Coach Eoin, aka ‘Noctor J’, is justifiably proud of his U16 and U19 Basketball teams (both boys and girls!) as they recently closed out very successful seasons. Just this week, our U16 Boys narrowly lost to old foes (and friends) St. Andrew’s in the SDBL Final, a trophy of which they were the proud holders. It was a close battle all the way with all our usual suspects doing their usual jobs: Tommy grinding it out in the paint, Luke doing his ‘big man point guard’ thing and Colin letting fly from way out. And when Jack Topliss sank his glorious moonshot trey we thought the basketball gods were on our side, but it was not to be. This time. Someone who definitely wasn’t on our side was the referee in the U19 SDBL Semifinal vs. Newark. Shane Byrne scored 36 for us in a very narrow loss but he should have scored 50: he was bumped, hacked and dragged down all over the court. Nothing however will tarnish Shane’s legacy: he ends his Conlethian career as one of the school’s all-time greats. Herron, Purcell, Nolan and Ryan must now make some room for him in the Conlethian Emeritus All-Star Locker-room. Just before Christmas both teams made it to the Dublin Plate Finals where they competed manfully but lost to much bigger schools. Noctor’s boys are getting used to playing finals! And never mind ‘manfully’ as girls basketball is also on the rise at St. Conleth’s: Our U19s enjoyed a memorable blow-out win in their first game of the season and our U16s are eagerly awaiting next year, when there will be enough girls to compete officially in their age group. Well, now the these ballers are turning to their books and taking centre-court are our First and Second Years, full of talent and enthusiasm. They started their season with a double victory over the revered Marian and here is an updated schedule of their remaining matches. The St. Conleth’s basketball bounce continues!