A group of 23 children – all part of the North West Area Board regional academy – along with seven coaches and assistants, travelled to Salou over Easter to participate in the Mare Nostrum Cup Basketball Tournament .
Mare Nostrum Cup is a tournament with over 220 teams participating in both boys and girls competitions from U10 up to U18 and with different divisions in each group.
Photos courtesy of Jordan Cummins Photography
The North West Area Board teams were placed in Division B and games got started shortly after arrival on the Monday.
The girls games took place in Reus and girls had good results in all the group stage games playing teams from Askatuak S.B.T., C.B. Igualada and A.E.C. CollBlanc.
The girls went into their semi-final vs C.B.F. Cerdanyolda as strong favourites on their group performances but it was the fourth quarter before they got ahead in the game setting up a final with C.B. Llinars.
This was the toughest game for the girls over the week but the girls worked hard defensively and offensively and came out deservedly on top.
Team: Tiegan Smith, Annie McClintock, Shauna Higgins, Shannon Cunningham, Rachael Sullivan, Emma Gribben, Rhianna Devenney – Blaze Basketball Club Aoibhinn McGarrigle, Orla Keon, Lucy McGlynn – Ballyshannon 88ers.
Unfortunately the Sligo All Stars girls on academy had previously committed to a club team travelling to another tournament in Spain at same time so were unavailable.
The boys got their tournament off to a shakier start on the Monday evening vs.C.B. Sama losing out in a close encounter by one point.
This loss gave the boys the determination to play at the next level for the rest of the tournament beating Centre Católic Hospitalet and B.C. Sant Joan Despí well on the Tuesday.
The boys faced S.E. Sant Joan De Mata in the semi-final on Wednesday knowing that a victory here gave them the opportunity to redeem themselves vs C.B. Sama in the final.
Redeem themselves they did in the final with all 13 players playing their part in the game.
A display of grit and determination from the North West academy showed no respect or sympathy for the opposition where they treated their supporters to some unbeatable full court defence, great shooting and drives to basket and topped off by a little dunking.
Team: Sean Marsh, Dáire Maguire, Thomas Reynolds, Conor Logan, Killian Gribben , Liam Dowling – Blaze Basketball, Conor McGarvey – Mulroy Hoops Basketball, Kyle McCaffrey, Diarmuid & Darragh Flood-Dolan, Oisin McCauley – Ballyshannon 88ers, Ryan Young & Ryan Cummins – Sligo All Stars
This was the first international trip for the academies and hopefully the first of many.
The trip couldn’t have taken place without the support of all parents and players and financial help from Donegal Daily, ABP Beef, Councillors Barry O’Neill, Michael Naughton, Gerry McMonagle, Jimmy Kavanagh and Mark McSherry.
A massive thanks to the coaches and managers who travelled with teams Jona Quinea Morea, Niall McDermott, Tracey Flood and American LYIT Scholars, Cullen Donovan, Spencer Williams, Adiya Henderson & Jaelyn Tweedy – these scholars are all great role models for our young players .Tags: