ROUND-UP: Ireland U16 men and women v Denmark
April 06, 2018
The Ireland U16 men’s and women’s teams traveled to Denmark this weekend where they played a series of international friendly games against the hosts.
Ireland U16 Men's and Women's results
Friday, April 6th, 2018
Denmark U16M 45-78 Ireland U16M
Denmark U16W 67-59 Ireland U16W (after overtime)
Saturday, April 7th, 2018
Denmark U16 men 71-50 Ireland U16 men
Denmark U16 women 43-74 Ireland U16 women
Denmark U16 men 53-74 Ireland U16 men
Denmark U18 women 81-35 Ireland U16 women
Detailed Results - Ireland U16 men and women
Ireland U16 Men - Game 1
The Irish U16 boys team got their three game series underway on Friday night with a win against hosts Denmark. This was the first international game for the squad since July 2017.
Coach Lynch commended the squad on their defensive performance, as their work rate was phenomenal on defence and they showed great control in what was a fast paced game. The second quarter saw the Irish squad hold Denmark to five points. The players showed great control in their transition game, taking care of the ball and executing their sets with great accuracy. The players stuck to the roles they were given, this was evident with the points spread across the squad with ten players getting on the scoresheet.
Despite a resurgent Denmark team at the start of the third quarter the Irish squad dug deep to battle through the turbulent spell led on by their inspirational captain of the day, Eli Lenihan.
The team have a challenging day ahead of them on Saturday, with two games taking place at 1pm and 7pm (Irish time) respectively. The coaching staff will get to look at the rest of the players who didn’t participate yesterday and they will hope to bring the same intensity shown during Friday night’s opening fixture.
Speaking afterwards Coach Lynch was delighted with the level of Irish support in the gym.
“The players were given great support by their families and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them.”
Top Scorers: CJ Fulton 12, Liam Keating 9, Ronan Collins 8, Okoko Ogbe 8
Ireland U16 Women - Game 1
(after overtime - full time 54-54)
After an early morning start, it was time for the opening of a three game series vs Denmark. It was Abigail Rafferty , with a superb up-and-under, which opened up the scoring for the Irish side after a rocky start due to Denmark’s early pressure. Abigail’s presence inside and the excellent defensive ability from Gillian Wheeler (two first quarter steals), kept the Irish side in the game early on. When Sabhbh Edwards Murphy entered the game, she made her impact felt on both ends, grabbing offensive boards and forcing Denmark’s forwards to turn the ball over and force bad shots. It was Kate Hickey however who kept Ireland within reaching distance of Denmark at the end of the first with a great drive down the middle of the lane to end the first, 15-12 in Denmark’s favour.
It was in the second quarter when Ireland began to gain some traction and a foothold in the game after some words of wisdom from head coach, Karl Kilbride. After an early struggle, it was Lisa Blaney made an impact at the point, dishing out two consecutive assists to put the Irish side on a scoring run of their own. After some excellent defense from Sinead Boyle, she opened up her scoring campaign herself with a tough finish over her defenders of an excellent dish from Gillian Wheeler. Ciara Byrne hit a huge three-pointer to help close the gap against Denmark heading into the break, putting a halt to Denmark’s scoring run and giving the team a boost going into the third.
Ireland came out all guns blazing in the third quarter, with a hand-off to Lisa Blaney to attack down the middle of the key starting a 6-0 scoring run for Ireland. Ireland’s offensive pressure continued with a superb drive and finish baseline by Kara McCleane. However some excellent three point shooting from Denmark kept Ireland trailing 42-36 heading into the fourth.
With the game still all to play for, the Irish girls began to rally after some excellent play in the last quarter. It was Laoise Walsh who got the crowd excited for the comeback, with two blocks in the space of two minutes, allowing Ireland to play on the break and put pressure on the Danish defense. After some tough scores down the stretch from both sides, the Irish were trailing by two in the closing minute. A bit of Belfast magic from Erin Maguire saw her beat her defender and pull up for a mid-range jumper to tie the game 54-54 with 17 seconds left, and the game was headed to overtime.
Denmark started overtime with an offensive barrage of shots going on a 9-0 run. Even the excellent display from Hazel Finn on both ends of the court couldn’t keep the Irish side in the game as Denmark continued to push their lead in OT, to run out eventual winners.
Ireland U16 Men - Game 2
Game two of the Ireland v Denmark u16 men’s series tipped off, with the hosts regrouping well after the loss of the first game and coming out with a very strong team which included the talented Klussmann. Ireland rotated their squad with five new players taking to the court. The Irish team got off to a great start winning the first quarter with great defensive displays on match ups and they led at the break, 12-11.
The second quarter saw a great individual performance put in by Klussmann, showing why Denmark hold this player in high regard. Ireland ran their full bench and adjusted their defensive style accordingly. At the end of the first half, Denmark went into the locker room with a 10 point lead.
The third and fourth quarters were also played at a very fast pace and the Danish team continued to convert both inside and outside. At the end of the third quarter, Ireland regrouped and brought the deficit back to single figures. The Danish team kept their structure and stuck to their game plan, winning out in the end with a score of 71–50.
“While the result did not go our way, tough games with good opposition is what we need at present," said head coach, Mike Lynch. "Our reaction to winning and losing and how we regroup and adjust both as a coaching staff and team are crucial."
