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Early days but this Lakers team could go a long way

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It’s far too early to be making bold predictions – especially when there are a number of new teams in the league – but things are looking up for the Scotts Lakers.

The 2017/18 season was predictably up and down as St Paul’s tried to reacclimatise to National League basketball but now, with one year under their belt and some exciting new signings in their ranks, the Lakers appear to have all the right ingredients to make a real impression in Division One.

Coach Cormac O’Donoghue is fortunate to have plenty of local talent at his disposal, most notably athletic all-rounder Mark Greene who was excellent last weekend, but ultimately your Americans and your Europeans are likely to be your most influential players. To this end, the Lakers recruited guard Seán O’Brien from the States at the last minute to replace the outgoing Harrison Deneka, who was traded to Galway. If O’Brien’s home debut is anything to go by, that late transfer may prove to be a masterstroke.

O’Brien was outstanding last week against Mathews. He top-scored with 37 points, shooting 12/20 from the field and a perfect 9/9 from the line. But the Philadelphia native is more than just a finisher. For me, the most impressive aspect of his performance was his attitude.

The newcomer worked as hard as (if not harder than) anyone on the floor and showed a degree of selflessness rarely seen in American imports. At 6’2” the former Colgate University star is no giant but he got more offensive rebounds (4) than any of his teammates and he also finished up with four steals. His active hands made things difficult for Mathews all night long and if he can maintain this level of effort, he is sure to become a firm fan favourite here in Killarney.

Dutch big man Papito Hersisia also did well. He racked up 18 points, 14 rebounds and a couple of blocks in a solid outing and he seems to have all the necessary tools to be a dominant force in the league. Last year the Lakers were expecting Antuan Bootle to play that role but I felt he lacked a bit of aggression down low. The Bahamian-American seemed to settle for jump shots a bit too often when realistically a player that big and strong should be doing most of his damage closer to the basket.

Papito likes to shoot as well – and he’s not a bad shooter by the looks of things – but if he can use his huge frame to control the paint, the Lakers will be hard to beat this season.

Last Saturday the home team grabbed nine offensive rebounds (the opposition had 10) but the majority were corralled by guards. In Hersisia and Andrew Fitzgerald the Lakers have great size and athleticism at 4 and 5 so there’s no reason why that number can’t improve over the course of the campaign.

One big positive for Cormac O’Donoghue was the low number of turnovers given up by his new-look team. Turnovers were an issue throughout the Lakers’ comeback season but they were careful with the ball against Mathews, coughing up possession just eight times. Mathews, meanwhile, had 18 turnovers and that differential was undoubtedly one of the deciding factors on the night.

The Lakers are now 3-0 following last night's victory over the WIT Vikings and they'll be hoping to make it four from four when they host the UL Eagles today at 3pm at Killarney Sports Centre.

The Eagles remain winless after last night's 72-73 defeat to LIT but the Lakers will have to keep a close eye on American Tarchee Brown. The former Eastern Connecticut State guard is currently averaging 31 points per game.

 

Follow @AdvertiserSport and @AdamMoynihan on Twitter for all the latest Scotts Lakers news.

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Are you getting enough sleep?

By Angela Kerrisk from Activate Fitness We have all heard the phrase “routine is the killer” however for many of us who, on a daily basis, stretch ourselves thin wearing a variety of different hats, simply creating a specific and sustainable routine will separate the successful and organised from the stressed and overwhelmed. Incorporating a […]

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By Angela Kerrisk from Activate Fitness

We have all heard the phrase “routine is the killer” however for many of us who, on a daily basis, stretch ourselves thin wearing a variety of different hats, simply creating a specific and sustainable routine will separate the successful and organised from the stressed and overwhelmed.

Incorporating a routine helps to bring direction and structure, and as Craig Ballantyne so wonderfully put it in his book ‘The Perfect Day’; “Structure = Freedom”.

