Irish Basketball Super League 

Killorglin 85 Belfast Star 91

Belfast Star travel to Dublin this Saturday evening to face Killester, hoping that they won’t have to endure another nail-biting finish as has been the case in their last two Super League games.

In Kerry last weekend, Star had built up what seemed like an insurmountable 21-point lead in their game with Killorglin, only to see the home side blitz the final quarter and almost salvage a win. 

Star, of course, had to survive a similar resurgence from a spirited Sligo All-stars team just two weeks prior to that – another storm they survived by the skin of their teeth.

Head Coach, Adrian Fulton will be hoping to enjoy a calmer fourth quarter against Killester at the weekend, a side they’ve already narrowly beaten back in October on a score of 86-82.

Last week’s Killorglin game proved to be another rollercoaster for the Star juggernaut who are now well clear at the top of the league and hoping to maintain their winning ways in order to secure home advantage in the play-offs. 

Fulton’s men began the game looking like the long trek to Kerry didn’t take a fizz out of them. Albanian international Frenki Lilaj continued his sparkling recent form with a quick seven points, aided and abetted by American De’Ondre Jackson and Conor Quinn to help drive Star to a 29-19 lead after the first ten minutes. 

Jackson and fellow American Tamyrik Fields upped the ante further in the second, each scoring double digits to deliver a half-time lead for the visitors at 49-33.

However, Killorglin, down by 16 points, emerged a different team for the third quarter and took the game to Star. 

Indeed, were it not for the terrific four triples from Aidan Quinn and a further five points from Max Richardson, the home side might have come close to tying the affair. As it was, they edged the third 24-22 to leave it a touch closer going into the fourth.

That was when Killorglin really took off, raining score after score on the Star defence. Fulton’s side found it difficult to contain Terry Winn as the Kerry side began to devour the deficit they were faced with, bringing it to just a four-point margin with seconds remaining.

Eight points from Fields, though, proved invaluable for Star in that final quarter as Killorglin’s great fightback ran out of time and left Conor Quinn to seal the deal with late two free throws to send Star home happy and somewhat relieved.

After the game, Adrian Fulton single out Aidan Quinn for praise after probably the guard’s best performance of the season. 

“Aidan scored 14 points for us tonight but it was his all-round contribution that meant so much in the end,” he said.

“He had seven rebounds as well which shows you just how important he is to the side. 

“Again, like the Sligo game, we lost our way a little at certain times so we need to put that right against Killester who ran us very close earlier in the League. But overall delighted with the way the guys stood strong when they had to.” 

Top scorers for Star were Jackson on 24, Fields on 22, Aidan Quinn on 14 and Conor Quinn on 12.