Basketball Ireland Super League
Belfast Star 91-78 DCU ST Vincent‘s
It’s a cross-country trip this weekend for Belfast Star as they head west to face Sligo on the back of an ultimately convincing win over Dublin’s St Vincent’s in the season opener last weekend in La Salle.
Adrian Fulton’s side have a mix of new and returning players in the squad this year and two of them certainly lit up the La Salle court in front of the big home support on Saturday.
American pair Tamyrick Fields and De’Ondre Jackson dominated the scoring for the home side but it was largely the style, confidence and panache with which they went about their business that had the fans buzzing afterwards.
Fields hit a game-high 39 points and Jackson ended with 27 to his name, a reflection no doubt of the rule change this year that allows two American players to be on court simultaneously. As well as those two debutants, Star welcomed back point guard Conor Ryan on his return from a year in Spain.
The rim wasn’t particular kind to Star in the opening two quarters, whereas the visitors found three-pointers surprisingly easy to pick off early on – helping to push them out to 10-point leads on a couple of occasions.
For Star, though, the barn-storming performance of Fields was the big talking point of the first half as the Arizona native powered his way to 30 points.
Fields, who played for Galitos in the Portuguese league last year showed his prowess both inside and out, while former Maree and Tralee player Jackson – who was only confirmed as a coup signing days beforehand – was fluid as a go-to swingman throughout.
Star went into the half-time break a point ahead at 45-44 and then stepped up their defence significantly in the third to lead by ten points midway into the quarter. Home confidence continued to surge as the home side found their mojo and Adrian Fulton’s men closed the quarter comfortably ahead 75-61.
With the game now beyond doubt, the fourth proved to be an even contest before the buzzer sounded on a final score of 91-75.
Star will be hoping that the combination of Fields and Jackson will be a potent duo for the rest of the season but coach Fulton will also have been delighted with the contribution of both Aidan and Conor Quinn, as well as big men Oisin Kerlin and Liam Pettigrew.
Top scorers for Star were Tamyrik Fields with 39 points, De’Ondre Jackson on 27, and both Max Richardson and Oisin Kerlin on 10 points apiece. Fields, Kerlin and Richardson were also busy on the boards with all three in double figures for rebounds.