Adrian O'Sullivan and Andre Nation power Tradehouse Central Ballincollig to victory over Maree

Three wins so far for the Ballincollig basketballers since their promotion to the Super League, despite a 32-point showing from Maree's De'Ondre Jackson
Adrian O'Sullivan and Andre Nation power Tradehouse Central Ballincollig to victory over Maree

Dylan Corkery finishes a lay-up for Tradehouse Central Ballincollig against NUIG Maree. Picture: Basketball Ireland.

Tradehouse Central Ballincollig 80 NUIG Maree 72

IT'S three Super League wins on the bounce for Tradehouse Central Ballincollig, after coming back from 10 points down at half-time to grind it out against Maree.

Ballincollig captain Adrian O'Sullivan was excellent in the second half, scoring 13 of his 17-point tally, defending tenaciously, setting the tempo, and icing three free-throws coming down the stretch. 

American Andre Nation came up with a couple of highlight-reel dunks in the first half and made some big plays at both ends of the court in the second, including sinking two from the stripe to push the Village 78-72 up in the last minute.

This was a gritty display overall built on the hosts' defensive intensity in the second half, where Dylan Corkery, who also added 12 points, Nation, Keelan Cairns and Milorad Sedlarevic, forced turnovers and collected boards at key stages. 

Ballincollig's offence was that bit more balanced than the visitors, who leaned heavily on the explosive De'Ondre Jackson, top-scorer to the tune of 32, including some dazzling finishes around the rim and three three-pointers. Ballincollig only managed three beyond the arc to Maree's eight, which is a concern going into next weekend's National Cup clash away to Tralee.

After a solid opening quarter where they led 15-4 early on and 19-11 going into the second quarter, Kieran O'Sullivan's side fell flat. They were out-scored 35 points to 17, outplayed but worse outhustled, with veteran Paul Freeman to the fore along with Ohio native Jackson, who was more dynamic than Maree's other American Jervyn Lucas.

Ballincollig had to return after half-time playing at a faster pace and protecting the paint with more determination. That they did, Corkery, Sedlarevic and Nation quickly trimming the gap to four: 46-42. 

O'Sullivan got six of the hosts' next 10 points and by the end of the third quarter, they led by one, after a wonderful drive to the basket from Pau Camí Galera and two free-throws nailed by former Kerry footballer Padraig Lucey. 

The fourth quarter was a dogfight, Ballincollig showing the same battling qualities that got them over the line against Neptune and Killorglin in recent weeks. O'Sullivan and Cairns grabbed 'and-ones' going hard for lay-ups, Sedlarevic sunk a three, while Corkery finished under the basket from a brilliant O'Sullivan assist, to open a nine-point gap.

Luka Kraljic (3) and Jackson gave Maree a lifeline but Nation and O'Sullivan had the final say.

Top scorers for Ballincollig: Andre Nation 24, Adrian O'Sullivan 17, Milorad Sedlarevic 16, Dylan Corkery 12.

Maree: De'Ondre Jackson 32, Luka Kraljic 11, Paul Freeman 10, Jervy Lucas 6.

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