RECAP: 10th place finish for Ireland U16 Women
August 26, 2017
Ireland Under 16 women finished the 2017 FIBA European Championship in 10th place this afternoon after they lost out to Israel 54-66 in the 9-10th classification game in Skopje.
In what has been a rollercoaster of a ride for the squad, a third quarter run by Israel saw Ireland on the back foot going into the last and the mountain was just too much to climb for them as Israel kept their cool to hold out and win.
A strong opening quarter from the Irish saw them take an early 6-0 lead with Katie Wiliamson and Walshe hitting the target. Walshe – who finished with 21 points in the end – continued to stretch Ireland’s lead to see them ahead 14-6 at the end of the first.
Quarter two saw Israel settle more into the game, opening the quarter with two well-taken baskets. A super score from Ciara White pulled one back for the Irish, but Israel soon closed the gap back to two points with just over two and a half minutes gone. Abby Flynn netted a long three-pointer to keep Ireland’s noses in front. Good defence from Alex Mulligan, Erin Maguire and Mia Furlong slowed the Israel offense down, and Lainey Nolan and Walshe were on hand to add scores for Ireland. A brilliant full court lay-up from Flynn edged Ireland four in front, but within the space of a minute, Israel tied the game at 25 points apiece. Walshe put Ireland back in front, but a basket plus two free throws for Israel saw them up by two (27-29) at the half.
Momentum was firmly in Israel’s half of the court and it stayed there as the third quarter got underway, and they quickly stretched their lead out to ten points, 27-37. Walshe – from the free throw line – and another well-taken score from White closed the gap back for Ireland. Hard work on defence by Ciara Bracken, Niamh Kenny and Lauren Darcy tried to stem the tide of Israel’s attack, but they closed the quarter in impressive style, ahead 33-46 at the buzzer.
Ireland tried to regroup going into the last, and a Nolan score followed by two great baskets from Mulligan followed. Israel had hit their stride though, and Lior Garzon and Daniel Karsh – who finished on 20 and 14 points respectively – had just too much fire power for the Irish. Good interplay by Anna Lynch saw scores from Williamson and Walshe to keep the Irish scoreboard ticking over, but it was Israel’s day and they ran out 54-66 point winners in the end.
RESULT – FIBA U16 WOMEN’S EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION B
Classification Game 9-10th
Ireland 54-66 Israel
IRELAND U16 WOMEN: Abby Flynn (9), Ciara Bracken, Lauren Darcy, Erin Maguire (2), Anna Lynch, Ciara White (4), Niamh Kenny, Mia Furlong, Lainey Nolan (4), Katie Walshe (21), Alex Mulligan (6), Katie Williamson (8)