Belfast Star can still shine as under-20s chase glory
The senior side may have missed out on Cup glory this year, but Belfast Star's under-20 side will be gunning for glory on January 24 at the National Basketball Arena when they meet Moycullen.
Twin brothers Conor and Aidan Quinn - who play for the senior side in the All Ireland Premier League - were to the fore for Star as they triumphed in an exciting National Cup under-20 semi-final with Limerick Lakers, winning 73-60. Aidan top scored with 16 and Conor had 13, while John Largey had 13 points.
"I've been playing under-20 since I was 16," said Star's Captain Conor Quinn. "I think our experience came through out there. This is our third semi-final here.
"We started off well and stuck to the game plan. We got into trouble then. I personally wasn't having a good performance and started looking at ways to impact the game, but fair play to Limerick they came out and put it to us."
A nervy start from Limerick allowed Star to take control of the boards early on and they took a 25-14 first-quarter lead, but Limerick fought back with Patryk Lewandowski hitting a three-pointer and Cillian Fahy came up with a couple of baskets to close the gap. At half-time Star had the edge 35-31.
Three-pointers from Fahy and Lewandowski brought the sides level at 57-57 with 3:44 remaining and it seemed as if the momentum was with the Lakers, but Star then raised their game once again with the Quinn lads showing their class on the fast break.
Star coach Adrian Fulton used his bench wisely as his boys secured their place in the final.