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U-19 Basketball 2015-16




ST OLIVER'S: Louis Ogbomo, Marius Tublevic, Tevin Thomas (12), Sean Rooney, James Carroll (4), Olamide Fazaz, Samuel Cole (4), Yannick Uchegbulum, Ola Ogunjimi (4), Rahil Mohammed, Paul Akin (17)


ST OLIVER'S: Samuel Cole (8), Louis Ogbomo, Danny Onianwa, James Carroll (4), Sean Rooney, Marius Tublevic, Rahil Mohammed, Ola Ogunjimi, Tevin Thomas (17), Paul Akin (22), Yannick Uchegbulum (4),



ST OLIVER'S: Samuel Cole (1), Louis Ogbomo, James Carroll (9), Sean Rooney, Marius Tublevic, Rahil Mohammed, Ola Ogunjimi (4), Tevin Thomas (21), Paul Akin (13), Yannick Uchegbulum (5)



At the beginning of the first quarter it looked like it was going to be more of the same in this match. Ollies U-19 team played pressure defence and raced into a commanding 22:12 lead after the first quarter. People were starting to think it was going to be another blow out however this final would prove to be much more competitive. In the second quarter  St Peter's danger man A. Litman upped his game hitting 15pts in the quarter including three big 3-pointers from deep. The half time score was St. Oliver's 32:30 St. Peter's

The start of the third quarter saw a few substitutions for St. Olivers who had some players in foul trouble. A. Litmun St. Peters sharpshooter saw the new gaps in the defence and hit a further three 3 -pointers and seemed unstoppable. Tevin Thomas scored consistently throughout the whole game however he also in the third quarter was starting to make his presence more felt, running in layups off fast breaks and getting to the free throw line just enough to keep his team close. The third quarter ended with St Oliver trailing 47:42.

It was clear going into the fourth quarter that it was too close to call. And it was going to be a nail-biter. However the Ollies had other ideas. It seemed as though St. Olivers had a sixth gear in the fourth quarter they overwhelmed their fatigued opponents and steal after steal they scored lay up after lay up. The final whistle blew and St. Olivers celebrated another great win and doing the double. It was a fantastic team performance and teamwork certainly was the difference between the two sides. Player of the game was team captain Tevin Thomas who scored an outrageous 42 points which must be some kind of record. Both St. Olivers U-16 and U-19 basketball teams are full of confidence as they progress to the all-Ireland playoffs which will be played in January.


All-Ireland play-offs


Following the recent success of St Oliver’s U-16 basketball team, the U-19 team came under the spotlight facing St. Kevin’s Finglas and Coláiste Chiarán from Croom, Co. Limerick in the play-offs with the advantage of a home venue.First up for St Oliver’s were the Dubliners who had several Tolka Rovers club players amongst their ranks and this game would prove a big test of St Oliver’s All-Ireland credentials.

