RECAP: U16 Women record thrilling victory over Switzerland
August 20, 2018
The Ireland Under 16 women defeated Switzerland in the group phase at the FIBA U16 Women’s European Championship, Division B, 58-55, after a thrilling encounter. The sides were neck and neck throughout, with star players Hazel Finn and Ciara Byrne leading them to glory in Podgorica, Montenegro.
Ireland made a hot start to the game with Ciara Byrne and Kate Hickey getting scores early-on. The girls in green displayed great intensity on the fast break. Switzerland attempted to fight back and reduce Ireland’s early lead but the Irish held them off to lead at the end of the first quarter, 17-8.
The Swiss’ fightback was in full-flow as the second quarter began. They caught Ireland sleeping on multiple occasions to slip in and get inside scores. Irish head coach Karl Kilbride called two timeouts in as many minutes to settle his players and they managed to hold on to their lead at halftime, 24-23.
Ireland maintained their lead during the third quarter through some good off-ball running and slipping in behind the Swiss defence. Siofra O’Shea and Abigail Rafferty worked hard on both offence and defence, which ultimately had Ireland leading, 42-40, heading in to the final quarter.
The final quarter saw an intensely close ten minutes of basketball. The Swiss kept attacking and took the lead halfway through. However, the work rate of the girls in green during the final quarter, especially Hazel Finn and O’Shea, gave Ireland the win, 58-55.
After the game, head coach Karl Kilbride stated, “The pressure and pace we put on Switzerland is what held on for us. We did a much better job of taking care of the ball in the second half which was an aim of ours. We’re delighted with the win but there’s still things we can improve on and we’ll work on them in practice tomorrow”.
Ireland: Shauna Dooley (1), Kate Hickey (10), Abigail Rafferty (3), Ciara Byrne (12), Hazel Finn (15), Erin Maguire, Siofra O’Shea (5), Fatimah Akorede, Sinead Boyle, Lisa Blaney (3), Sadhbh Edwards Murphy, Gillian Wheeler (9).