DJ breezes in to boost Demons Cup bid

NEW arrival DJ Harrison could be the man to decide the destination of the ESB Cup next weekend when he lines out with Mardyke UCC Demons.

On Saturday night the 6'8" American played a key role in the onslaught when Demons struck up their highest score of the season and dished out a significant 104-94 defeat to BurgerKing at the UL Arena in Plassey.

Harrison, who played Big 12 basketball with University of Colorado, was drafted in a week earlier to fill the vacancy caused by the sudden departure of Alai Nuualiitia.

He was hardly 24 hours in the country when he received his baptism of fire against Horans Healthstore Tigers putting jet lag aside to score 20 points.

And all the promise he showed that night became a reality on Saturday night when he took 30 points against BurgerKing, adding 13 rebounds.

While those stats reflected a strong presence on court, it was far from his total contribution to a game that had Coach Price beaming.

"He certainly makes us a more powerful offensive team," he enthused. "He can score in so many different ways and his sheer presence opens so many new possibilities for Torrey (Butler) and Marc (Michiels)."

Butler responded with a game high of 33 points while the Belgian included 21 points in his contribution.

Demons suffered a blow in the opening quarter when Shane Coughlan, who is a key figure in their game, suffered an injury that sent him to the bench but Jason Barry and Sean Carroll stepped up to fill the breach.

The teams were tied at 27 points apiece at the end of that first quarter before Demons edged to the front to lead by five points at half-time.

They stepped up a gear in the third quarter and opened up a 13-point lead before BurgerKing launched their fight back to cut it to six.

Again Demons pulled away early in the final quarter, but, with less than three minutes to go, Limerick were six points behind and in foul trouble.

Randy Fletcher, Paul Freeman, Matt Hall and Liam Farrell had all fouled out going into the final minute with Harrison and Butler on fire for Demons.

"We played a good, solid game," Pat Price reflected. "Limerick are such dangerous shooters we just could not ease up."

Yesterday he was in Ballina to watch Team Merry Monk, their opponents in next weekend's cup semi-final, draw with Gleneagle Lakers in a challenge game.

"It was unusual. You don't have any draws or replays in basketball," he said. "But they decided not to play on in overtime."

He returned to Cork convinced that Ballina, with the influential presence of Liam McHale, will relish the underdog tag next weekend. "They will be fearless underdogs," he insisted.

They say you can't keep a good man down and Anthony Jenkins just keeps going with unbroken enthusiasm.

Player-coach to Shamrock Rovers, he scored 37 points against MDS Star yesterday but it was not enough to claim victory with Star ending up on the right side of an 87-89 score-line.

St Vincent's maintained their quest for a place in the play-off stages with a 93-77 win over Hibernian UCD Marian despite a sterling performance from Kenny McFarland.

David and Emmett Donnelly and Stephen McGuirk made the crucial shots for Vincent's but a scuffle at the end of the game led to the disqualification of David Donnelly and Gary Edge.

Probably the most significant result of the weekend was Gleneagle Lakers 111-108 victory over Neptune in double overtime a result that puts the Killarney side right back in contention for a place in the playoff stages of the men's SuperLeague.

They went into that game on the back of a win over BurgerKing two nights earlier and, next weekend, Neptune play BurgerKing in the semi-finals of the National Cup.

In the women's SuperLeague, Scruffy's St Paul's recorded a 58-55 win over Dart Killester, due in no small measure to big baskets from Cara Cartmill and Marissa Galway and will go into cup final weekend in the right frame of mind.

Bausch & Lomb Wildcats avenged an early season defeat with a 77-59 victory over Vienna Woods Glanmire but they face a worrying week following a shoulder injury picked up by their American, Nicole Conway, which will almost certainly cause her to miss the cup next week.

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