RECAP: Ireland U16W finish 12th at #FIBAU16Europe
August 24, 2019
The Ireland U16 women finished in 12th place at the FIBA U16 Women’s European Championship Division B in Sofia, Bulgaria after a 46-66 loss to Israel.
Israel stormed into an early ten-point lead with scores coming from Joy Osigwe and Emma Rinat. Ireland slowly settled and found their way back into the game thanks to scores from Sarah Hickey and Hazel Finn. The teams remained neck and neck right up to the end of the first quarter and were unable to be separated, 18-18.
Ireland were unable to break through Israel’s defence in the second quarter. Finn and Kara McCleane attempted to drive through to the basket on multiple occasions but great defensive pressure from the Israelis thwarted the Irish attempts. Ireland were held to just four points scored in the second as they saw themselves down 22-37 at half time.
Ireland emerged rejuvenated from the half time break and began to find scores that wouldn’t fall for them in the previous quarter. McCleane and Casey Mulvey hit big shots to fight back at Israel’s lead but scores from Rinat and Hila Karsh kept Ireland at bay going into the fourth quarter, 36-52.
The final quarter saw Ireland attack the Israeli basket with the help of McCleane and Finn. Ella O’Donnell and Hickey grabbed multiple boards for the girls in green but Israel’s scoring consistency meant that they stayed that extra amount ahead of Ireland, eventually running out victors, 46-66.
Speaking afterwards, head coach Andy Gill stated: “‘It’s not the ending we would have wanted with our loss to Israel today.We had one poor quarter where our transition defence let us down. This was rectified in the second half, but the margin was just too great. Nevertheless, a 12th place finish and an opportunity to reach top 8 is a great achievement by this group. They played with pride, skill and always gave of their absolute best. A credit to themselves, family and the country.”
TEAM AND SCORERS: Sophie Moore,, Sinead Keane (2), Sarah Hickey (9), Michelle Ugwah, Hazel Finn (9), Kate Kelly (2), Tania Salvado-McCormack (2), Kara McCleane (14), Miah Ryan, Paris McCarthy, Ella O'Donnell (3), Casey Mulvey (5).
Saturday, August 24th
Israel 66-46 Ireland
WATCH BACK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSVafj09VEQ
BOX SCORE: http://www.fiba.basketball/en/Page/C152D5A1-FEC5-4DCB-A021-2C164E69C84A/F54656EF-655E-4033-857E-9F6366629848#|tab=boxscore