Tuesday, January 23, 2018

MAXOL WIT WILDCATS 71

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PORTALOISE PANTHERS 74

After a disappointing loss to the Portlaoise Panthers at home on Saturday night, it’s off to Galway to face the NUIG Mystics (who picked up their first win of the season last weekend) this coming weekend, where victory will be essential. Photo: Noel Browne.

Basketball Ireland Women’s Super League

Maxol WIT Wildcats managed once again to turn in what can only be described as a dismal performance against Portlaoise Panthers who are also struggling to secure enough wins to keep them in the Super League. A few Wildcats players gave a decent account of themselves  but as a unit they were at sixes and sevens for the entire game especially in defence. It wasn’t that Panthers were anything special as they relied on good outside shooting and simple give and go which is basic stuff for any team to deal with.
However somehow Wildcats on numerous occasions lost their player allowing gift scores to their grateful opponents. From the tip off they were second to the ball lacking pace and desire , the perfect recipe for defeat. Every player and coach in the Super League knows Panthers’ American Steph Schmidt is possibly the best outside shooter in the league yet she was allowed to shoot three consecutive three pointers in a two minute spell to put her team ahead 15-21 at the end of the first quarter. Things got worse as the game progressed as Wildcats trailed by 14 points midway trough the second period. Suddenly a 10 point contribution from Helena Rohan cut the deficit to four points ( 34-38 ) at the halfway stage giving hope for better things to come in the final two quarters.
Again the Panthers were first to score to go six up from the restart. Gradually Wildcats improved offensively with many quality baskets from Jasmine Walker, Steph O’Shea and Helen Rohan and by the end of the penultimate quarter led 57-56. Hopes were now high and Wildcats faithful supporters were full of encouragement making plenty of noise in the hope their team could secure the all important win that would see them in the SuperLeague next season .and a win was very much on the cards as they led by six with five minutes to the games end. But alas more poor defending allowed the visitors to level the game 64-64 with three minutes remaining. Things got worse as Portlaoise scored seven unanswered points before two late scores from Wildcats left the final score at 71-74.
With no league games this weekend Wildcats have two weeks to get their act together before they travel to Galway for another nerve tingling encounter, a win in the West will be crucial as Wildcats next four games are against the leagues top teams.

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