Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016

U13 Girls Return from Gothenburg

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U13 Girls Return from Gothenburg

On the first day of Competition in Gothenburg the U13 Girls travelled by tram to Heidhallen in the South of the city. The team faced Djursholm Indians in the group stage of the tournament.  A tired and nervous Scotland Team found it hard to impede the Indians’ 5”10 star point guard and the 30 minute match ended 22-11 in favour of the Swedish club side.  Later that evening a rejuvenated Scotland side took on St. Helena Basket. With some determined pressure defence from Megan Thomson and some flawless fast breaks from Emma Norval and Hansine Marshall the Scotland girls proved too strong for their competitors, keeping them off the scoreboard for the whole of the first half and finished the match 2-50.

On Friday afternoon the Team played KFUM Central in a test for 2nd place with all four Highland girls featuring in the starting line up.  Some great hustle and a number of early steals from Briagh McMaster saw the Scotland Team take an 18 point lead in the first half.  The second half saw in some lovely long range passes and creative assists from Claire Dewar and by the final whistle Scotland had earned a 6-42 victory and a place in the top 16.

On Friday night there was some time for all the Teams to gather at the Liesberg Arena to watch the ‘All Star Challenge’.  The girls were able to cheer on Scotland U12 Boy’s player Jacob Kuriakose in the ‘Skills and Drills’ Challenge which was a timed assault course combining dribbling, passing and shooting. The team then watched some of the older (and taller) boys from the tournament take part in the Slam Dunk Competition. The winner wowed the crowd with an impressive leap over a chair and a team-mate to reach the hoop. 

On Saturday morning Scotland met Lindigo Basket – a Division 3 side from Stockholm.  An early steal from Ellie Callon secured Scotland’s first 2 points and the girls continued to show confidence.  Again, several fast break opportunities together with some strong post moves from Zoe McKinlay saw another convincing win for the Scots (5-32). 

After dominating the last few games the Scotland girls met Stockholm Polisen in the last 8.  The opposition were an extremely quick and effective attacking team and the Scots had difficulty stopping  drives from forward – Jacinta Muthoni.  At the other end of the court the Scots had problems as well.  The quick transition from Polisen meant that Scotland were unable to exploit any fast break opportunities and the plays, that had not been utilised previously, started to break down.  Unfortunately the game finished 30-15 and Scotland bowed out of the competition.  Stockholm Polisen went on to win a further 2 games and finally won the overall U13 Girls title on Sunday afternoon. 

On Sunday Morning, with no games left to play, the team travelled to Lundbyhallen near Gothenburg Harbour to support the U13 Boys in their Semi Final. The boys were down by 20 points at half time and it looked like things could only get worse.  But with some extraordinary fight and determination together with the relentless encouragement from the Scotland contingent the boys pulled their way back into the match.  It was a nail-biting finish with our counterparts narrowly missing out by only 4 points as the final whistle blew.

Later on, the Scotland Girls used their free time to visit the Liesberg Amusement Park in the centre of the City. After several goes on the roller-coasters and numerous failed attempts to win a giant Toblerone bar we headed to the Gothia Arena where all 81 Scots spent their last night. 

Overall the tournament was a massive success, a fantastic development opportunity for players and coaches alike and the trip was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

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