Thornton edel 1

Thornton hits the heights

Edel Thornton.

By John Manley

Edel Thornton had a career game as Quinnipiac thrashed Marist, 81-51, to win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Championship game in Albany, New York on Monday. The 5-9 senior guard from Gurranabraher, Co. Cork put 16 points on the scoreboard, which matches her career high. She knocked down six of 12 shots from the floor, including four of eight from long distance. Her six rebounds were a career high and her five assists were co-high for the Bobcats. Quinnipiac (26-6) now advances to the NCAA Division 1 tournament, which begins next week.

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Molloy College of Rockville Centre, New York qualified for the NCAA Division 2 men’s basketball tournament with narrow victories in the East Coast Conference tournament last week. The Lions edged the University of the District of Columbia, 61-60, St. Thomas Aquinas, 73-72, and Bridgeport, 90-86, in overtime, on the loser’s court for the championship. Senior Derrick Okunpolor came up big in the STAC victory. The 6-5 Belfast native came off the bench and gave the Lions 25 quality minutes. He chipped in six points on 3-for-5 shooting from the floor, and posted team highs in rebounds (7) and rejections (3). Molloy will take on St. Anselm on Saturday in first-round action at St. Anselm, with the winner to meet the survivor of New Haven-Daemen on Sunday.

Derrick Okunpolor.

John Carroll responded with a big game to help Hartford down Mass.-Lowell, 78-70, in quarterfinal round action of the America East Tournament in West Hartford, Connecticut on Saturday. The Dublin senior posted a double-double comprised of 17 points and 13 rebounds. He connected on five of 13 field goal attempts, including four of six from outside of the three-point perimeter. He also canned three of four free throws. The Hawks’ next skirmish was to be Tuesday against Maryland-Baltimore County.

Cian Sullivan saw 11 minutes of action for La Salle in Wednesday's 70-39 loss to Dayton. The 7-2 sophomore center from Tralee, Co. Kerry scored two points on 1-of-2 shooting and garnered five rebounds for the Explorers (10-20).


Oklahoma City freshman Jack Madden won his second tournament of the winter/spring season, taking the Shootout at San Antonio, played over TPC San Antonio in Texas. Madden, who hails from Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, used his experience playing in windy conditions to good advantage in this 36-hole event, opening with 71. He was the only golfer in the 73-man field to break par, a feat that he would not repeat in the second round. Regardless, the 75 he shot, coupled with the earlier score, provided a five-stroke margin of victory. Oklahoma City, top-ranked in the NAIA, also won the team title by 16 strokes over Texas Wesleyan, which was without injured Dublin junior Rowan Lester for this tournament. Madden previously won the Ottawa-Arizona Invitational at the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park, Arizona in late January.

Northern Michigan’s Chris Black took 17th place in the Saddlebrook Spring Kickoff at Bushwood Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The junior from Lisburn, Co. Antrim shot rounds of 77, 75 and 80, which left him 23 strokes in back of Grand Valley State’s Alex Scott, the only man in the field to break par.

A final-round 71 enabled South Dakota State’s Harry Duggan to ascend the leaderboard somewhat in the Jackrabbits Invitational at Boulder Creek Golf Club in Boulder City, Nevada. The Kilkenny freshman finished tied for 34th place, having preceded the 71 with rounds of 76 and 81. That 12-over-par aggregate score placed him 25 strokes on the high side of James Madison’s Nacho Montero, who had an eight-stroke margin of victory. South Dakota State tied for sixth among teams.


Auburn’s Julie McCarthy tied for 16th place in the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate at Long Cove Club in Hilton Head, South Carolina. The sophomore out of Swords, Co. Dublin shot rounds of 72, 73 and 73 to finish the event five strokes over par and 14 in back of Florida State’s Frida Kinhult, the medalist. Auburn got joint-fifth in the team standings.

Carson-Newman's Maeve Cummins, a freshman from Waringstown, Co. Down, got seventh place in the Lady Cougar Classic at the Country Club of Columbus in Columbus, Georgia. She posted rounds of 79 and 80 to finish 15 strokes over par and six behind medalist Isabel Rijos of Dalton State. Cummins had the low score for Carson-Newman, which took third place in the team scramble.


