It was a two-possession game throughout the 40 minutes and the sides were still level with less than a minute remaining.
Castleisland coach Maurice Casey said: “It was a very tight game. We had two of our starters off the court at the end but the boys that came in did a job for me. It means a lot to basketball in the south-west. For our school, it’s been almost 10 years since we were here last so an All-Ireland win is a great achievement.”
It was 20-20 at the break and the sides were still tied at 32-32 10 minutes later.
Ireland U16 international Ryan Whoriskey came into the game for the northeners but in a game of small margins, it would take a big shot to win it.
Castleisland substitute Padraig O’Connell created space with a pump-fake before shooting for two with 22 seconds left and Jonathan Hilliard iced the game from the free-throw line.
It was a family affair for Ulidia Integrated at the All-Ireland Schools Cup Finals as Gareth Maguire coached his daughters Anna and Enya to victory in the U19C Girls Cup.
Anna and Enya are underage Ireland internationals and it gave the Carrickfergus school a heavy favourites tag against St Aloysius of Carrigtwohill.
Ulidia Integrated claimed the U19C Girls Cup on their return to All-Ireland basketball with a 68-49 win over St Aloysius College.
“It was great to see St Aloysius competing with us,” said coach Maguire after his side’s 68-49 win.” We’ve a couple of very strong players in that programme because we’re just back in the schools competition and I think we were always going to pull away in end.“
St Aloysius did manage to haul a 28-point deficit back to 14 points through some great work in transition and plenty of hustle throughout the game. By the final buzzer, Enya Maguire hit five three-pointers for a 23-point game with older sister Anna chipping in 19 points.
“To give young people an opportunity to walk about the place frightened at the start and then start to smile — that to me is already a win before the game because they’re getting so much out of it,” said Maguire at the final buzzer.
St Paul’s of Oughterard failed to feel the pressure as Galway’s only representative at finals week and captured the U19B Girls trophy with a 40-35 win over St Mary’s of Naas. “Everything they were asked they did,” said winning coach Diarmuid Lee.
“We got into it in the second quarter after a nervous enough start but it still could have gone either way.”
St Paul’s Oughterard 40 St Mary’s Naas 35
Seosaimhin Casey 5, Emer Harte 8, Sinead Heffernan 8, Orlaith Walsh 8, Caoimhe Walsh 2.
Caoimhe Fleming, Caoimhe Keogh 2, Siobhan Casey 7, Aisling Hanley, Martina McDonagh, Louise Kinnevey
Mary Creaton 2, Georgia McHolmes 4, Nicola Clancy 19, Hannah Haveran, Aine Conway 4.
Rachel Naughton, Eimear O’Neill 3, Kate Coffey, Grace Casey 1, Ciara Friel 2, Margaret Mulanney, Kate O’Callaghan
Ulidia Integrated 68 St Aloysius College Carrigtwohill 49
Enya Maguire 23, Anna Maguire 16, Grace Kennedy 10, Lauren McDowell, Michelle Courts 10.
Emma McGuinness, Phoebe Cochrone, Alice McQuillan
Jessica O’Neill 12, Grainne Twomey 12, Ciara O’Doherty 2, Sorcha Phelan 10, Niamh Murphy 11
Orlaith Duggan, Laura Hinchcliffe 2, Ciara O’Gorman, Chloe Barry
Castleisland Community College 45 St Columb’s Derry 41
Jonathan Hillard 1, Alex Fleming 5, Shane O’Connell 12, Nathan Nolan 7, Adam Nolan.
Eodhan Browne 4, Jack Curran, Ryan Maguire, Sean O’Connell, Sean O’Connell, Padraig O’Connell 16, Seamus Barry, Patrick Horan.
Kevin Brady 7, Ryan Whoriskey 14, Danann Coyle 17, Jack Knox, John Bonner 2.
Joe McGinley, Aaron King 1, Lee Meehan.