U18 Women's Recap: Ireland 61, Germany 63
July 31, 2016
Sunday July 31st, 2016
FIBA U18 Womenâs European Championship - Division B Classification Game for 7th
Ireland 61, Germany 63
Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Irelandâs U18 Women came up just short in their bid to equal a best ever finish at the FIBA European Championships with a 63-61 defeat to Germany in Sarajevo. The squad secured Irelandâs third ever top-eight finish with a strong showing in Group C and will be classified as finishing eighth in 2016, despite todayâs defeat.
âThe tournament was a really good experience for all involved,â said Team Captain Anna Maguire. âWe were gutted we couldnât climb further up the top eight ladder but weâve been close to some of the top teams in Europe and weâve helped put Ireland back on the map at U18 level.â
It could have been a very different end to the campaign as a stunning final quarter helped to reel a 24 point deficit back to a single basket. Defensive improvements spurred the come back according to Monasterevin forward Claire Melia.
âWe realised we needed to pull ourselves together and thatâs exactly what we did,â said Melia. By the end of the third quarter we were playing as a team again and we played tough to force Germany into turning the ball over.â Ireland were out-rebounded throughout the game but finished the game with 20 steals compared to Germanyâs 11.
Germany looked home and dry with a 39-19 lead at half time. They were shooting at 50% compared to Irelandâs meagre 14% return, but Liam Cullotyâs side rallied in the third quarter. Coupled with the defensive intensity was a significant improvement in shooting and Louise Scannellâs 15 points played a major role in the comeback. The Glanmire dynamo had both Irelandâs first and last baskets from play - her final effort forcing a German time out with 28 seconds left. Across the 40 minutes, all 12 of the squad got on the scoreboard.
Ireland: A. Maguire* (2), L. Scannell (15)*, V. OâConnor* (6), A. McDonagh * (4), C. Melia* (14), A. Macheta (2), S. Tiernan (2), S. Power-Cassidy (1), R. Huijsdens (4), C. Connaire (7), A. Maguire (2), A. Murphy (2)