RECAP: Ireland U16 Women 70-45 Estonia
August 24, 2017
Fifteen points in the opening four minutes from Ireland’s Katie Williamson set the tone for the Ireland Under 16 women’s team today as they powered home to a 70-45 point win over Estonia at the FIBA U16 Women's European Championships Division B.
The much-anticipated clash, which was the opening round of the 9-16th place classification stages in Skopje, saw Ireland take control from the start, running into an early 26-10 lead at the end of the first quarter – one they would not relinquish.
Huge first quarter performances across the board saw Williamson inside for 15 points early on, while an Abby Flynn steal sent her to the basket to finish an easy lay-up and she set Williamson up for a score with a superb pass through the Estonian defence. Scores from Lainey Nolan, Alex Mulligan and Ciara White followed to put Ireland 26-10 ahead by the first buzzer. F
Ireland kept control of proceedings in the second, with Mulligan getting the scoring underway, followed by some well-taken free throws and a fantastic long three from Katie Walshe. Great defence from Erin Maguire and Mia Furlong kept the Estonian offense in check, while Ciara Bracken and Nolan were on hand to add more to the scoring to leave Ireland firmly in the lead at the half, 41-18.
Estonia came out stronger in the third, but again, Williamson, Walshe, Flynn and Anna Lynch worked tirelessly on defense to stop the momentum. A superb score from Lauren Darcy was followed immediately at the other end by a brilliant Mulligan block, and Nolan and Maguire scooped up the loose ball to put Ireland back on offense. Estonia managed to close the gap from the free throw line, but Ireland continued to hold firm and headed into the fourth 53-34 to the good.
The fourth quarter saw the respective defences get on top early on, with the first score not coming until more than three minutes had been played, but it was certainly one that was worth waiting for as Bracken nailed a long range three. Niamh Kenny, Darcy, Lynch, Furlong and White all added scores and the game was put beyond sight for the Estonians, as the final buzzer sounded on a 70-45 point win for the Irish.
The victory now sees the squad through to the 9-12th classifications stage, where they will face Switzerland tomorrow (Friday).
Speaking about the win, captain Ciara Bracken stated: “We’re delighted after that win. We really played well as a team and bounced back well after our loss against Ukraine the other day. It wasn’t easy, we had to dig in and we never lost the heads today, so it feels good now to be going on to the next round."
RESULT – FIBA U16 WOMEN’S EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION B
Classification Game 9-16th
Estonia 45-70 Ireland
IRELAND U16 WOMEN: Abby Flynn (6), Ciara Bracken (7), Lauren Darcy (5), Erin Maguire, Anna Lynch (2), Ciara White (2), Niamh Kenny (2), Mia Furlong (2), Lainey Nolan (8), Katie Walshe (14), Alex Mulligan (3), Katie Williamson (19)