RECAP: Ireland U16 men lose out in a close game to Netherlands
August 13, 2019
In Montenegro, Ireland U16 men lost out to group winners Netherlands 77-83 in their final group game of the 2019 U16 Men’s European Championships Division B.
Ireland started well with ND Okafor getting the opening score for Ireland before the Netherlands hit 6 points quickly forcing an Ireland timeout to reset the defense. Sean Pollmann-Daamen, Clinton Efinda and Nelson Fotso all had some nice looks drop and Ireland’s protection of the paint improved limiting their opponents to some outside looks that they made to take a 2-point lead at end of the quarter 19 – 17.
The second quarter was one of the best seen by this team. Their defensive intensity went up a couple of levels, holding the Netherlands scoreless for almost five minutes, and their game plan of pushing the pace and looking inside to Okafor paid dividends. Okafor had 8 of his 17 points and 10 rebounds in the second with Darragh Ferguson and Efinda finding their range from outside. Ferguson, who finished Ireland’s top scorer with 19 points, was a thorn in the Netherlands side with some excellent ball pressure as well as finding his open teammates when needed. It was Ireland 39-30 Netherlands at the half.
The second half saw the Netherlands show why they had won all their group games so far, they did a better job defensively in the paint, running double and triple teams at Okafor and the other Irish forwards and scores were at a premium for Ireland. Mobi Ilegwuruka, Roniel Oguekwe and Ferguson kept Ireland in it but it was starting to look ominous. Turnovers started to creep in and this meant it was just a two point lead for Ireland going into the fourth, 55 – 53.
The fourth was all Netherlands at the start, they erased their deficit and took a 14-point lead at one stage before Ireland rallied through Efinda and Ferguson but Ireland will rue missed free throws as they came up short, 77-83 at the end.
This result means Ireland finished fourth in their group and will be in the 9th – 16th classification bracket. They face Sweden in their first classification game on Thursday at 12:45. Tomorrow, Wednesday, is a rest day for all teams.
Ireland: Clinton Efinda (14), Darragh Ferguson (19), Michael O'Mahony (3), Milo Herbst (2), Mobi Ikegwuruka (4), ND Okafor (17), Nelson Fouto-Toumo (4), Roniel Oguekwe (6), Ryan Djoussa (1), Sean Pollmann-Daamen (7), Tim Pollmann-Daamen, Wede Esojobar.
Ireland U16 Men's Team Result
Tuesday, August 13th
Group Game 5
Ireland 77-83 Netherlands
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