InsureMyVan.ie Men’s Super League 2022/2023 – Round 12
Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 74
DBS Éanna 66
Garvey’s Tralee Warriors remain in the hunt for a Super League playoff place as they secured their second home win of the season with an eight point win over Cup finalists DBS Éanna at the Tralee Sports Complex on Saturday night. The Warriors were full value for their win with a much improved performance, leading throughout before capturing the priceless League points on offer in front of a huge home crowd.
They got off to the best possible start with Eoin Quigley opening the scoring before a hat trick of scores from Dre Jackson and a brace from Matija Jokic forced Éanna coach Darren McGovern to call an early time out. Neil Lynch hit a couple of trademark threes to bring the visitors back into the game and Josh Wilson, Stefan Desnica and Romonn Nelson kept them in touch but Quigley and Jokic were again on the mark and when Daniel Jokubaitis hit a stunning three pointer the Warriors led 20-14 at quarter time.
The Warriors moved further ahead early in the second with a combination of scores from either side of the arc from Kieran Donaghy, Jokic and another couple of major efforts from Jokubaitis pushing the hosts out to lead by 15. Two major scores for Éanna from Wilson and another from Lynch narrowed the Warriors lead but a brave drive to the board from Donaghy rounded out a very impressive quarter from the Tralee side who led 40-31 at the long break.
The Warriors advantage was all but wiped out early in the third with Lynch and Wilson in range from distance and Mark Reynolds and Desnica following up with scores from inside but a big three each from Jokubaitis and Jokic saw the Warriors push out to a 48-43 lead midway through the quarter. Jackson and Quigley combined to maintain their advantage but when Kristian Andabaka hit a three and Reynolds was again on the mark the gap was down to a single point. However the Warriors finished the quarter in style with Jackson weaving a path to the Éanna board and Aivaras Ousis hitting the score of the game with a stunning alley-oop after being teed up by a no look pass from Jokubaitis to the hosts take a 58-51 lead into the final quarter.
A cracking three pointer from Kieran Donaghy got the Warriors off to a flying start in the fourth and when Fergal O’Sullivan followed his lead the lead was out to seven. Dre Jackson put the finishing touches to his MVP performance with another hat trick of scores as he stepped and slalomed his way to the Éanna board as he pleased. The Warriors hit the five foul mark allowing Éanna to chip away at the lead late on and Reynolds, Dolenko and Conor Dikcius taking full advantage with free throws but it was fittingly left to Jackson to hit four from four from the line to see out the crucial win for the Warriors by 74-66 in the end.
Garvey’s Tralee Warriors: Dre Jackson 24, Matija Jokic 15, Daniel Jokubaitis 14
DBS Éanna: Mark Reynolds 18, Neil Lynch 12, Romonn Nelson 10
The Warriors have next weekend off as the National Cup finals take precedence but they will need to be at their very best as they take the tough trip to face Emporium Cork Basketball in Ballincollig Community School on Saturday 28th January with tip off at 4.00pm.
POST MATCH AUDIO:
Warriors Head Coach John Dowling is pleased to start the new year with a win and delighted to secure the League points ahead of tougher tests down the road…
He says there was a lot of work done in training to try to see out the fourth quarters in games rather than ending up on the losing side..
He says the next outing against Emporium Cork Basketball will fully test their credentials…
MVP Dre Jackson says he never lost faith despite some tough losses…
Éanna Coach Darren McGovern says his side met a Warriors team that were simply too good on the night…
He says he hopes that his team can remain consistent as they face Maree in the National Cup final next weekend…