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Ricky Taylor the shining light for Star

By David Kelly

It was the Ricky Taylor show at MCB yesterday as Belfast Star dug themselves out of a hole to defeat Neptune 101-89 and move to fourth in the All-Ireland Premier League.

Star had an awful first quarter which left them trailing 35-19 and then 51-42 at the half-time interval as Taylor started to click but in the third quarter he exploded and finished as the top scorer with an amazing 43 points in this Tayto-sponsored match.

Momentum is everything in basketball and American Taylor handed it to Star with a blistering start to the second half. A lay-up was followed by one of three length-of-the-court run and lay-ups and a then a three-pointer to take Star into the lead within two minutes of the re-start.

Taylor had sparked his side into life and Conor Quinn joined the party with some great driving runs to the basket. In one moment he made a great defensive block and then slotted home a basket at the other end as Star grabbed the match by the throat.

While Roy Downey was having an excellent game for the Cork side, slotting home crucial three-pointers, Taylor along with Quinn, Keelan Cairns and Michael McKillop - who arguably had his best game of the season - kept Star in front. They led 75-64 going into the final quarter and never looked like being overthrown.

Hot shot Taylor said: "This is a great win for us and for me 43 is a new personal record. I had 41 in college basketball but one of my goals was to have a 40-point game as a pro and I've done it. As a team the chemistry has just got better and better. I want us to win things and we can."

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