Carlow IT 43 -
Maxol WIT Wildcats 55
Meghan Donohue, left, and Jasmine Walker of Maxol WIT Wildcats, got off to a great start with 24 points between them in Carlow.
The Maxol WIT Wildcats got the 2017-18 season off to a perfect start with a 43-55 win away to Carlow IT in Basketball Ireland’s Superleague last Sunday afternoon. Coaches Jillian Hayes and Trisha Nolan will be pleased with their win but it’s doubtful they will be happy with the team’s overall performance as had they been up against one of the stronger teams in the league there would be no reason for celebration.
Carlow were promoted from Division one last season and they did beat Galway the previous Sunday in overtime to start their 2017-18 campaign in a blaze of glory. Indeed it looked like they would continue their winning ways judging by the way they were swishing three pointers in the early minutes of the game as Wildcats defence was poor at this early stage in the game.
.Gradually Wildcats got their game together and by the end of the first quarter they led 20-15 with half their total coming from free throws where they netted ten from ten.
Five minutes later, Wildcats were up by 15 and credit to coaches Hayes and Nolan who showed faith in their squad as all 12 players had seen court time at this stage. However the numerous player changes upset the flow of Wildcats game and Carlow edged their way back into the game trailing 22-32 at the halfway stage. Seconds from the restart just seven points separated the teams as Carlow hit their sixth three pointer. A quick reply with a similar score from Wilcats’ Jasmine Walker (MVP) steadied the ship and from that point Carlow struggled. Actually Wildcats should have been out of sight had they finished their many scoring opportunities but some of the simple shots they missed left the gap narrower than what it should have been.
However a win is a win and there were many quality phases of play which gave the large number of travelling Wildcats supporters hope that things will improve as the season goes on. When the game ended, Wildcats had 12 points to spare and that was just about the difference between the sides. While there are positives to be taken from this victory, Wildcats will have to focus a lot more on their defence and finishing if they are to get a result away to Portlaoise Panthers this Saturday night.
Wildcats’ top scorers: Meghan Donohue (14), Cathy Kavanagh (11) and Jasmine Walker (10).