Published on Tuesday 9th April 2013
Luxol and Pavi Depiro made the first step towards contesting the St James Hospital play-offs final after winning their opening match of the best-of-three semi-final series against Hibs and Alyssa Ashley Loyola respectively.
Luxol had to work harder than expected to see off Hibs whose failure to contend with their opponents’ pressing late on proved costly. After a balanced start, Luxol managed to seize control to lead 17-8 at the end of the first quarter. Hibs came to the fore midway through the second session to tie the match at 24-all before starting the third session a point ahead, 28-27. But Luxol soon responded to regain a slight advantage, starting the last 10 minutes 33-30 ahead. The match remained tight until the closing minutes when Luxol profited from Hibs’ mistakes to secure a 53-43 victory. Mollie Williams, of Luxol, was the game’s leading scorer with 19 points while Khadi Sanga potted 16 for Hibs.
In the second match, Loyola failed to meet expectations as Depiro held the initiative from the opening minutes and never allowed their opponents to pose any problems. Depiro soon assumed control and, after opening an 18-10 advantage, they ended the first quarter 26-17 ahead. Inspired by the prolific scoring of Steffi DeMartino and Latisha Belcher, who totalled 52 points between them, Depiro notched the first eight points of the second quarter, going on to finish the session 46-28 ahead. Depiro remained in the driving seat, winning 86-52 as Loyola struggled to muster a reaction.