The opening quarter started at a very fast pace as both teams tried to assert themselves upon the opposition and although purposeful in offence, scores were hard to come by. St Kevin’s finally got the opening score before Paul Akin got St Oliver’s up and running with a free throw. Kevin’s were edging the contest and put further points on the board with some good play from their No.10. Paul Akin got in for another two to leave the Finglas side 3 points up at the end of the first quarter. St Oliver’s 4-7 St. Kevin’s
St Kevin’s No.10 started where he finished off the first quarter by opening with a two pointer in the second, and they stretched their advantage to seven with another score off a fast break. St Oliver’s looked to be in a bit of trouble at this stage but U-16 powerhouse Ola Ogunjimi collected an offensive rebound and got up for his opening score of the game. St Oliver’s further reduced the deficit with two free throws from Captain Tevin Thomas after he was fouled following a steal as St Oliver’s applied pressure up court. St Oliver’s were finally getting into their stride and Paul Akin kit another two only for St Kevin’s to respond with a big three pointer of their own.
The teams traded scores again soon after as Tevin sunk another couple of free throws before St Kevin’s No.10 hit another two points and made no mistake from the free throw line with a free throw.  It was clear at this stage that if St Oliver’s were to wrestle control of the game from their opponents that St Kevin’s No.10 would require some closer attention as the game progressed. Tevin Thomas closed the second quarter with another two free throws for St Oliver’s leaving five between the teams. St Oliver’s 14-19 St Kevin’s.
St Kevin’s No.10 started the third quarter as he did the previous two with another two pointer and free throw, before Tevin Thomas continued his ever increasing influence on the game with a dribble and finish through the heart of the St Kevin’s defence. Ola Ogunjimi got up well for another two points and Tevin hit a massive three pointer to make it seven on the bounce for St Oliver’s. St Oliver’s were now in the ascendancy and Tevin stole the ball and drove at the Kevin’s basket to add two more. James Carroll finished off the quarter with his first score following a steal from the hard working Yannick Uchegbulem to see St Oliver’s take the lead for the first time in the game, if only by a single point.
Tevin continued the scoring with two more after good defence from Marius Tublevic at the start of the fourth. St Kevin’s were under sustained pressure now but hit back in impressive fashion with two points, followed quickly by another three pointer.
Despite the five point turn around St Oliver’s quickly asserted their dominance once again, with Paul Akin scoring a quick brace following good defensive work. Ola rounded off this purple patch for St Oliver’s with a purposeful drive and finish almost the length of the court. Kevin’s weren’t about to give in though and kept in touch with another two points, but they struggled to contain the aerial threat of Paul Akin and he added another two in a dominant display. Kevin’s did reply with a classy score however but Paul responded with another basket. Ola and Tevin scored further free throws to round off the final quarter as Kevin’s tried to stop the clock.
St Oliver’s ran out seven point winners on a 42:35 score line against what was a well organised and talented St Kevin’s team. Tevin Thomas was particularly impressive for St Oliver’s throughout the game and Paul Akin stepped up with a dominant final quarter but ultimately it was St Oliver’s fitness and disciplined play that saw them through this game. Next up for St Oliver’s was Coláiste Chiarán for a place in the All-Ireland semi-final.

St Oliver’s: James Carroll. Tevin Thomas, Paul Akin, Samuel Cole, Sean Rooney, Marius Tublevic, Yannick Uchegbulem, Ola Ogunjimi, Olamide Fazaz. Louis Ogbomo

The next game of the day would have an impact on proceedings as St Kevin’s had to play Coláiste Chiarán. Despite a good opening half from St Kevin’s, fatigue set in and Coláiste Chiarán gradually pegged them back and finished the final quarter very strongly to see them run out eight point winners and set up a mouth watering winner takes all game against St Oliver’s.



The first quarter of this game followed a similar pattern as the last with a very low scoring tense affair. Croom settled first with the opening basket before St Oliver's got into their stride; Tevin Thomas and James Carroll both scored two pointers before Paul Akin finished an exquisite James Carroll assist to put St Oliver's in 6-3 in front at the end of the first quarter.
St Oliver's started the second quarter as they finished the first, Yannick slipped in for his opening score of the game after a discreet pass from Tevin. St Oliver's were in cruise control at this stage, with further points from Marius, Tevin and a big two from Ola. Yannick took hit tally for the quarter to six points with a quick brace, the second a well worked score with another assist from St Oliver's star player Tevin Thomas. St Oliver's were 17-9 in front now and this cushion gave them the chance to give some players a much needed rest, three of last weeks winning U-16 team now featured on the court for St Oliver's.
The opening quarter brought much of the same for St Oliver's as they continued the scoring with two points from Paul Akin and a massive three from James Carroll after a patient build up. St Oliver's hit another purple patch half way through the quarter with Paul Akin hitting six points on the trot, to put the visitors seemingly out of reach as St Oliver's held a 28-11 lead.
To their credit, Croom fought back when they could have thrown in the towel and began to chip away at the St Oliver's lead. St Oliver's were under a bit of pressure now and found it difficult to regain their momentum. Croom reduced the deficit to just seven by the end of the quarter. Although under increased pressure St Oliver’s started the fourth well and Tevin Thomas delivered with a much needed three pointer to put ten points between the teams again. Croom finished their last game against St Kevin's very strongly and refused to give in once again as they responded immediately with two points before reducing the deficit further to six with an excellent reverse lay up from their number thirteen. The momentum was all with Croom now and St Oliver's were in danger of letting this one slip away, especially when Croom narrowed the margin to a single score with another basket and free throw. St Oliver's tried in vain to get themselves back in the game as Croom's well organised defence repelled attack after attack, countering with another excellent basket from their number thirteen to leave a single point between the teams. Paul Akin finally got another basket for St Oliver's after a long drought to give them some slight breathing space going into the final minute. Croom would not be beaten however and finished the game with a free throw and another two points to force the game into over time.
Perhaps the break before overtime was just what St Oliver's needed to gather themselves once again and put a halt to the Croom onslaught. Paul Akin started overtime with the opening basket before Croom responded with a free throw. In situations like this teams need their best players to stand up and be counted and St Oliver's captain Tevin Thomas delivered with two quality jump shots to give St Oliver's the edge once again. St Oliver's took control of the game in over time and ran out six point winners in the end on a 40-34 score-line. Croom deserve huge credit however for pushing St Oliver's all the way, in particular their defiance in reducing a seventeen point deficit to force the game into over time.
These two high quality games will stand St Oliver's in good stead as they march onto the All-Ireland semi-finals which will be played in the National basketball arena in Tallaght in the coming weeks.

