Omagh Thunder Juniors Vs. Andersontown Tigers
Omagh Thunder’s U14’s, 16’s and 18’s boys travelled to Belfast to face off against Andersontowns Tigers last Sunday 11th November at De La Salle College.
Omagh Thunder U14’s Vs. Andersontown Tigers
First to hit the court were the Under 14’s who put up a strong fight against the Andersontown boys. Thunder’s U14’s were unlucky in the first quarter with scoring opportunities however played a solid defence to ensure minimal scoring opportunities for the Tigers. The Thunder U14’s finished the first quarter down by three with a score of 9-6 to the Tigers.
The Thunder U14’s started the second quarter with two baskets from Mark Hayes and showed great teamwork alongside Odhrán Mc Namee who both displayed a great performance on the court however the Thunder juniors were unable to take the lead over the Tigers who were leading 21-16 at the end of the first half. In the third and fourth quarter of the game the Thunder juniors trailed behind the Tigers and were unable to close the gap between them, losing out on the game by 10 points with a final score of 39-29 to Andersontown Tigers. The Weigh Inn’s Top Scorer for Omagh was Charlie Mc Kinney who played a fantastic game, putting up 10 points for Thunder.
Omagh Thunder U16’s Vs. Andersontown Tigers
Next to face off against the Tigers were Thunder’s U16’s who got off to a slow start against the Tigers due to a great display of defensive pressure that kept Thunder struggling to find the basket. The first quarter ended with the Tigers leading by 10 points with a score of 18-8. Thunder U16’s needed to come out strong in the second quarter to close the gap however struggled with finding scoring opportunities leaving them further from victory. The first half ended 31-12 to Andersontown Tigers and chances of a victory seemed slim for Thunder.
The third quarter however was a much different story than the first half with the Thunder coming onto the court much stronger than before with Thunders Tiyrone Weir standing tall and smashing in 8 points for Omagh. The Mc Dowell twins, Adam and Conor displayed some great teamwork leading to scoring opportunities that helped Thunder in their comeback which seen the Thunder winning the quarter 7 points to 12 however still behind on the scoreboard, 38-24 to Tigers. The final quarter saw Thunder’s eagerness to win and although the boys managed to tie the quarter 11-11 they unfortunately lost out to the Tigers with the final score, 49-35.
Omagh Thunder U18’s Vs. Andersontown Tigers
Last to take the court were the Under 18’s to finish off a day of basketball for Omagh Thunder and Andersontown Tigers. It didn’t take Thunder long to take the lead of what would be become one of the most intense endings for the Thunder U18’s this season. The two teams played a solid defence denying each other any easy scoring opportunities, however this wasn’t enough against Thunder’s Vytaras Jankus who sank two 3-pointers in the first quarter and scored 8 of the 10 points for Omagh which gave them the lead, with a score of 10-4 to Thunder.
The second quarter mimicked the first in terms of scoring with the Thunder scoring yet another 10 points and the Tigers scoring 4. Thunder’s Tiarnán Doody and Shane O’ Neill put their names on the score sheet with two excellent baskets for Omagh to secure their lead in the first half. Much like the first quarter, Vytaras Jankus scored another two 3-pointers in the second quarter making him a danger for the Tigers.
The third quarter saw a change up by the Tigers with a change of defence known as ‘box and one’ were the Tigers man marked Vytaras to deny him any scoring opportunities. With the tighter defence Omagh struggled to further their lead, however, Vytaras managed to get open to sink yet another 3-pointer, leaving the score at 23-14 to Omagh at the end of the third quarter.
In the final quarter the Thunder found it difficult not only in trying to beat the Tigers defence but also stopping them on offence. The Tigers managed to make a comeback with less than two minutes left on the clock with the score of 23-23 on the boards. With only a minute to go there was a foul called on Thunder giving the Tigers two free-throws of which they scored both, giving the Tigers the lead by two. To take the lead, Thunder’s Vytaras attempted another 3-pointer however was fouled which meant Vytaras had three free-throws to come.
With a magnitude of pressure upon his shoulders, Vytaras scored all three baskets, putting Thunder back in the lead by a single point with only thirty seconds left on the clock. The last seconds of the game ended and Thunder U18’s took the win. The Weigh Inn’s MVP was Vytaras Jankus who scored a remarkable 20 points for Omagh Thunder consisting of five 3-pointers and the three game winning free-throws. The final score, 26-25 to Thunder.