Ireland U16 Women - Game 2
After a disappointing loss in overtime in the opening game of the series, the Irish girls were poised and ready to even up the series. The Danes caught Ireland by surprise early hitting a three in their opening possession followed by a trip to the foul line. However, the girls in green began to strike back with some excellent defensive pressure leading to Fatimah Akorede scoring four points on the break. Fatimah was helped inside by Abigail Rafferty with a block and steal on the defensive end followed by an easy lay-up at the other end to allow Ireland to take the lead. Ireland continued to push on with an incredible offensive display from Lisa Blaney, beating her defender twice to get to the basket and assisting her other teammates to finish the quarter 20-11 in Ireland’s favour.
The second quarter began with the Irish side beginning to show their growing confidence and ability and they continued to push the lead. It was Kara McCleane who opened up her scoring campaign with six consecutive points in the first few minutes. This was aided by the defensive work of Siofra O’Shea, coming up with two steals and a giant block to keep Ireland in the lead. Shauna Dooley continued to put pressure on the Danish defense closing the quarter with a superb and-one of her well-timed front cut in front of her defender to see Ireland leading at the half, 45-16.
The Killester contingent of the Irish team continued to add the pressure with two steals from Sinead Boyle and two strong finishes down the lane by Robyn Malone. Ireland began to waver in their performance midway through the third, but it was match captain Kate Hickey who took the team under her wing and scored the last six points for the Irish side in the quarter.
The Danish side, on a 34-point deficit, threw everything at the Irish in the last. After some costly mistakes, it was some aggressive drives and finishes by Lauryn Homan that kept the distance between the teams, and Ciara Byrne steadied the ship to see home a strong finish to win 74- 43.
Fatimah Akorede of @LiffeyCelticsBC and Kate Hickey of @WITWildcats react to the Ireland U16 women’s team win v Denmark today and look ahead to their game this evening #GreenShoots #COYGIG pic.twitter.com/iSgu1zhzuZ— Basketball Ireland (@BballIrl) April 7, 2018
Ireland U16 Men - Game 3
Ireland U16 boys entered the final game in the series v Denmark with all to play for to win the series. Coming off a loss in the second game earlier that day, the players were focused and ready.
Starting the first quarter with high intensity on defence, it was obvious that the team were mentally ready for the challenge. Great team defence transferred into steals and some nice early baskets. The team executed their sets very well putting the Danish team under immense pressure with some great pick and roll plays. Ireland were solid on the offensive boards and with some great ball reversal, hit big shots in the second quarter forcing a time out from the Danish coach.
Ireland's intense pressure defence, forcing sideline and traps in corners, caused the Denmark team to turn the ball over and forced them to make bad shots. With a comfortable lead going into the third quarter Coach Lynch made lots of changes in the second half. It was a good opportunity to see different combinations on the floor.
Ireland took their foot off the pedal a bit in the fourth. Some poor decision making and lack of intensity on defence allowed Denmark back into the game. The Irish dug deep in latter stage though, and came away with the win and the series, 2-1.
Coach Lynch said it was great to win the series and felt that the management learned a lot about the squad as a whole for moving forward to the next stage of the programme in preparation for the European Championships in August.
Ireland U16 Women - Game 3
Denmark U18: 81
After coming back with a strong performance to tie the series, the Irish side knew they would be facing the toughest competition in the final game as they were playing the Danish U18 side. The Irish started slightly flustered with the pace and intensity that the Danish side brought. However, a smooth post-up from Laoise Walsh helped settle the Irish nerves both on the court and the bench. Erin Maguire brought her experience from her previous European Championships into play as she punished the Danish side with a great drive which sent her to the line, where she converted two. Even with Erin’s help coming up with a block and steal near the end of the quarter, it was Denmark who were leading 28-10 after the 1st.
The second quarter started much like the first. The Irish side struggled to score over the lengthy Danish side. Hazel Finn, was able to gather herself off a back screen to convert a tough lay-up. Ireland continued to successfully pressure Denmark into more mistakes in the second, but it was Fatimah Akorede who got Ireland their second score late in the quarter off an aggressive drive through the lane. Denmark lead the way 44-14 at the half.
The third quarter would prove to be the Irish side's best defensive performance of the game holding the Danes to 15 points and forcing 8 turnovers. The defensive presence of Robyn Malone and Abigail Rafferty caused some majors problems for the Danes in the opening minutes with the pair combining for six of the forced turnovers for the Danes. Siofra O’Shea also kept the Denmark team on their toes defensively as she proved to find openings for her shots and drive attempts on a regular basis. Ireland continued to struggle to score at the other end against the more experienced side though, and the hosts proceeded to push out their lead.
After a strong defensive third quarter, the Irish began to find the basket in the closing quarter. Lauryn Homan and Gillian Wheeler added to the Irish score with an excellent cut backdoor and a superb three pointer respectively. With the continued pressure on defense from the last quarter lead by Sabhbh Edwards Murphy, the Irish side began to grow in confidence in their ability. It was Shauna Dooley who would score the last points for the Irish, with a high three. However, the Irish efforts did not dent the lead, and the hosts ran out winners 81-35.