In the Nivea Womens SuperLeague, Meteors and Ulster Rockets both served notice of their intentions with strong home wins that kept them right in the thick of the playoff race.
In Belfast, Ulster Rockets had the experience to see off a gutsy performance from the young Singleton SuperValu Brunell team, whose top scorer Edel Thornton (28 points) played the weekend before in the U18 National Cup.
Their greater size and bulk was just part of the reason for the northerners 75 to 64 win however. Led by an in-form Meghan Houlihan who scored often and early, Rockets forced Brunell into a box and one defence that left gaps for other players as the home side controlled the lead from start to finish.
Speaking after the game, Rockets head coach Breda Dick was relieved to have gotten the result after what had been a long lay-off for her team.
We hadnt played a game in a month and it looked like it at times out there, but delighted to have gotten the win. Brunell are a good side and gave it a good go for the whole game.
For Meteors of Dublin, it was another hard-fought win over their neighbours Killester overturning a first quarter nine-point deficit to win by a convincing 18 points by the final whistle.
The final score is a little bit unfair on Killester I think but there was no argument I feel that we were the better team on the night, said Meteors head coach Hugh Kilbride.
There was a lot at stake in the game and while our shots didnt drop early on but for the rest of the game Jade Daly (18 points) and Rebecca Nagle (20 points) in particular shot the ball really well.
Elsewhere in the Nivea Womens SuperLeague it was another tough weekend for the struggling Liffey Celtics team as they dropped games to DCU Mercy on Saturday before falling to Team Montenotte Hotel Cork on Sunday.
Basketball Ireland Weekend Results
Nivea Womens SuperLeague
Ulster Rockets 75 (46) (M Houlihan 22, N Lennon 16, C Stuart 13) Singleton SuperValu Brunell 64 (31) (E Thornton 28, D OLeary 13, A Waters 10) Meteors 66 (36) (R Nagle 20, J Daly 18, S Fogarty 12) Killester 48 (25) (M Clarke 13, F Ward 10, C Flaherty 10) Liffey Celtics 38 (23) (A OConnor 11, E Bracken 8, A OConnor 6) DCU Mercy 77 (38) (S Woods 17, C Newton 14, A McLoughlin 10)
Basketball Ireland Womens Division One
NUIG Mystics 73 (36) (A O Reilly 16, N O Keefe 16, G Gaskin 12) Portlaoise Panthers 47 (29) (T Fallon 13, S Melia 11, C O Sullivan 10) Team Tom McCarthys St Marys 74 30) (K Kelly 17, L Scanlon 12, E O Connor 11) UL Huskies 32 (13) (A Danagher 10, E Cleary 7, A Crosse 5) Donegal Town 40 (15) (S Murphy 15, T Khan 11, M Liston 10) Tralee Imperials 86 (41) (S MacKessy 17, M Barry 14, L Brennan 14)
Sunday February 3rd Nivea Womens SuperLeague Team Montenotte Hotel Cork 100 (55) (N Dwyer 23, T Bacic 21, G Dwyer 12) Liffey Celtics 18 (12) (A OConnor 8, A OConnor 4, M Howe 4)
Glanmire and Liffey Celtics into the Finals - 1 hour ago
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Glanmire and Liffey Celtics reached the Final of the league. Ambassador UCC Glanmire overcame Pyrobel Killester 72-58 on their way to defending their Women's Super League play off title. Claire Rockall (178-G-90, college: Iowa St.) top-scored for the winners with 23 points, while Casey Grace (182-F-92, college: Fairfield) delivered 15. Mimi Clarke ended up with 22 points in defeat and Rebecca Nagle (173-G/F-92) poured in 10. Courtyard Liffey Celtics edged DCU Mercy 62-55. Jazmen Boone (1... [read more]
Glanmire and Liffey Celtics reached the Final of the league. Ambassador UCC Glanmire overcame Pyrobel Killester 72-58 on their way to defending their Women's Super League play off title. Claire Rockall (178-G-90, college: Iowa St.) top-scored for the winners with 23 points, while Casey Grace (182-F-92, college: Fairfield) delivered 15. Mimi Clarke ended up with 22 points in defeat and Rebecca Nagle (173-G/F-92) poured in 10. Courtyard Liffey Celtics edged DCU Mercy 62-55. Jazmen Boone (173-G, college: William & Mary) led the way with 20 points, while Emma O'Connor (183-F-91, college: Marist),, Ailbhe O'Connor and Sorcha Tiernan brought 10 each. Ashley Perez finished the game with 19 points in a loss, whilst Sarah Woods and Sarah Fairbanks (185-F, college: St.Joseph's) added 13 apiece.
Fechko's double-double lands her Player of the Week award - 3 days ago
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22-year old guard Leah Fechko (173-G-94) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for Killester and receives a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 18.
She had a double-double of 26 points and 15 rebounds, while her team crushed NUIG Mystics (#8, 3-12) with 23-point margin 79-56. Killester maintains the 4th position in Irish Super League. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games earlier this season. Killester will need more victories to i... [read more]
22-year old guard Leah Fechko (173-G-94) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for Killester and receives a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 18. She had a double-double of 26 points and 15 rebounds, while her team crushed NUIG Mystics (#8, 3-12) with 23-point margin 79-56. Killester maintains the 4th position in Irish Super League. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games earlier this season. Killester will need more victories to improve their 9-7 record. Fechko turned to be Killester's top player in her first season with the team. St.Francis College (NY) graduate has very impressive stats this year. Fechko is in league's top in points (9th best: 15.7ppg), rebounds (5th best: 10.2rpg) and averages solid 5.9spg.
Second best performed player last round was Claire Melia (185-C-99) of P.Panthers. She is a center in her second season at P.Panthers. In the last game Melia recorded impressive double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds. Bad luck as P.Panthers was edged by slightly higher-ranked DCU Mercy (#3, 10-5) 68-64. P.Panthers managed to keep the same 5th spot in the standings. Her team lost some distance to top teams. But 8-8 record is not bad and everything may still change. Melia is well-known at P.Panthers and she already established her position as one of the team's leaders.
Third place about best performers goes to another P.Panthers' star - forward Nicole Sterling (178-F-93). Sterling showcased her all-around game by recording 26 points, ten rebounds and five assists in the last round. Despite Sterling's great performance P.Panthers lost 64-68 to slightly higher-ranked DCU Mercy (#3, 10-5). But her team cannot count on just these two top stars as they also need help of the other teammates. The last thing P.Panthers needs is to lose another game like this one. They lose more and more distance to the top teams. Their record is 8 victories and 8 lost games. Sterling has a great season in Ireland. After 13 games, she made it on the list of the league's leaders in points with 19.9ppg (2nd best), rebounds with 9.2rpg (8th best) and assists with 3.8apg (4th best). Sterling attended one of camps at Eurobasket Summer League on her way to pro basketball.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Kaylee Kilpatrick (193-F/C-93) of Brunell - 18 points and 8 rebounds 5. Aishling Sullivan (175-G-88) of DCU Mercy - 27 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists 6. Rachel Huijsdens (187-C-99) of DCU Mercy - 9 points, 15 rebounds and 2 assists 7. Brittney Dunbar (173-G) of WIT Wildcats - 18 points and 3 rebounds 8. Ebony Wells (188-F/C) of NUIG Mystics - 11 points and 13 rebounds 9. Amy Waters (180-F/C-95) of Brunell - 9 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists 10. Maeve Phelan (175-G/F) of P.Panthers - 13 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
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