BASKETBALL IRELAND WOMEN'S DIVISION 1

Donegal based Fabplus North West clinch points in the final seconds

Democrat Reporter

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Donegal based Fabplus North West clinch points in the final seconds

Exciting win in final seconds for North West

On Saturday afternoon Fabplus North West Senior Women's Basketball Team travelled to Belfast to play Belfast Phoenix Rockets in their second game of the season in Basketball Ireland 's Women's Division 1.

Belfast Phoenix Rockets .... 73

Fabplus North West ........ 77

Their opponents, like Fabplus North West, had lost their opening game,so one of the teams were going to rack up their first three points of the season.

Coaches Paul Mc Devitt and Bill Collins selected a nine-player bench: Saoirse Mc Devitt, Ruta Balenztyte, Sarah Daly, Claire Leavey, Aisling Nee, Orla Carberry, Clodagh Brennan, Laura Deeney, Jaelyn Tweedy and Adiya Henderson (Dee). 

The Rockets got off to a good start in the game finishing Q1 with a 20-10 lead - a quarter in which Charley McGrath scored well, particularly from the free-throw line.

In Q2 Sinead Smye took over free-throw duties as she scored 6 points from the line - helping the home team to a 40-27 lead at half-time.

To most observers the home team seemed to have the upper hand overall in the game with more efficient scoring and fewer turnovers - and it looked like the Rockets' lead would continue to stretch.

However, in the second half the County Donegal based team came out of the blocks from the break with much improved energy with Dee Henderson and Tweedy started to hit their straps with great shooting from distance.

MOMENTUM SHIFT

North West narrowed the deficit by six points in Q3 and the watching crowd could sense a momentum shift in the hall. However with the Rockets still scoring consistently in Q3 it looked like North West would need a very high points total in Q4 to overcome the Rockets.

But just at the wrong time, in Q4 the Rockets shooting and their shot choice began to let them down - whilst at the same time Tweedy and Henderson of North West kept hitting their shots.

North West, to their credit, had the confidence in themselves to keep pushing hard in that final quarter in order to close the 7-point gap - and that sustained pressure clearly impacted on Rockets' play.

With just over two minutes remaining the scores evened up at 70 points apiece.

But Rockets weren't finished yet - and a point from the line edged the Rockets back in front - only for North West to square things up again at 73-73 following a great three-pointer from Claire Leavey - with 15 seconds left.

Then a couple of turnovers cost Rockets dearly as North West took a 2-point lead through a Henderson jump shot with 15 seconds left. Unfortunately, Rockets lost possession and were forced to foul on the next play and Tweedy went to the free-throw line and calmly dropped her two throws to secure the win for the visitors. 

Next game v Elks at 3pm in University of Ulster Jordanstown.