MAXOL WIT WILDCATS 58 -
Pyrobel Killester 72
Stephanie O’Shea on the attack. Photo: Noel Browne.
Basketball Ireland Women’s Super League
Maxol WIT Wildcats came up short for the sixth game in succession when they went down 58-72 to Killester from Dublin’s north side at the Mercy Gym on Saturday night.
Once again Wildcats were without their influential captain Cathy Kavanagh who has a appointment for a MRI scan on her injured knee this week. Wildcats will have their fingers crossed for a positive result for their post player as her availability is crucial to her teams quest to remain in the Superleague. In recent games where Wildcats were edged out by a basket or two Kavanagh would have no doubt turned the negative results into winning ones. Of all the recent poor results, this loss to Killester was by far the worst as in spite off some good individual performances, overall the team as a unit were very poor.
Killester raced into a 10-0 lead after just three minutes as Wildcats defence was non existent. Young Abby Flynn was introduced and immediately things improved and by the eight minute she assisted American Meghan Donoghue with four consecutive baskets to leave just two points between the teams. But once again Wildcats went missing defensively allowing Killester net a further seven points in the final two minutes of the first quarter (17-8).
There was little between the teams in the second quarter as scores were exchanged with Ruthie Leavy hitting back to back baskets. Then we saw Steph O’Shea convert a brace followed by six points from the hard working Jaz Walker ( USA) , but still Killester had a solid lead (25-35) by the break thanks to generous turnovers from Wildcats.
As the game progressed it got extremely physical and that’s when coaches expect their players to stand up and be counted. However on numerous occasions, Wildcats players missed easy lay ups not focusing on the finish fearing contact. Considering there was 14 points between the teams at the game’s end and wildcats missed at least the equivalent the end result could have been so different. Going forward Wildcats coaches will have to insist on better finishing if they are to secure the all important victories that keeps them in the Superleague .
Wildcats’ next two games are home to Carlow IT on January 13th and Portlaoise Panthers on January 20th. Hopefully Cathy Kavanagh will have recovered by then and coaches Hayes and Nolan will have their troops fine tuned and focused for possibly the club’s most crucial games since they joined the elite of Irish basketball.
Wildcats’ top scorers – Jaz Walker 18. Steph O’Shea 14, Megan Donoghue 13.