After two rounds of games in the youth international basketball U18 Women Partnership Tournament in Luxembourg only two teams remain unbeaten. The third day’s action bring together England and Ireland who will also play against each other during the first group stage of the European Championships.
Ireland will be looking to bounce back from their first two losses as they take on the unbeaten English team. In the second match Germany take on The Netherlands.
Germany will be looking to bounce back after suffering two defeats while The Netherlands will be looking to get back to winning ways.
In the final match of day 3 Luxembourg take on Slovenia.
Ireland last quarter heroics stuns England
Ireland were quick out of the starting blocks and were leading (5:0) with less than one minute on the game clock. The game became rather scrappy as neither side was able to take control of the game.
The England head coach, Deirdre Hayes, (third from left) decided to call a time-out midway through the first period as England had only managed to score 4 points.
She made some tactical changes which resulted in Ireland only scoring 2 points for the rest of the quarter while England went on to score 9 points to lead (13-7) at the end of the first period.
England stepped on the turbo in the second period and took advantage of the shooting difficulties of their opponents. They stretched their lead (23-11) on the back of some excellent shooting from beyond the arc.
Ireland weathered the storm and started to find their way to the basket and putting a stop to England’s dominance. However England went into the break with a significant advantage (31-20).
Jimmy Diggans, the Irish head coach, changed his line-up at the start of the third period, which resulted in Hannah Thornton hitting back-to-back baskets. A trey quickly followed by Clare Rockall. Rhiannon McNulty completed the riot as the England head coach called a time-out with their lead reduced to 2 points (31-29).
Hannah Shaw (right) used her physical strength to good advantage as England regained control of the game once more to score 13 unanswered points (44-29).
Ireland successfully applied pressure to finish the period stronger including a three-pointer to finish. However England went into the final quarter with a 10-point advantage (46-36).
The last quarter was end-to-end basketball in typical England - Ireland fashion with England holding onto their lead (51-44).
Rockall (Picture No:7) hit a back-to-back three-pointer to bring Ireland right back into the match with just under five minutes to play (50-51).
Hayes was forced to call a time-out to see if she could reverse the situation for England.
But Ireland were not ready to surrender the game and tightened up in defence forcing England into a couple of late turnovers.
Orla O’Reilly then found space in the English paint which then allowed Christine O'Gorman (above in picture 12) time to have two attempts of which the second dropped with the foul. She then hit the free-throw and Ireland had taken the lead (52-51)
England had one last attempt to save the game but then turned the ball over, which then left them with no choice to foul in order to stop the clock.
Rockall did the rest from the charity stripes and Ireland went on to win the game (57-51). Ireland finished the game with a 21-1 run to end England’s unbeaten record.
Claire Rockall led the Irish scoring with 18 points and Orla O’Reilly finished on 11 points.
Shaw led the English scoring with 15 points and was joined in double digits by Tamzin Barroilhet with 10 points.
The next youth international basketball match between these two nations will be during the U18 European Championship Women Division B on Sunday, August 10.
The Netherlands youth international basketball players beat Germany in a low-scoring game
Both sides started cautiously with Germany leading (7-3) after five minutes. They stretched their advantage (11-3) before dropping their intensity. The Netherlands then went on a 9-0 run, ending with a baseline three-point jumper by 10 to briefly take the lead (13-12). Germany, woken up by the Dutch action, started to play more aggressively. They raced down the court to take the lead just before the end of the first period (13-12).
The cat and mouse game between the two sides continued all through the second period with Germany holding on to their advantage at the interval with excellent shooting from Pia Mankertz with 10 points (27-26).
Germany opened the third period with a couple of quick baskets but were unable to maintain the momentum. Hence the game was tied again (31-31). The Dutch reorganised themselves quickly and went in front as Marianne van der Hoek was left open to hit a baseline jumper (33-31).
Mankertz was allowed to go coast to coast to bring the teams level once more. The two sides continued to excel in player-on-player defence thereby not allowing many open scoring opportunities. However The Netherlands with their better perimeter shooting went into the final period leading (39-35).
Things got off to a bad start for Germany in the last quarter as their head coach, Reiner Chromik, picked up a second technical after contesting another call. He left his team with 9:18 to play.
His absence did not seem to disturb his players as they drew fouls and made the resulting free-throws to regain the lead (42-41) with six minutes to play.
Stephanie Wagner from Germany ran at the Dutch defence and was to paid off as she hit one the few German points from open play. This action put Germany in front (46-45).
Svenja Brunckhorst tried the same approach but was stopped in her tracks and had to be content with splitting a pair of free-throws.
Chatilla van Grinsven (in picture no:13) put The Netherlands back in front with a reverse lay-up as the game entered money-time (48-47).
Fieke Ligthart (No: 9 in picture) started to dominate the offensive boards to keep Germany at bay.
With 12 seconds left Mankertz had no option but to foul Hoek who then split a pair. Germany’s last opportunity to level or win the match was stopped by the Dutch full-court press who then won (49-47).
Ria Bröring, (right) the U18 youth international basketball Dutch coach, was much happier with her team’s performance.
Hoek was the only Dutch player in double figures with 14 points while Mankertz and Brunckhorst from Germany had 12 and 11 points respectively.
Germany are the only team without a win in this youth international basketball tournament.
Slovenia, the only unbeaten team in the Partnership Tournament
Slovenia and Luxembourg were immediately out of the starting blocks in this game. Niki Baric, who was only free for the first few moments of the match, took the opportunity to score the first basket of the game. She was then closely watched by the Schreiner twins and was made to work hard to find space.
Luxembourg matched Slovenia basket for basket for the first five minutes and only trailed by a single point (6-7).
Luxembourg continued to watch Baric, which worked into the advantage of Slovenia as Polona Zalar and Anja Klavzar had more space to work inside the paint. Hence Slovenia opened up an early lead (17-9).
Luxembourg reduced their deficit slightly by the end of the first period (12-19) by running the ball and feeding it out to the wings.
The two teams continued to play at a high pace and Slovenia stretched their advantage (30-17) with more accurate shooting. Claude Weynandt tried her best inside for Luxembourg but was not able to dislodge the Slovenian pair Vesna Lesnjak and Lea Jagodic.
Luxembourg continued to fight and Jill Haentges (left) hit a trey for the last score of the second period. Slovenia went into the locker room leading (35-20).
After the interval both sides continued to run up and down the court with very little offensive action. After six minutes (41-21) both coaches had eventually enough and a time-out was called.
Baric was left on the bench to have a break and Slovenia scored 6 quick points. Léonie De Jonge ended Luxembourg’s eight minutes of barren spell with a shot from down-town. The pace of the game dropped considerably with Slovenia heading into the final quarter leading (51-29).
Slovenia left Lynn Schreiner open twice at the top of the key and she responded with a couple of three-pointers.
Luxembourg continued to hit the big shots but were unable to put a run together. With 3:30 to play in the final quarter Slovenia still led (60-42).
The game fizzled out with both sides mainly scoring from beyond the arc in a three-point shooting contest. This contest was won by Luxembourg.
Slovenia held on to win the game and are now the only undefeated team in the Partnership U18 youth international basketball competition (67-49).
Ines Kerin and Tjasa Gortnar were the only Slovenian players in double digits with 12 and 11 points respectively.
For Luxembourg Lynn Schreiner had 14 and De Jonge 13 points.
Youth international Basketball Partnership Tournament Luxembourg "Day 2
Youth international Basketball Partnership Tournament Luxembourg "Day 1