St. Louis Carrickmacross landed the Subway Schools Under-19 C Girls Cup with a two point victory, 39-37 over Laurel Hill SS (Limerick) in the National Basketball Arena.
The game was decided by two free throws as Sarah Corr and Lauren Garland kept their cool from the line to see St Louis home.
That was after Laurel Hill launched a major comeback in the fourth quarter to bring the game down to the wire.
It was end-to-end action right from the off, Laurel Hill getting the better of the early exchanges, Amy Higgins, Claire Goggin and Jana Zundei dominating as they took a 6-9 lead at first quarter-time.
St.Louis found their feet in the second though, scores rained in from MVP Aine Loughman, Caitlin Wilcox and Sarah Corr to edge them into a 16-11 lead and they stretched that out to 20-13 at half-time.
It looked like St. Louis were going to keep the momentum in the third-quarter, as they stretched their lead out further in the opening few minutes.
A rejuvenated Laurel Hill had other ideas, Simona Mlakova, Higgins and Zundei led the charge and by the end of the quarter, had cut the gap to three points, trailing 30-27.
The action had the crowd on their feet for the entire fourth-quarter as Laurel Hill continued their comeback to tee up a thrilling finale.
With just two minutes gone in the fourth-quarter, it was back to a one-point game courtesy of Zundei.
Huge displays at the other end from St Louis’ Loughman, Corr and Wilcox kept the sides matched score for score, but with five minutes to go, Laurel had slipped into the lead by four.
Determination was the name of the game for St. Louis, led by Loughman they continued to pressure Laurel Hill, forcing turnovers to win back crucial points, squaring the game at 36-points each with two minutes remaining.
Nerves of steel were the name of the game as the clock ticked down with Wilcox, Corr and Garland all hitting a free throw each in the dying seconds, it was enough to see St Louis home to glory.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve won anything up here in the Arena” explained St. Louis Carrickmacross head coach Eugene O’Hanlon.
“It must be over 20 years, so we’re absolutely delighted.
Listen to Eugene O’Hanlon’s interview with Mary McGuire
St.Louis Carrickmacross (Monaghan): Aine Loughman (21), Clare Duffy, Lauren Garland (1), Sarah Corr (8), Amy Garland (3), Caitlin Wilcox (5), Michelle McMahon, Sarah Martin (1), Aine Corbally, Ella Carolan, Abby Mee, Katie Finnegan, Naomi Ohenhen, Abby Mitchell, Sarah McHugh, Grace Connolly.
Laurel Hill SS (Limerick): Amy Higgins (10), Jana Zundel (7), Claire Goggin (7), Jodie O’Halloran (2), Isabelle Meaney, Orla Zundel, Emily Mullins, Moya Henn (2), Jennifer Duffy, Isabelle Murphy (5), Simona Mlakova (4), Roisin Ryan.
MVP: Aine Loughman (St Louis)