Eckerd College ran off 7-0 victories over Davis & Elkins on Thursday, John Carroll on Friday and West Chester on Sunday with Alasdair Knox holding down the first singles spot. The senior from Donaghadee, Co. Down took care of Davis’ Obert Matthew Mulyad, 6-3, 6-3, Carroll’s Andy Siciliano, 6-3, 6-2, and West Chester’s Chris Succi, 6-4, 6-2, the latter taking place on Senior Day at Eckerd’s courts in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Osgar O’Hoisin, a senior from Dublin, led Wisconsin to a 6-1 victory over Nebraska in Madison, Wisconsin on Friday. He defeated the Cornhuskers’ Toby Boyer, 6-3, 7-6 as well as taking down Boyer and William Gleason, 6-3 at first doubles alongside Jared Pratt.

Shane O’Dea, a senior from Dublin, contributed to Lenoir-Rhyne’s 7-0 victory over Mars Hill by defeating Padro Pinassi at fourth singles, 6-0, 6-1. O’Dea also teamed with Hamed Gandouz at first doubles for a 6-4 win over Ben Reid and Rodrigo Ramos.

Montana’s Oisin Shaffrey, a freshman from Dublin, contributed victories at fifth singles – 6-0, 6-7, 6-3 over Nick Werner – and at third doubles – 7-5 with Pontus Hallgren over Werner and Cezary Walkusz – to help Montana to a 5-2 win over Weber State in Missoula, Montana on Sunday.

Mercyhurst’s Cormac McCooey split a pair of matches at first singles last week in Hilton Head, South Carolina. He defeated Coker’s Melwin Krall, 6-3, 6-2, last Tuesday to put the Lakers over the top, 4-3. Mercyhurst then suffered a 5-2 defeat to Palm Beach Atlantic on Friday, with McCooey, a Dublin junior, falling 6-3, 6-2 to Philipp Hoffmann.

Neil O’Connor of Missouri-Kansas City hung a 6-1, 6-1 defeat on Rob White of Missouri-St. Louis in Kansas City on Saturday in a match at fourth singles. The Kangaroos won, 7-0. O’Connor is a freshman from Dublin.

Stetson ran the table on South Dakota, 7-0, in DeLand, Florida on Sunday. The Hatters’ Coilin MacNamara, a senior from Dublin, came out victorious in a match at fourth singles against Davide Callegari, 6-3, 6-3, and with Louis Gorregues over Jake Kuhlman and Chuck Tang, 7-5, at third doubles.


New Mexico’s Ruth Copas, a senior from Dundalk, prevailed in a match at first singles, 6-4, 4-6, 11-9, over Kirsten Prelle of Texas-El Paso in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Saturday. Copas also joined Daniele Quevedo for a 6-3 victory at first doubles over Vanessa Valdez and Yvette Van Oijen.

Jennifer Timotin, a freshman from Dublin, clinched a 4-3 victory for Fresno State over Brigham Young last Monday in Fresno, California. Timotin, slotted at first singles, needed three sets to finish off BYU’s Anastasia Abramyan, 7-6, 3-6, 7-5. She also teamed with Georgia Lawson at first doubles for a win over Abramyan and Kate Cusick, 6-2.

Fifth-ranked Vanderbilt hit the road to take down Auburn, 4-1, on Friday and Alabama, 4-0, on Sunday. Dublin freshman Georgia Drummy, ranked 67th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, took care of business at third singles against Auburn’s Taylor Russo, 6-2, 6-3, and Bama’s Alba Cortina Pou, 6-2, 6-4.

Delaware’s Caragh Courtney, playing second singles, defeated Temple’s Stefaniya Surikova, 6-2, 1-6, 6-2, last Thursday in Philadelphia. The Blue Hens lost to the Owls, 5-2. Courtney is a freshman from Castleknock, Dublin.

Illinois State dusted DePauw, 7-0, in Normal, Illinois on Friday with Laura Fitzgerald registered a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Sarah Wilder at fourth singles. Fitzgerald, a sophomore from Greystones, Co. Wicklow, also joined Ivon Mihaleva for a 6-4 win at second doubles over Erin Friedrich and Amanda Showalter.

Montevallo cruised past West Georgia, 7-0, in Carrollton, Georgia last Wednesday. Emily Beatty, a senior from Moria, Co. Down, did her part with victories at second singles over Sofia Soltis, 6-2, 6-0, and with Anne-Christine Leu at second doubles over Shelby Brown and Meg Cummings, 6-3.

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