Our senior girls basketball team rounded off a fantastic year with a narrow and hard fought victory over reigning champions St Andrews. The girls started nervously and found themselves conceding a basket straight from the tip. However a Bermejo coast to coast lay up sandwiched between two three point efforts from the impressive Jadia pushed the Larkin girls in to an early 8-4 lead that they were never to relinquish. Jadia was on fire in the first quarter as she shot another from downtown in the dying embers of the quarter. Andrews replied in kind with a great move that finally broke the solid LCC full court press which finished in a three point play for the talented Sarah Browne. The tough press from the LCC girls resulted in a further turnover which led to Kerrigan adding three points to have the final say in the quarter. Larkin lead 14-7.
The second quarter was another nip and tuck affair with Bermejo controlling the point to great affect. Her slick passing and superb movement opened the door for team captain Maxamad to make an impression on the game with two superb baskets. Mesquita was a driven force behind the Larkin press and her quick hands resulted in numerous turnovers that she converted in to valuable points for the team, Mesquita picked up an ankle injury but refused to back off an gave everything to the cause. The introduction of the ever impressive and hard working Tatiana Orlov helped the Larkin defence get a handle on Browne who was causing all sorts of havoc in the paint. The agressive nature of Orlov’s defence was pivotal in preserving the lead. Diane Hrisovescu was introduced to put pressure on the Andrews point guard and she stuck to her task to great affect forcing numerous turnovers. Jadia had the final say of the half as a well worked move left her open in the corner to finish with a short range bucket. Larkin lead 22-13 at the half.
The third quarter was to really show the true character of this team who have fought tooth and nail all season to reach this point. A strong showing from Andrews go to girl O’Brien cut the Larkin lead to 2, the girls once again took their time on the offence in a composed and mature showing from Maxamad and Bermajo. They began to unlock the Andrews defence once more with some fine quick passing which resulted in Kerrigan and Maxamad picking up 4 points each. The impressive Jadia was now being well marshaled by Andrews Farah Alvrag and the rest of her team mates took on the challenge as their go to girl was tied, Mesquita forced another two turnovers under the basket and again she finished both herself to push Larkin in to a strong 36-26 lead at the quarters end.
The fourth quarter was again a tight affair with Andrew’s pulling the game back to 4 at one stage, however the Larkin girls were determined to see it through with Mesquita, Kerrigan and Orlov all punishing the Andrew’s girls from the free throw line. Kerigan added a nice fast break lay up to give the girls a 7 point cushion entering the final minutes. An O brien free throw was to be the last action of the game as Larkin ran out winners on a final scoreline of 42-36. The buzzer was greeted with great joy and celebration as the girls took victory and their place in All Ireland playoffs in January. Team and scorers: Amran Maxamad (cap) 6, Julia Bermejo 5, Alicia Jadia 11, Rose Mesquita 10, Samantha Kerrigan 9, Tatiana Orlov 1, Diana Hrisovescu, Joanne Bambe, Sunna Begum, Suvd ulambayor.
Larkin Community College
Champions Avenue, Cathal Brugha Street, Dublin 1, Ireland