SLIDESHOW: Heartache for Laurel Hill in Under 19 'C' basketball final

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There was heartache for Limerick's Laurel Hill this morning as their Under 19 side lost the All-Ireland schools 'C' final to St Louis from Monaghan 39-37

Match Report - Basketball Ireland   - Pictures from Sportsfle

St Louis Carrickmacross (Monaghan): 39

Laurel Hill SS (Limerick): 37

“It’s been a long time since we’ve won anything up here in the Arena – it must be over 20 years, so we’re absolutely delighted,” said St Louis Carrickmacross head coach Eugene O’Hanlon after his side edged a two-point victory over Laurel Hill of Limerick in a thrilling Under 19 C Girls Subway Schools Cup at the National Basketball Arena today.

The game was decided in the end by two free throws for Carrickmacross, as Sarah Corr and Lauren Garland kept their cool from the line to see St Louis home to a two-point win, after Laurel Hill launched a major comeback in the fourth to bring the game right down to the wire.

It was end-to-end action right from the off, with Laurel Hill getting the better of the early exchanges, with Amy Higgins, Claire Goggin and Jana Zundei dominating to see them take a 6-9 lead into the second quarter. St Louis found their feet in the second though, and scores rained in from MVP Aine Loughman, Caitlin Wilcox and Sarah Corr to edge them into a 16-11 lead by the midway mark, and they stretched that out to a 20-13 half time lead.

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, but a rejuevenated Laurel Hill had other ideas and Simona Mlakova, Higgins and Zundei led the charge and by the end of the quarter, had the gap back to just 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 though for St Louis, and led by Loughman, they continued to pressure Laurel Hill, forcing some turnovers to win back some crucial points and with two minutes to play, it was a draw game at 36 points. Nerves of steel were the name of the game as the clock ticked down and 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.

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)