Fulton is left to sweat on injury to key man as Star seal victory
As joyous as it must have been for Adrian Fulton to watch teenage son CJ produce a man-of-the match performance in Belfast Star's 76-68 All Ireland Superleague victory over Moycullen, he has been hit by the fear that American Delaney Blaylock could be out for a period of time.
In the second quarter on Saturday night at La Salle, Blaylock spun and released a pass before landing awkwardly and twisting his knee, which led Fulton to make the decision of withdrawing him from the game at half-time. Blaylock was assessed yesterday and is expected to have an MRI scan within the next two days.
"We just don't know what the outcome will be with Delaney. We need to wait for the results of the MRI to see what happens," said Fulton, who has brought 6ft 5 Swede David Jallow in.
"After bringing him out of the game when it first happened, we got to half-time and in the dressing room Delaney was adamant that he wanted to go back out but I took the decision to pull him out because we just couldn't take the risk. He's only 22 and if he had gone out and sustained a very bad injury it could have ruined his career."
Just as Star rely heavily on the prowess of Blaylock, the ingenuity and clinical precision of 17-year-old point guard Fulton drove them to victory when it seemed the tide was turning.
With Blaylock on the sidelines, Star's 10-point half-time lead was reduced to four going into the final quarter as they led 60-56.
Moycullen could smell blood but Fulton kept the scoreboard ticking over and also set up Aidan Quinn and Keelan Cairns for critical baskets, while Dominic Lynn also made a fine second half contribution.
Fulton finished as Star's top scorer on 25 points and dad Adrian admitted the 17-year-old provided the poise and needed down the stretch.
"CJ has had a very good start to the season and on Saturday night he was terrific, particularly when we were playing without Delaney. The whole team showed real character," said Fulton.