Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 85 UCC Demons 79
UCC Demons were worn down by Garvey’s Warriors in the second half of the Pat Duffy National Cup quarter-final before a capacity crowd at the Tralee Sports Complex yesterday.
Demons could have come back to Leeside with a win, having between their rivals at the same stage last season, and will rue dropping their guard in the closing five minutes of the third quarter when they allowed their opponents score 11 unanswered points.
“We were cruising up to midway of the third quarter and then a couple of three-pointers and layups saw us only leading by four points going into the last quarter,” assistant coach Troy O’Mahony said. “The crowd were muted up to this as we were dominating but when they sensed a revival they got behind their team.”
A former coach of UCC Demons, Pat Price, is now at the helm of Tralee Warriors and he was naturally elated at the final buzzer. “We knew we weren’t playing to our potential and Demons were punishing us for every mistake but defensively we made crucial stops in the fourth quarter and our depth paid off.”
In the opening quarter Demons were superb and with the Warriors focusing on shutting down Kyle Hosford it allowed American Brandon Watts the freedom of the court.
Credit to Watts, who has come in for criticism this season, he upped his game to a new level that helped Demons command an eight-point lead in the fifth minute. The home crowd were surprised by Demons intensity and Watts was on hand to nail a late three-pointer that ensured they led 23-18 entering the second quarter.
The trend changed little on the restart and with the Warriors struggling at both ends of the court Demons continued to pour misery on them.
Demons’ Latvian, Gertans Lazidans, nailed a brace of three-pointers and with Watts continuing to restrict the influence of Paul Dick it was no surprise the Cork side went in at the break leading 47-31. Whoever wrote the script of the third quarter wasn’t a Demons fan as their collapse in the closing minutes of this period eventually came back to haunt them.
When Fergal O’Sullivan sunk two three-pointers, the Warriors moved up a gear and entering the last quarter the deficit was reduced to four, 64-60.
Coming down the stretch Demons found the going rather tough and the Warriors executed key baskets.
Top scorers for Garvey’s Tralee Warriors: P Dick 19, J Evans 15, K Donaghy 12, D Bogdanovic 12.
UCC Demons: B Watts 23, G Lazadans 20, C O’Reilly 18.
GARVEY’S TRALEE WARRIORS: P Dick, D O’Hanlon, J Evans, F O’Sullivan, P McMahon, D O’Sullivan, L Odiahi, G Murphy, E Quigley, K Donaghy, D Devine, D Kennelly, P Corkery, R Buivydas, D Bogdanovic, J Dumbers.
UCC DEMONS: C Ryan, R Murphy, K Hosford, D Lehane, B Watts, N O’Reilly, C Cuff, G Lizidans, K O’Mahony, C O’Reilly, D Lehane.
Referees: David Caballe (Athlone), Mark Gilleran (Dublin), Jamie Dooley (Dublin).