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Schools Basketball

Sacred Heart School Tullamore
Sacred Heart School Tullamore compete at B level in U19 and U16 level as well as first and second year competitions. The school has an enviable tradition having won All Ireland A titles in the Nineties and recently competing in the U19 C All Ireland Cup Final in 2009 and the U19 B Cup Final in 2010 in the National Basketball Arena. Irelands most illustrious Basketballer Susan Moran is a past pupil of the School.
Sacred Heart Devils First Year team 2011/12 won the Midland regional competition after going unbeaten through the group stages and a victory over Ursuline Secondary School Thurles in the Final. They competed at the All Ireland playoffs in Sligo winning all 3 games. Their run of 9 straight victories came to an end at the hands of eventual All Ireland champions St Josephs Presentation Castleisland 31-42 in the semi final played at the University of Limericks centre court on May10th 2012. As all finalists move up a grade the girls can look forward to more success in the years ahead with dedicated practice. TEAM PHOTO IN GALLERY
Colaiste Choilm

Unbeaten over eleven matches in League and Cup competitions, Coláiste Choilm, Tullamore's Under 19 Basketball team will be just one step away from All Ireland glory when they take on Palmerstown Community School at the National Basketball Arena, Tallaght, on Wednesday January 23rd in the final of the School's Cup.
Expertly coached by teachers Amanda Hogan and Orla Naughton, the team is aiming to bring the school its first ever National Basketball title. Up to last year, the school had to play all its matches at away venues as the school did not have a gym suitable for national competitions. The new state of the art gymnasium facilities at Coláiste Choilm should mean that there is a promising future for basketball there. Coláiste Choilm, with almost 600 pupils has a proud sporting and academic history and the entire school is expected to travel to Tallaght. This year, the school under 16 team went all the way to the All Ireland semi finals where they were beaten by a very strong Kenmare team whose team featured a son of the legendary Pat Spillane. They will certainly not lack for height with the five starting players all over six feet and two standing at 6'4". Their scoring averages are similar to that of Palmerstown which means it could and should be a really tight final. Three of the Coláiste Choilm team, John Kavanagh, Ciarán Moloney and Seamus Allen are hoping to add an All Ireland medal to their Offaly Minor Championship medals already won in this school year with Tullamore GAA. The team have also qualified for National League play offs which take place in Drogheda on Sunday February 3rd which could mean further glory for these talented young men. The Panel is as follows; Seamus Allen, Stephen Lynam, Shane McNiff, Kaeper Skura, John Kavanafh, James Lalor, Fintan Pierce, Mark Dubrovs, Declan Byrne, Jack Dunne, Paulius Simkievcius and Ciaran Maloney Midland Regional Final The Midland Regional Final was the gateway to the All Ireland semi final and this match versus St. Mary's CBS Portlaoise showed the depth of character of the Coláiste Choilm team. This match was an epic battle from start to finish and considered one of the finest schools finals for many years. Ciaran Moloney was the first to put the ball in the net for Coláiste Choilm with two scores in the opening minutes followed by 7pts from the 'on fire' James Lalor and 4pts for John Kavanagh. The first quarter finished with a one point advantage to Coláiste Choilm, 15pts to 14. The second quarter followed in the same thrilling atmosphere and with Portlaoise keeping top scorer John Kavanagh to just two points, team work and patient play resulted in the Coláiste Choilm lads being 3 points up at half time 23pts to 20. The script couldn't have been written for what happened in the second half of the match and all present will be talking about it for many a year to come. John Kavanagh who was being double marked by Portlaoise managed to get free and scored 4 pts. With the introduction of substitute Jack Dunne the Portlaoise defence had difficulty coping with his power and he chalked up 6 pts under the boards. Going into the final eight minutes of the game the score was 31pts Portlaoise 33 pts Tullamore and the fight was on. Declan Byrne, Ciaran Moloney and Jack Dunne added baskets for Coláiste Choilm but St. Mary's matched basket for basket in a cauldron of sound and