RECAP: Ireland U16 Women 57-53 Switzerland
August 25, 2017
The crowd was on its feet in Skopje this evening as Ireland U16 Women came back from behind to record a massive 57-53 point victory over Switzerland in the 9-12th place classification stage at the FIBA U16 Women’s European Championship Division B.
A huge third quarter display from the girls in green set them on the road to glory, with superb defense across the team the key to unraveling the Switzerland game plan, and Ireland kept their cool to hold out for victory.
They now advance to the 9-10th place classification game against the winners of Slovenia/Israel.
A shaky opening quarter from the girls in green saw Switzerland weaving their way through the Irish defence to net some early scores. Katie Williamson and Katie Walshe replied in kind to keep Ireland within reach though, finishing the first trailing 10-19 following good defence from Abby Flynn and Ciara Bracken.
A stronger second quarter display saw Williamson driving hard at the Swiss defence and working the boards well to get up some vital points for Ireland to curb the tide of the opposition’s run. Super work on defence from Mia Furlong, Flynn, Anna Lynch, Lainey Nolan and Walshe saw the gap close to just five points at the half (25-30).
A huge third quarter from the Irish though was where it all started to unravel for the Swiss, as early scores from Williamson and Walshe - thanks to superb defence from Niamh Kenny - soon saw the game tied at 30-30. Ciara Bracken was on hand to put Ireland into the lead seconds later off the back of a great steal from Walshe. Erin Maguire came in off the bench and netted four points in a row, two coming from a great baseline drive, and Ciara White added some brilliant scores.
Walshe and Williamson both hit their double-doubles with fantastic work at both ends of the court, and momentum was firmly in favour of the Irish and solid defence from Lauren Darcy and Alex Mulligan saw them hold firm until the end of the third, up by 50-43.
The fourth quarter was a nerve-wracking affair, with scores at a premium. A huge three pointer from Anna Lynch kept Ireland ahead, but Switzerland began to make some in-roads into the Irish defence and brought it back to a three-point game with 17 seconds to go. Abby Flynn was on target from the free-throw line for the safety as the clock ticked, and despite the best efforts of the Swiss, Ireland held out to win 57-53.
The squad now advance to the 9-10th place play-off tomorrow (Saturday) against the winners of Slovenia/Israel.
RESULT – FIBA U16 WOMEN’S EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION B
Classification Game 9-12th
Ireland 57-53 Switzerland
IRELAND U16 WOMEN: Abby Flynn (9), Ciara Bracken (9), Lauren Darcy, Erin Maguire (4), Anna Lynch (3), Ciara White (2), Niamh Kenny (4), Mia Furlong, Lainey Nolan, Katie Walshe (11), Alex Mulligan, Katie Williamson (15)