Home Sport Basketball St Mary’s Hall rocking again as Panthers women make it five from...

St Mary’s Hall rocking again as Panthers women make it five from five

Portlaoise Panthers

Portlaoise Panthers 83 Marble City Hawks 49
National League Women’s Division 1

The Portlaoise Panthers women’s team made it five wins from five in the National League Division 1 this evening as they proved far too strong for the Marble City Hawks from Kilkenny.

It was another great Saturday night occasion in St Mary’s Hall as the third double header of the season again attracted a decent crowd to the Portlaoise hall.

St Mary’s Hall for these games is close to a unique local sporting occasion. Nothing else comes close to the razzmatazz and the show that’s put on with supporters both courtside and upstairs in two viewing areas.

Once again the atmosphere crackled and Peter Duignan on the mic was in top form not just in his role as announcer but with his choice of tunes too. Thunderstruck, I Like to Move It, We Will Rock You and the Final Countdown all got an airing.

And, for the first time, both men and women won their games, the men recording a comprehensive 96-70 win over Team North West from Donegal in the curtain raiser for what was their first win of the season.

And yet again Portlaoise’s American stars stood out for the women with the classy Alyssa Velles finishing with 27 points and Jessica Fressle with 17. Of the local girls, Shauna finished with 11, a season high.

The Panthers came into this as the hottest of favourites having won their opening four games. The Hawks had lost their first three and have been facing an uphill battle playing without their American players for the first month of the season due to Visa issues.

Consequently the result here was never in doubt.

Jasmine Burke, Sarah Fleming, Ruth O’Brien and Megan Dunne all got early three-pointers as the Panthers opened up a 23-11 lead by the end of the first quarter.

Fressle and Velles dominated the second quarter, shooting all 16 points between them as the lead stretched to 39-20 at half-time. And after an exhibition game involving the Panthers U-7 girls, the home side continued to lead the way, in the second half.

At the end of the third quarter it was 65-38 with Clonaslee girl Ruth O’Brien getting another three pointer. The county-wide make-up of the Panthers set up is significant with Megan Dunne from Portarlington, O’Brien from Clonaslee and Sarah Tuohy from Vicarstown.

By full time the lead was out to 34, with Burke adding seven more points to her tally, 16-year-old debutant Shannon Quigley sinking a three-pointer and Ella Byrne and Tuohy landing free throws.

It was the Panthers biggest win of the season and sees them top of Division 1. McEvoy’s Cavan Eagles have also won all five games to date with Portlaoise just ahead of them thanks to their higher average points per game.

The league action takes a break next weekend with the Panthers away to Oblate Dynamos in Inchicore in the Division 1 Cup.

PORTLAOISE PANTHERS: Shauna Dooley, Ella Byrne, Ruth O’Brien, Shauna Burke, Jasmine Burke, Shannon Quigley, Shauna Slattery, Sarah Tuohy, Megan Dunne, Jessica Fressle, Sarah Fleming, Alyssa Marie Velles.

Portlaoise Panthers 96 Team North West 70
Men’s National League Division 1

The Portlaoise men’s team picked up their first win thanks to a comprehensive victory over Donegal side Team North West in the first game in St Mary’s Hall this evening.

The Panthers led 52-37 at half time and were out of sight by the end of the third quarter when they led 74-49.

Desean Hampton top scored with 25 points while Daniel Chukwubuzo hit 16 and Dylan Dunne got 12.

Team North West are back in Portlaoise next weekend for the opening round of the President’s National Cup.

PORTLAOISE PANTHERS: Dylan Dunne, Desean Hampton, Aaron Dooley, Colin Bolger, Conor Byrne, Trevor Swayne, Davin McEvoy, Benny Carroll, Jack Scully, Gary Morrissey, Sean Condon, Daniel Chukwubuzo

SEE ALSO – Check out all our weekend sports coverage here

Previous articleLee leads the way as Clonaslee-St Manman’s beat The Heath
Next articleDeaths in Laois – Sunday, October 30, 2022
Steven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. Husband of Emily, father of William, Lillian and John, he's happiest when he's telling stories