Gators miss out on final spot
THE WICKLOW Lady Gators travelled away to Artane who had home court advantage which gave them the edge in a tight and hard-fought Dublin Senior Womens Cup semi-final.
The Gators jumped into the lead as Patrica Delahunt and Christine Delahunt scored from the start but after early lead of 4-0 the Gators could not buy a basket. Artane playing a tight inside game gave the Gators loads of room to shoot from the outside, but unfortunately the Gators could not make them pay for their defensive choice.
Artane then took control and led 7-4 at the end of the first quarter. Artane then really made the Gators pay for their poor defensive work and drew fouls after foul which saw them go to the free throw line early in the second quarter and punished the Gators to increase their lead to 20-4, as the Gators were missing their free throws.
A time out and change of plan saw the Gators pull back the lead as they scored through Yasmine Larkin, Kristine Delahunt and Patrica Delahunt to reduce the lead to 24-11. Defensively the Gators Precilla Bennett, Rachel Kavanagh, and Patrica Delahunt did a great job shutting down Artane’s top scorer keeping her scoreless, and the continued to do this for the second half. But again it was offensively that they struggled as the shots just would not fall, and Artane kept the Gators off the offensive boards completely.
Eventually the Gators hit a purple patch and Yasmine Larkin hit a strong drive to the basket, while Siobhain Vickers and Christine Kavanagh hit some outside shots. But Artane kept the lead at 30-19 at the end of the third quarter and this meant the Gators had to go chase the game.
Two free throws from Kristine Delahunt, a drive from Patrice Franey and a shot from Rachel Kavanagh reduced the lead to 32-25. But this was as close as the Gators got as they traded three-pointers with Artane who fought hard and gave up no easy baskets. They now have three games left in the league, and should end up in the top four.
Scorers: Patrica Delahunt (6 points), Kristine Delahunt (6 points), Yasmine Larkin (5 points, Siobhain Vickers (5 points), Rachel Kavanagh (4 points, Christine Kavanagh (2 points), Patrice Franey (2 points).