RECAP: U16 Women storm home to glory in thrilling overtime win
August 16, 2018
Ireland U16 women started their FIBA U16 European Championship, Division B, with a win today as they dug deep and overcame a tough Luxembourg side, 68-73. Ireland were lead by huge performances from Fatimah Akorede and Hazel Finn who had 20 and 22 points respectively.
It was a slow start for the girls in green as they didn’t seem to be able to keep up with their counterparts for the first period of the game. Luxembourg rushed out to a ten-point lead at one stage but strong defence from Ireland and back-to-back scores from Fatimah Akorede narrowed Luxembourg’s lead by the end of the first quarter, 18-12.
Ireland began to pick up the pace in the second quarter, pouncing on the fast break to try and get some well needed scores. Sharp shooting from Erin Maguire, Hazel Finn and Kate Hickey kept Luxembourg in tow as Ireland clawed back at their lead. Luxembourg entered foul trouble late in the second and Ireland capitalised by narrowing the lead to one point at half time, 25-24.
AND ONE!! Fatimah Akorede with the massive score! 54 secs remain in Q4, Ireland 60 @FLBBlux 57 #FIBAU16Europe #GreenShoots #COYGIG— Basketball Ireland (@BballIrl) August 16, 2018
BOXSCORE: https://t.co/iwJbsh6HDH pic.twitter.com/FXjNURaizg
Ireland began to change gears in the third quarter as they got unanswered scores and seemed to shock Luxembourg. Huge scores from again from Finn, Maguire and Akorede had Ireland in the lead for the first time all game. Luxembourg were unable to overtake the Irish for the remainder of the quarter due to solid defence from Karl Kilbride’s side and Ireland lead 38-39 heading into the final quarter.
Both teams came out blazing in the fourth quarter. Luxembourg were accurate from three point range constantly, however Ireland matched them every time. Big scores from Maguire and Finn yet again kept Ireland in the game. Neither team were able to build a lead as the teams stayed deadlocked at the end of regulation, 60-60, and forced overtime.
Hazel Finn and Fatimah Akorede stepped up in overtime and made some big scores to keep Ireland in it, however, it was Kate Hickey who scored a phenomenal three pointer to pull away from Luxembourg and win, 68-73.
Head coach Karl Kilbride spoke after the game, “We managed to come away with the win and it was because of our defence and rebounding. We kept saying to the girls that we were getting every look we wanted and eventually they would start to drop, which they did. We’re going to look at video now and we’re excited to meet Romania tomorrow.”
Ireland: Shauna Dooley, Kate Hickey (10), Abigail Rafferty (4), Ciara Byrne (1), Hazel Finn (22), Erin Maguire (8), Siofra O’Shea (2), Fatimah Akorede (20), Sinead Boyle, Lisa Blaney (2), Sadhbh Edwards Murphy (2), Gillian Wheeler (2).