St Oliver’s: James Carroll. Tevin Thomas, Paul Akin, Samuel Cole, Sean Rooney, Marius Tublevic, Yannick Uchegbulem, Ola Ogunjimi, Olamide Fazaz. Louis Ogbomo





All-Ireland Semi-final


Following their All-Ireland play-off success St Oliver' travelled down to the national basketball arena in Tallaght to play St Malachy's from Belfast in the U-19 semi-final followed by an U-16 semi-final against St Aidan's from Cork.
This was a huge occasion for all teams and the nerves showed in the opening quarter of the senior game. Malachy's settled early with the opening basket before Paul Akin took an offensive rebound and tipped in for two to get St Oliver's up and running. Paul followed up immediately with another two after a James Carroll assist. The teams traded scores mid way through the quarter but St Oliver's finished strongest as team captain Tevin Thomas finished the quarter with three points. St Oliver's 9-5 St Malachy's.
There was a considerable step up in intensity in the second quarter as St Malachy's got the opening score again, before Paul Akin finished a terrific move that he started, taking down a big defensive rebound before offloading to Tevin who dribbled up court and fed James Carroll who provided the decisive pass into Paul to apply the necessary finish. Malachy's though were not about to lie down and replied immediately with a well worked score of their own. Paul was beginning to impress his physique on the game for St Oliver's and finished off another move getting up powerfully under the basket. St Malachy's to their credit again responded immediately. Although narrowly infront on the score board St Oliver's were not playing with the same fluency that they had in previous games. Their northern counterparts had a well organised defense and through their no.11, they were a constant threat on the counter attack. The before mentioned no.11 was beginning to exert a strong influence on the game at this stage and made a strong run and dribble up court and finished the most impressive score of the game to date. Despite being under some pressure St Oliver's finished the half ahead by the narrowest of margins as Tevin finished a strong drive to see St Oliver's lead 18-17 at the half-time break.
St Malachy's started the third quarter as they had the first and second by getting the opening score, the first of a flurry with both teams trying to stae their intentions from the off. James put Tevin through for two on the break and Paul backed that score up with another basket before Malachy's repoonded with a score of their own. Similarly to the pattern of the second quarter St Malcachy's seemed to grow in confidence as the quarter wore on and began to put some fine scores together before James Carroll responded to halt the slide for St Oliver's. Malachy's were relentless in attack now and began to force St Oliver's into mistakes before punishing them on the break. The game was getting away from St Oliver's now going in to the last, but then enter Samuel Cole with a massive three pointer for St Oliver's in the dying seconds of the third. This was a much needed boost for St Oliver's who now only trailed by two going into the fourth quarter.
St Oliver's started the fourth quarter on top as Ola scored two free shots, to put the teams level. Both teams traded scored after that, with tevin hitting a nice jump shot and Yannick adding another two to leave the teams tied with 5:13 on the clock. Tevin Thomas was beginning to exert his own influence on preceedings and hit a big three to give St Oliver's the advantage before St Malachy's reponded again. St Malachy's No.5 had been the player of the match so far and he increased his own personal tall with another two to edge Malachy's infront again with 3.09 on the clock. Leading from the front now St Oliver's capatin Tevin Thomas hit his second three in a short space of time to give St Oliver's a two point advantage with only 1.21 on the clock. I was to be heart break for St Oliver's in the end though as St Malachy's finished the game with the final two scores to see them win the game by two points. St Oliver's 38-40.

The players and team management were devastated at the final whistle as St Oliver's buoyed on by their incredible supporters just came up short in this one. Despite the loss, St Oliver's players can be very proud of themselves and we'll all look forward to going one step further next year.