Irish Native Maguire Bringing European Flair As Hun Girls’ Hoops Makes MAPL Semis
FIGHTING IRISH: Hun School girls’ basketball player Enya Maguire dribbles the ball upcourt in recent action. Last Saturday, post-graduate guard Maguire, a native of Belfast, Ireland, scored 14 points and had five assists as Hun fell 68-53 to Lawrenceville in the MAPL (Mid-Atlantic Prep League) semifinals. The Raiders, now 16-6, host Hightstown on February 13 and then have a rematch with Lawrenceville in the state Prep A semis on February 17 when third-seeded Hun plays at the second-seeded Big Red. (Photo by Rose Denommee, provided courtesy of the Hun School)
By Bill Alden
Enya Maguire brought a pass-first style with her from Belfast Ireland when she joined the Hun School girls’ basketball team this winter as a post-graduate point guard.
But the flashy 5’4 Maguire has also displayed a finishing touch to go along with her deft playmaking, scoring 74 points in a three-game span heading into Hun’s game with Pennington last Wednesday, including a 30-point outburst in a 71-21 win over Steinert on February 3.
Having been sidelined with a wrist injury until January, Maguire has surprised herself with her scoring surge.
“I am getting better each game,” said Maguire in a lilting Irish accent. “Every game is different, it just goes to show you. I like to pass the ball but when I am feeling it, I just shoot.”
In the Pennington game, Hun jumped out to a 26-13 lead in the first quarter but things turned dicey as the visitors rallied to toe the game at 46-46 early in the fourth quarter before the Raiders pulled out a 58-52 win.
“We were doing alright, we were a bit all over the place the whole game,” said Maguire, who had 19 points, five assists, and four rebounds in the victory.
“Our defense wasn’t great but we got it in the end; we weren’t the best today. We changed to a 2-3 zone and they killed us in that. We were so not switched on today. We went back to our strength and played man-to-man defense.
Following in the footsteps of her older sister Anna Maguire, who previously starred for Hun, Maguire has been doing very well in her move to the U.S.
“I love it; the coaches are great, the girls are great,” said Maguire, who is looking to get recruited to play college ball in the U.S.
“I haven’t played in this style of game since I was way younger so it is definitely helping me with my individual skills.”
Hun head coach Bill Holup loves the intensity Maguire brings to the Raiders.
“Enya’s game is contagious, she is unselfish and doesn’t give up on any play,” said Holup of Maguire, who scored 14 points and had five assists as Hun fell 68-53 to Lawrenceville in the MAPL (Mid-Atlantic Prep League) semifinals last Saturday.
“The other girls see her busting it all across the court. A shot is missed, somebody from the other team gets it, and she comes up from behind and gets it back.”
Holup acknowledged that the Raiders didn’t play their best against Pennington.
“I don’t just think we were there, we cruised the past few games and today our shot wasn’t quite there,” said Holup.
“We were getting good looks but bottom line was that we were not making our shots. We had to pick it up on defense and ultimately we did. We could play better than that but Pennington played a great game.”
With Hun, now 16-6, hosting Hightstown on February 13 and then getting a rematch against Lawrenceville in the state Prep A semis on February 17 when third-seeded Hun plays at the second-seeded Big Red, Holup wants his players to bring a great effort from start to finish.
“They have to play with a sense of urgency the entire game,” said Holup.
“Against Steinert, we had that sense of urgency but today we had that lull. It needs to be that sense of urgency right from the opening jump ball all the way through for 32 minutes.”
Maguire, for her part, is ready to bring intensity at both ends of the court.
“We really got to work as a team because we are coming up against some big strong teams,” said Maguire.
“We get all of the best offense from our defense so we need to work on our defense, stay humble the whole time, and just work hard.”