A 31-point performance from captain-fantastic James Hannigan led Gaelcholáiste Mhuire to a 68-79 victory over Mercy Mounthawk in the U19A Subway Schools Cup Final this Tuesday.
This incredible performance on the offensive court earned him the MVP award.
Despite the Neptune guard’s incredible input, he was very quick to highlight the role of his teammates in securing the school’s first cup title since 2002.
“Every one chipped in and did their bit and we’re delighted it all came together,” James said after the victory.
“Most of us have been together as a group for the last six years so we all know each other and what everyone can do on the court.”
Coach David Lehane’s troops had to pull out a stellar performance to cope with the immense pressure in the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, both schools filling the bleachers with well over 1,000 in attendance.
“I can’t even describe what it was like to play in that kind of atmosphere,” Hannigan continued.
“I absolutely loved every minute of it.”
The fact that James was enjoying himself was clear to see, his emotion on full display after hitting a tough left-handed floater plus a foul to put his school up 10 with three minutes to go.
While Mounthawk certainly put it up to the northside school, James’ contribution along with that of his twin brother Scott, who hit 22 points and Demons’ product Dave Lehane, who hit 10, kept the Tralee outfit at arm’s length for much of the second half.
The win gives the two Hannigans, whose parents Jim Hannigan and Sharon O'Neill were two great basketball players in their own day, the unique opportunity to complete the school and club double this weekend when they face Dublin Lions in the U20 Hula Hoops Cup final with their club Neptune at 2pm on Saturday.
“It’s great to win today but we have to be smart and prepare our bodies to go at it again this weekend.
"Hopefully we’ll do the job and bring home the double.”