RECAP: Ireland U18 women get back to winning ways v Luxembourg
July 12, 2019
The Ireland U18 women’s team got back to winning ways in style this evening with a statement 65-54 point win over Luxembourg in their 9-16 classification game at the 2019 FIBA U18 Women's European Championship Division B in North Macedonia.
The game saw a stand out display from Debbie Ogayemi - who finished with a superb nine points, 14 rebounds, four assists and three steals - while Katie Williamson had one of her best games to date in the tournament, finishing with a whopping 20 points and eight rebounds.
A small shaky period between the end of the first quarter and mid point of the second quarter was the only blip in an otherwise solid display from Ireland, as they took an early 13-6 lead in the opening quarter through the in-form foursome of Alex Mulligan, Abby Flynn, Williamson and Ogayemi. Luxembourg began to hit their stride in the closing stages of the quarter though showing off their three-point shooting skills in style and, with two minutes left in the period, had closed the gap back to just two points, before tying up proceedings seconds later and they went on to lead at the end of the quarter, 20-17.
Momentum stayed with Luxembourg in the early part of quarter two, as they stretched their lead out to seven points, but a superb three pointer from Lauren Darcy, and points from Flynn, Ogayemi and Williamson saw Ireland back in control of proceedings once more. Mulligan levelled the scoring with two minutes to play, and Ogyemi, Williamson and Flynn rounded off a superb 14-0 run for the Irish to see them into a 36-31 point lead at the half.
Williamson continued to impress in the third, bagging the opening two scores for the Irish, while Mulligan carved open the Luxembourg defence twice to increase Ireland’s tally further. Super defence from the Irish helped to close down the Luxembourg offense, and a well-worked Williamson score followed after great work from Siofra O’Shea. Luxembourg began to creep back into the game though with more sharp shooting from outside the arc to cut the margin back to five, but Walshe was on hand to respond with four points of her own, and free throws from Flynn rounded out the scoring to see Ireland lead 54-45 going into the last.
A strong drive from Walshe followed by a long three-pointer from Williamson lay down a firm statement of intent for the Irish as the fourth got underway. Luxembourg replied with threes of their own, but Ogayemi, Niamh Kenny and Flynn put a stop to any further comeback from Luxembourg, and with the opposition in foul trouble, the scoring finished on the free throw line with Flynn adding three points to win out 65-54 in the end.
“We’re delighted to get the win, It was very tough at times, they made a lot of runs and made it hard for us, they’re a very good three-point shooting team,” reflected assistant coach Liam Culloty afterwards. “In fairness, the girls dug deep and pushed on in the second half. There’s a lot of positives to take from it, it’s another win and we move on to tomorrow night’s game now against Switzerland.”
IRELAND: Abby Flynn (14), Niamh Kenny (1), Alex Mulligan (11), Debbie Ogayemi (9), Katie Williamson (20), Lauren Darcy (3), Ciara Byrne, Mia Furlong, Erin Maguire, Siofra O’Shea, Ciara Tolan, Katie Walshe (7).
Ireland U18 Women’s Results and Scorers
Friday, July 12th
Ireland 65-54 Luxembourg
WATCH BACK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TfJrk9m_4M