UCC Demons seal Southern Conference title and now focus on promotion

The goal for Demons all season has been to get back to playing Super League basketball and coach Danny O’Mahony was pleased to get one over on the side that defeated his side last month.
UCC Demons seal Southern Conference title and now focus on promotion

Shane Coughlan (middle) presents the Basketball Ireland January Coach of the Month Award to Daniel O'Mahony and Stuart Rodgers of UCC Demons at The Parochial Hall, Gurranabraher.

UCC Demons 81 IT Carlow 72

UCC DEMONS were crowned Southern Conference champions in the Men’s Division One National league following a hard-earned win over nearest challengers IT Carlow at the Mardyke Arena.

The goal for Demons all season has been to get back to playing Super League basketball and coach Danny O’Mahony was pleased to get one over on the side that defeated his side last month.

O’Mahony said: “We played well as a team and I was very impressed in how we shared the ball as IT Carlow can be a tough side to shake off if you get into a dogfight with them.”

Basketball Ireland announced this week that two teams would be promoted next season to the Super League and O’Mahony is now hoping his side can finish the business in hand.

“We cannot look further than our home quarter-final and that’s all I am thinking about right now but it's exciting times for all our club if we remain focused on the job in hand,” added O’Mahony.

Both teams went for the jugular right from tip-off and with the visitors’ Amand Vaiklus posing Demons all sorts of problems at the post they raced into an eight-point lead.

The home side battled back and with Kyle Hosford showing all his experience, they reduced the deficit to 22-18.

Demons’ leading scorer this season Tala Thiam Fam ran into foul trouble early and was forced to sit out the opening exchanges.

On the restart, Hosford nailed a three-pointer but the Carlow side responded with Kevin Donohue nailing three consecutive baskets that helped them lead at the interval 39-36.

In the third quarter, Hosford and Toby Christensen found their scoring touch and entering the third quarter their side edged into a six-point lead.

Once Demons got their heads in front they never relinquished control and with Steve Manojevic nailing crucial baskets coming down the stretch, the Carlow challenge petered out.

Demons can now travel to Portlaoise next weekend in full knowledge a home quarter-final in the playoffs await them.

Top Scorers UCC Demons: T Christensen 18, S Manojevic 14, K Hosford 14.

IT Carlow: A Vaikuls 21, K Donohue 14, J Fallon 13.

UCC Demons: S Manovic, S Carney, R Murphy, K Hosford, D Lehane, T Thiam Fam, K Hosford, M McCarthy, C Looney, C Ryan, K Moynihan, T Christensen.

IT Carlow: B Kelly-Flynn, J Conroy, M Plaza Reino, A Whelan, E Hackett, K Donohue, B Kavanagh, J Kehoe, R Vaikuls, N Schafer, A Vaikuls, J Fallon.

Referees: M Thornhill (Cork), L Aherne (Limerick).

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