U15 Girls off to a winning start in San Marino
After an early start, 3.30 am for some, we boarded our first flight to London Gatwick, a very brief encounter with the Senior Women and we parted company. The girls certainly kept the Gatwick crowds amused with their dancing and after 6 hours we boarded our flight to the sun.
What a pleasure it was to see the sun, the only problem, it was still 30 degrees at 8 pm. We finally arrived at our Rimini hotel at 10.30 Italian time. The hotel chef pulled out all the stops and we had 4 courses. After dinner and showers it was time for bed, almost midnight, what a long day……the coaches were certainly ready for bed.
Game time, Janie was sent to a meeting with the organiser and the girls went to explore the beach. The girls kept up their reputations as “Entertainers” by inciting the locals with wheel barrow races, singing, and pyramid building (which failed miserably!).
Our first game was a 3 pm tip off against happy Rimini. The girls stepped out onto the same court the senior men had played on the week previously in the European Championship.
Let’s go scotland! Coach McBrierty started with: Nicole Davidson, Anna Mitchell, Emma Straiton, Stella Dobson, and Shannon McAuley. The tip off went Scotland’s way and a quick 2 points on the board for Shannon. Scotland came out of the blocks flying and eager to impress our large support of 4, Emma’s mum and dad and Anna’s grandparents. Five minutes gone Scotland 10 Rimini 0. The girls played controlled passing and cutting and finished 13-2 up at the end of the quarter.
In the second quarter nerves certainly played a big part in the young teams play, a few turnovers and silly fouls and Rimini had the score back to 13-10. A nice pass from Stella Dobson and cut from Nina Gilbert sent Scotland to the foul line for 2 shots. The team then settled and a few quick steals and good defensive rebounds brought back a Scotland lead just before the half. The score 20-16.
A long delay at the half as we had managed to break the net with outstanding shooting practice! Could the girls keep up the momentum in the next half? Six points in the first minute from Laura Young and time out Rimini. The opposition struggled with the strength of all the players hitting the court for Scotland. At times the under 15’s made it look easy, then a momentary lapse and the opposition were right back in the game.
The fourth quarter came and went in a blur of steals, good defence and tough hustling from Scotland, but good bench rotation by coach McBrierty saw the girls through to the end and brought home Scotland’s first win of the tournament. The final score was 38-31.
Coaching staff could not be happier with the squad and Coach McBrierty is confident there is more to come from them!
1. Anna Mitchell – 8
2. Laura Young – 7
3. Emma Straiton and Shannon McAuley – 6