cheers. The atmosphere was thrilling, the shouting deafening and the supporters and coaches were all on their feet. Portlaoise led with 5 seconds to go and it seemed like it was all over. But the resilience and pure determination from the Coláiste Choilm defence saw the delivery of a powerhouse pass to the waiting James Lalor. He sprinted through the Portlaoise defence and after one mighty leap, the ball left his hand, the buzzer went, the crowd stilled, watching, waiting and the ball sailed through the net. The sides were level. The referee's whistle was barely heard and he signalled "score was good, one shot" as the crowd and team benches erupted. Lalor had drawn a foul, the time was up, the teams were level, he had one free throw for glory. Supporters couldn't look, team mates couldn't look as James composed himself on the free throw line. The ball was launched towards the basket, 'swish' through the net to win the game. Absolute heroic performances from both teams resulted in Coláiste Choilm winning by the narrowest of margins. A great day and one for the memories. Panel and scorers: J.Kavanagh (10 pts), J.Lalor (12 pts), C.Moloney (8pts), D.Byrne (4pts), J.Dunne (10 pts), M.Dubrovs, S.Lynam (Captain),K.Skura, S.Mcniff, S.Allen, F.Pierce, P.Simkevcius. All Ireland Semi Final Thursday 9th January was the date, University of Limerick the venue and Castlerea Community School the opposition. Coláiste Choilm got off to a good start with big man Declan Byrne winning the jump and top scorer John Kavanagh notching up the first basket and scoring 8 points in the first quarter. Excellent defending by Ciaran Moloney under the boards and Mark Dubrovs up front ensured only 4 points were scored by Castlerea in the first ten minutes of the game. Unfortunately the first quarter also saw ball carrier James Lalor bow out of the game after only five minutes due to a knee injury. The second quarter saw Coláiste dominant in offense and defence. Great leadership from playmaker John Kavanagh resulted in Coláiste Choilm scoring 21 points including a well -placed three pointer from Kavanagh himself. Castlerea were held to 3 points in this quarter. Castlerea came back strongly in the third quarter scoring 24 points but Coláiste Choilm kept their heads and their discipline while Seamus Allen scored a cheeky 3 pointer to open his account and 'steady the ship'. Castlerea who had won previous underage national titles with this team quite simply could not match the power and height of Declan Byrne, Ciarán Moloney and Jack Dunne or the scoring ability of Coláiste Choilm and in particular John Kavanagh. The final quarter saw Coláiste Choilm ease to a comfortable victory including a magnificent 3 pointer from Mark Dubrovs. Final score Tullamore 78, Castlerea 43. Panel and scorers: J. Kavanagh (26) C.Moloney(12) D.Byrne (12) M.Dubrovs (7) J.Dunne (8) S.Allen (3) J.Lalor (1) K.Skura (4) S.Lynam (2) P.Simkevcius (2) S.McNiff, F.Pierce. Coláiste Choilm, Tullamore Under 16 Basketball Coláiste Choilm basketball coaches Ms. Amanda Hogan and Ms.Orla Naughton led the U16 and U 19 teams to respective victories in the Midland Regional Finals in St Mary's Hall, Portlaoise. The day started with the U 16s taking to the court against a well fancied Celbridge team, who had already beaten Coláiste Choilm in the league stages. At the end of the first quarter, Celbridge led 16 points to 10, and looked in total control. However, the Colaiste Choilm boys settled into the second quarter a little more aggressively and reduced the deficit to one point at half time with a scoreline of 22pts to 21. Coláiste Choilm were back in the game. However, the game was far from over and Celbridge found their momentum again to lead at the end of the third quarter 32pts to 29. They kept Celbridge to only 2 points in the final quarter while they scored 11 leaving them winners 40 pts to 34. Outstanding defensive work by Chinnie Izuchukwu on Celbridge's no. 22, with some great scores by Niall Flynn and Liam Óg Ó hOistín, and strong play from Cathal Mangan, Luke Plunkett and Eoghan Martin all contributed to this victory for Coláiste Choilm. Niall Flynn(9), Liam Óg Ó hOistín(8), Cathal Mangan(6), Luke Plunkett(6), Eoghan Martin(4), Chinnie Izuchukwu(4), P.J. Daly(2), Dominic Skura(1) The U16 team also played in University of Limerick in the semi-final against a very strong Kenmare side. They did not share the success of the U19 team but acquitted themselves well with an end score of 43pts to 27 for Kenmare. They finished All-Ireland bronze medallists.