Men’s Super League 2021/2022 – Round 7

Belfast Star 94

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 85

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors suffered their second defeat of the season as they succumbed to the challenge of Belfast Star by 94-85 at the De La Salle College in Belfast on Saturday evening.

The home side were into their stride first with Johnny Foulds, Conor Ryan, Austin Beech and Max Cooper on the mark before the Warriors hit scores with two threes from Fergal O’Sullivan and from inside through Ron Elksnis and a selection of efforts from Aaron Calixte. Belfast pushed ahead late on in the quarter with Cooper and Paddy McGaharan in range and despite a couple of major scores from Daniel Jokubaitis and Brandon Cotton, Belfast led by 28-22 at quarter time.

Brandon Cotton cut the gap early in the second but James Claar hit four scores in row to maintain Belfast’s advantage. Calixte was again the go to man for the Warriors and the point guard obliged with scores from outside, inside and the free throw line kept the Warriors in touch. But Belfast kept the Warriors at arm’s length through Ryan, Foulds and Claar as they took a 45-38 lead to the long break.

Warriors captain Fergal O’Sullivan fired in from distance early in the third and when Jokubaitis and Calixte took his lead to follow suit the visitors were very much back in the game. However Belfast were finding scores when they needed them and Austin Beech and Conor Ryan combined to keep their lead intact. Back to back scores from Elksnis and another from Keelan Crowe edged the Warriors to within single figures but Cooper and Claar ensured that Belfast would lead by 69-55 at the end of the third.

The Warriors needed to dig deep early in the final quarter, and to their credit that is exactly what they did, with Steven Bowler opening his account before Calixte found scores either side of three from Crowe and two outside scores from Jokubaitis, and suddenly the gap was down to just 5. However a three from Foulds steadied the ship for the hosts, and with Cooper and Beech in fine form late on, Belfast reestablished their double digit lead. Jokubaitis hit the final three of the night and added from inside along with another from Calixte but it was too little too late as Belfast secured a nine point win by 94-85 in the end.

Top scorers: Belfast Star: Max Cooper 29, James Claar 14, Austin Beech 14

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors: Aaron Calixte 25, Daniel Jokubaitis 21, Fergal O’Sullivan 9

Next up for the Warriors is a home tie with great rivals UCD Marian at the Tralee Sports Complex in what is the last game of 2021. Tip off at the home of the Warriors on Saturday night is 7.30pm.

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