In our childhood, we became accustomed to a bedtime routine. In fact, those of us who are parents go to great lengths to create this routine for our own children, knowing the benefits it brings. However, as we moved into adulthood, that same routine was thrown out the window by the demanding world of school and full-time work.

Sleep and health are locked together. When we improve our sleep, we have better energy, mood, and recover easier from exercise. When we sleep better it helps us to make better nutrition choices because sleep regulates our hormones. Yet it’s one of the first things we sacrifice in order to get through our full to-do list. Whatever these or our end goal is, jeopardising our health seems to be counterproductive and also just a little crazy! Why is it that as adults we stray so far away from one of the very foundational rituals that can keep us feeling grounded?

So how much sleep do you need? About six to eight hours is good but the exact number depends on the person. No matter who you are, you’ll feel worn out if you don’t get enough.

Here are some suggestions to help you achieve greater balance and a sound night’s sleep:

Limit caffeine:

It takes a long time for caffeine to get out of your system, so avoid it late in the day. Typically, have your last caffeinated drink 10 hours before your bedtime.

Be active:

Physical activity reduces stress and improves sleep. One exception is not to do a hard workout right before bed as it might be tough to wind down for a while afterwards.

Unwind early:

Turn off screens well before bedtime. Bright screens can mess with your body’s sleep mechanisms, so turn off TV’s, tablets and smartphones earlier in the evening. Take the dog out, brush your teeth, get into your pyjamas, and get into bed before the time you want to be asleep.

Brain dump for the next day:

Spend 5-10 minutes each night writing a list of to-do items to ensure you hit the pillow feeling organised and in control.

Set out your clothes the evening before:

This small task can save you a lot of last-minute rushing. Take the extra five minutes now when you have it.

Cool, dark and quiet:

When it comes to sleep, you want it cool, dark and quiet. Adjust the temperature or get a fan going, hang some blackout curtains and try to reduce any noise near your bedroom.

Buy an alarm clock:

This will help you to avoid being distracted by notifications should you wake and check the time in the middle of the night. Set an alarm right now for tonight. When it goes off, start your evening routine so you get into bed on time for a good night’s sleep!

Here at Activate, we promote and encourage balance to ensure we are living a happy and healthy life. Sleep is one very essential and key component of this. We hope these tips help you get some much-needed rest! When you combine great sleep with sound nutrition and solid training, you’ll feel amazing and make more progress toward your goals.

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Kerry Stars “pursuing dream to build own sports centre”

By Sean Moriarty Kerry Special Olympics Club is still pursuing its dream to build a sports centre in Derreen, a senior club official has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser. The club has identified a site, with support from Kerry County Council, between the existing Killarney Legion and Killarney Celtic sports grounds. However, the project remains […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Kerry Special Olympics Club is still pursuing its dream to build a sports centre in Derreen, a senior club official has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser.

The club has identified a site, with support from Kerry County Council, between the existing Killarney Legion and Killarney Celtic sports grounds.

However, the project remains on the long finger as the club has been concentrating on the safety of its members throughout the pandemic.

The delay prompted Cllr Donal Grady to ask Kerry County Council if it had any plans to build houses on the site.

Mr Grady asked the question in the context of making sure the land did not go to waste and not in opposition to any plans by Kerry Stars.

“The site referred to was originally identified as a potential site for development as a specific sports facility. That project has not materialised,” a Council official said.

“Kerry Stars had been in contact with Kerry County Council regarding use of the site, and it was expected that further communication would be received from them in the very short-term. As yet, Kerry County Council is awaiting further communication and will liaise directly with the Kerry Stars group before we can give consideration to use of the lands under the ‘Housing for All’ housing plan.”

However, Kerry Stars chairman John Spillane said they still “have every intention of pursuing our dream of have our own sports centre”.

“The location makes perfect sense, it is the sports hub of Killarney and all the clubs there could help and learn from each other.”

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