The quarter final got off to a sensational start with both sides vying for their spot in the semi-final. Both sides were evenly matched. Our lads knew their work was cut out for them. Mark Madu, burst onto the scene securing many of our baskets but anytime we seemed to score, Rathmore matched it. Madu and Mark Delaney were had a great presence at the heart of the zone defence blocking and rebounding at every opportunity. Demilade Sonupe put his name on the scoresheet with a superb euro step lay-up. Rathmore had done their homework and were doing their best to limit scoring opportunities for Jayden Umeh and Desmond Ogedegbe. They were ruthless and showed unwavering determination and made baskets of their own as a result. The quarter ended with a half court buzzer beater three pointer for Rathmore which left the CBS trailing by a basket.
Rathmore had momentum at the start of the second quarter and hit a lot of their open shots and quickly ran up a lead of twelve points. The CBS called a timeout and made some changes. Scott Davies entered the game with a three pointer, which was quickly answered with a Rathmore basket. Madu continued to try rally the team and closed this gap with a basket of his own. Umeh and Ogedegbe started to get going in the game as the CBS scored some transition lay ups. However, Rathmore yet again secured a three pointer at the buzzer to leave the CBS trailing by four at the half way point.
The CBS had a great talk at half time and this paid off as they came storming out at the start of the third quarter. Ogedegbe secured the first basket quickly followed by another with his infamous spin move to the basket making the game level. Rathmore secured two for two from the free throw line. Umeh took possession from the Rathmore side and a series assists set up Ogedegbe to take a lead. Madu and Umeh decided it was time to add another and blitzed past the Rathmore defence. Justice Iheme’s athleticism started to show as he secured super defensive rebounds to keep the Rathmore side at a minimum. As a result of Ogedegbe’s dominance, Umeh began to gain more space for himself which saw him take his opportunity as he hit his first three pointer of the game. Rathmore got their first score of the quarter. Iheme quickly followed hungry to put his name on the scoresheet for his efforts. This saw our side up by six. Umeh hit another three forcing the Rathmore side into a time out as the CBS led by nine. Iheme and Madu went to work inside and put further baskets on the board. Umeh caught fire as he hit another two three pointers. Rathmore hit their first three of the quarter. Iheme and Delaney kept defence tight, adding pressure to the opposition. Iheme scored another transition lay-up but a lapse in concentration saw Rathmore hit their third three-point buzzer beater in the game as the CBS led by twelve heading into the final quarter.
Momentum had now swung back in Rathmore’s direction and nobody could call how the game was going to go with both sides showing grit and determination. Neither side letting their chances at the semi-final slip from their grip. The fourth quarter opened with a three pointer from Rathmore and in quick succession added another. The pressure was showing on the CBS as they missed easy baskets in the middle of the quarter. Rathmore were now on top as they scored a couple of baskets under the rim as the CBS began to tire. Ogedegbe put the CBS on the board with a basket, but Rathmore meant business and secured another themselves. Rathmore scored again and they went up by four with a couple of minutes to play. The arena was electric. Iheme secured a free throw. Ogedegbe danced the court on a solo mission and was rewarded for his efforts with a beautiful layup. Rathmore were under pressure as the CBS showed great defense and fell to a shot clock violation at a critical point in the game. Tensions were high and the pressure was on with one between the two sides as Rathmore hit a free throw to leave them up by two with a minute and thirty seconds left in the game. CBS called a timeout and Ogedegbe scored a basket with the next play. The CBS defence stood strong over the next couple of plays and secured possession with two seconds left as the game was level. CBS had possession and they took a timeout. A sideline ball for the CBS saw the ball go loose and Umeh and Ogedegbe fought for possession. Phenomenally Ogedegbe scored which left no time left on the clock. Final score 63-61.
This game was worthy of a final as both teams fought for every possession. The CBS showed great determination and their teamwork shown through in the end as they set up a semi-final vs ‘The Bish’, Galway later that day.