WIT Vikings 64 -
PORTALOISE PANTHERS 67
Jack Murphy in action for WIT Vikings on Saturday night at the WIT Arena.
Basketball Ireland Men’s Division One
Close but just not close enough.
While disappointed with the result, coach Mick Evans was happy that the team performance was much better in Saturday’s night game against Portlaoise which WIT Vikings lost by a narrow margin of just three points in a game that ended WIT Vikings 64, Portlaoise Panthers 67.
This game displayed a better defensive performance by WIT Vikings than any of the four previous games. Offence was poor in the first period with the team scoring just 10 points – a poor return that saw them down seven by the end of first 17 to 10.
The second period was much better offensively with better movement creating better scoring opportunities and good performances off the bench from Scott Dunphy, Cian O’Rourke and Jay Kavanagh. At half time the team were down by just six points.
WIT Vikings came out after the break and put in their best period of the game at both ends of the floor giving up just 11 points while netting 21 (Noe 6 Murphy 6 and Kavanagh 5) going into the lead for the first time 51 to 47.
Into the forth quarter and it was fairly level with WIT Vikings holding their lead up until about three minutes to go when Portlaoise brought them game level with a three and a two, then another three from former WIT student Jack Dooley put them ahead, a lead that was to prove insurmountable for the Vikings.
While overall the team performance was much better, missed three-point shots four from 22 and 24 turnovers were in the end the undoing of WIT Vikings. Having gone through the first five games without a win there is definitely a realisation by all involved with the team of the jump that is required to play at this level. It is a bit higher than a lot had perceived but that has just spurred them on all the more. While WIT Vikings are not at the level of the top teams just yet, they now know they can compete. WIT Vikings are on the road again this coming Saturday this time to Limerick in another battle of the IT’s when they take on Limerick IT. Tip off in LIT is at 7pm.
WIT VIKINGS TEAM & SCORERS: Brian Horan, Craig O’Neill (10), John Lannigan, Jay Kavanagh (14), Ryan Pepper (9), Zak Dunphy, Cian O’Rourke, James Robinson (2), Jack Murphy (8), Scott Dunphy (6) and Danial Noe (15).