Thursday May 2nd was an historic day for girls basketball in Coláiste Treasa, as the 1st year girls became All-Ireland silver medallists for the 1st time in the Schools history and also became the first girls from the School team to play in the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght.
The journey started back in January with the beginning of the league. The girls recorded victories over Coláiste an Chraoibhin,Fermoy, Loreto Fermoy, Scoil Mhuire Kanturk and St Mary’s Charleville. Their only defeat in the group stages was against Davis College Mallow after overtime in a very entertaining game. This qualified us in 2nd place in the group for the playoffs.
The quarter-final pitted us against Kinsale Community School. After a close battle, the girls emerged victorious with a shot from Holly O’Sullivan on the buzzer sealing the win. The reward was a home semi-final against Beara Community School. Again the team prevailed in another close battle and it was on to the final.
Neptune Stadium was the venue for the County final against St. Brogan’s Bandon. The first half was a cagey affair with both teams focused on defence. Katie O’Keeffe put St. Brogan’s point guard under immense pressure during this period and Ciara Brennan and Anastasia Farrell gathered some crucial rebounds to keep us in the game. Trailing by 7 points in the 3rd quarter, the team gathered themselves and upped the intensity. Led by the up-tempo play of Saoirse Foley and Lia Heffernan and some cool-headed shooting from Edel Moore and Ellie O’Sullivan, the team refused to give up and fought their way back to take the lead late in the 4th quarter. In the last few nail-biting seconds, St. Brogan’s had a shot to take the win but due to great defensive pressure, it missed the target and victory went to Coláiste Treasa.
Next up, for this group was the All-Ireland qualifiers. Coláiste Treasa was given the honour of hosting and we welcomed teams from Presentation, Listowel, Mount Anville, Dublin and Loreto Wexford. The match of the day proved to be the clash of Coláiste Treasa and Pres Listowel in the first match of the day. In a to-and-fro battle, the teams were locked together at the end of normal time and an additional 3 minutes needed to be played. With the home support in full voice, it was the Coláiste Treasa girls who held their nerve and crucial free throws from Grainne Hubbard, Saoirse Foley and Katie Savage sealed the victory 27-26. Wins against Mount Anville (41-10) and Loreto Wexford (39-12) followed and history was made.
The pairings for the All-Ireland semi-final saw us drawn to play against Colaiste na Carraige from Donegal. Unfortunately injuries to Holly O’Sullivan and Michaela O’Connor ruled them out for the day. Defence has been the strength of this team all year and the semi-final proved no different. Vital defensive plays from Ciara Collins and Ellie O’Sullivan created scoring opportunities for us and frustrated the Donegal players time and again. Sophie Murphy was a constant scoring threat throughout the game and punished the Donegal side any opportunity she had. Although the score was close throughout, Coláiste Treasa led all the way and again free throws proved crucial with Katie Savage, Sofija Obrezane and Megan O’Connor all scoring to put the game out of reach and secure our passage to the final.
Our final opponents were St. Louis’ from Carrickmacross who have been named ‘C’ Division School of the Year by Basketball Ireland this year. While all the girls kept fighting to the bitter end, they were defeated by a strong St. Louis’ team. Showing their true spirit, the girls played hard to the final whistle and were rewarded when Saoirse Foley made a 3-pointer in the last minute after good play from Amy Lehane and Katie O’Keeffe.
All members of the squad can be very proud of their achievements this year. The majority of the team only started playing in January and to win an All-Ireland silver medal is remarkable. The commitment shown from all 16 players was unbelievable with all girls attending training before school, at lunchtimes and during the Easter holidays. As a result of reaching the All-Ireland final, the school has now been promoted to the ‘B’ division where a new challenge awaits.
Minor Girls Basketball Team 2019