finishes at the basket surged Cavs out to a commanding 23-7 lead after the first quarter.
Chris Smith was the sole bright spot for Phillies but the second quarter told a similar story as Randle and Doyle again combined for a slew of points and Phillies were shut out from the outside.
Cavs played a ragged third quarter but Phillies couldn’t capitalise and didn’t pull back the lead.
Despite being limited on offence, defensively Cavs were still strong with the furious rebounding of Daniel Pieciak stopping any second-chance points.
The fourth played itself out like the first half and Cavs trotted out to a comprehensive victory and marched on to their fifth consecutive cup final spot.
Marvels 60, Rams 34
by Dave Minay
Both teams would have been pleased with the draw, avoiding the table-toppers, and it was Marvels who built up an early lead with some strong play from David Beggs who showed great poise and good hands with the ball to feed his team-mates.
Ross Wilson was the prime beneficiary as he dominated the inside with some deft touches around the basket.
James Horton lead the Marvels charge in the second as they raced out to a crushing 17-5 quarter score.
Jerry Iruguin battled hard for Rams, but it looked bleak for them at half-time.
With one hand on a final berth, Marvels opened the third period in a nervous fashion but Harry Brindle showed great maturity at the point to settle his team’s nerves and unleash the imperious Horton and Kyle Mills who scored at will.
With the result all but settled, the fourth was a low-scoring affair and only Iruguin seemed to be getting the ball to fall his way for the Rams.
The game closed with Wilson finishing as he started and the Marvels secured a historic first cup final spot which coach Martin Dunne was delighted with and this team should present an interesting challenge for Cavs.
Under-12s Junior League
by Rebecca Minay
The first game of the night was West v South and the latter played very well to win the game, with Finn McGregor scoring some great baskets.
West worked very hard in defence but couldn’t stop the baskets falling as the southerners ran out 18-6 winners.
The second game saw West playing East. The easterners began strongly and looked like they were on to a winner as they built up a good lead.
However, after half-time West managed to take over the game and sneak out in front. Harry Wilson tried hard to help East retake the lead and scored some excellent baskets but it was too late and the final score was 16-12 to the westerners.
The final game saw West and East playing to see who would win the night overall. East soon managed to take charge, get a hold of the ball and scored an early run of baskets.
West tried to come back strongly but were unable to stop East winning the battle for the ball and the latter ended up running out 22-12 winners.
Star players for the East were AJ Go and John Minay. Although they didn’t score themselves, they worked very hard on defence and made good passes to Harry Wilson to score the team’s points.
by Martin Dunne
Matches on the senior courts kicked off with an experienced Eastern team taking on a fast-developing Northern squad.
Coach Brenda Smith’s Northern players started off well with solid defence that denied an initial Eastern advance followed by a solid team offence that troubled the more experienced Eastern players.
Strong boxing and rebounding from Harry Goodwin and Joe Ricciardi gave the East possession again and a quick push up the court allowed them to open the scoring.
Some good offensive moves by Northern helped to open up the Eastern defence but solid challenges for the basketball from the likes of Luke Campbell allowed the Eastern team to rack up fast break points and run out the game for the win.
Inclement weather kept many Southern and Western players at home and so a combined squad was put together to play a friendly against the North, who were keen to continue to develop their team-play.
With the combined South/West team containing a significant number of schools basketball finalists the result of this game was never really in doubt. However the plucky North played hard defence and effective team offence to cause a few upsets and score some excellent baskets.
If this new Northern squad continues to develop, they will be a serious force in junior basketball in the near future.