U16 Women FIBA Euro C : Scotland 57-34 Andorra
Scotland U16 Women – Game Day 1 of Euro C
The Scotland U16 Women began their FIBA Euro C campaign in great style by beating defending champions Andorra in the first game of the tournament, causing the first upset of the week.
Both Scotland and Andorra started the first quarter tentatively with both teams struggling to put the ball in the basket but it was Scotland that finally managed to secure the first points of the game and of the tournament. As the quarter went on Scotland began to find their stride and put the champion’s under-pressure with great defensive pressure from Shannon Flippard and Lauren Forde on Andorra’s strongest players. Erin Campbell picked out some fantastic passes to centre Katie Fergus who used her height and power to her advantage and caused a lot of problems in the key. Keri Jackson started the game well with some fantastic rebounding and steals at key moments in the quarter. With the first quarter finishing 10-7 to Scotland things were off to a good start.
The second quarter saw Scotland come out fast from the blocks with Taylor McKeown and Mirren Summers brought into the game to keep the defensive momentum going and Cara Black insured the tempo of the game did not drop, with some great fast breaks causing Andorra even more trouble. Shannon Purves made her presence felt on the court, linking well with Fergus and Jackson to deny all cuts through the middle and proved valuable getting those boards. Again Purves used her height to her advantage and had some fantastic 1v1 moves to the basket, leaving Andorra struggling to deal with a strong team performance. In a quarter that saw the Scotland side score 23 points and holding their opponents to 10, the Scottish players went into the half time break 33-17 leaders, finishing strong and confident and ready for Andorra’s come- back attempt in the third quarter.
Sam Butler entered the game in the third quarter and along with club team mate Michelle Bradley, linked well offensively with Butler grabbing some great offensive boards allowing teams mates Abbie Wheeler and Black to run the fast break and pick up some easy lay ups. With all 12 players in the Scotland side making valuable appearances on the court Andorra were now under-pressure to try and work out who to stop. Fergus had another great quarter with Flippard and Bradley getting in some great blocks and forcing Andorra to turn over the ball. Another strong team performance saw Scotland take the third quarter as 47-24 leaders.
The final 10 minutes were on the clock and Scotland were in a great position to take the game but Head Coach Luis Romero was keen to emphasise that as defending champions Andorra should not be underestimated and the Scottish players should be prepared for full court pressure from the first pass. As expected Andorra came out strong in the hope of causing and upset to get themselves back into the game however, the Scotland side remained composed and worked well under the pressure and again great passes from Campbell into centres Fergus and Purves saw Scotland keep the pressure on Andorra. Player rotation between Flippard, McKeown, Black and Summers meant that the tempo of the game remained high to allow Scotland’s momentum to continue. Towards the end of the fourth quarter the Scotland players seemed to lose concentration and briefly let their opponents go on a 9-0 scoring run but Scotland dealt with this well and answered this challenge with their own 10-0 run which proved to be too much for Andorra to come back from leaving Scotland the game winners with a score-line of 57-34.
A great team performance lead to such a vital win early in the tournament and was a great boost to the Scottish side that had worked hard on and off the court. The lessons and experiences learnt from the previous weeks Spanish camp were definitely visible on the court, whilst there were still a few areas that Coach Romero wanted to addressed. Katie Fergus ended the game as top scorer with 11 points with point guard Black on 7 closely followed by Purves and Jackson on 6 each.
A full list of the stats from the game can be found on the following link http://www.fibaeurope.com/cid_KNce8jInH7Qj1EsyH5rjn2.gameID_8984-B-6-1.compID_0HfDec0vJ1-VlVziYxDM72.season_2012.roundID_8982.teamID_.html
Scotland now look towards their next game against Malta with a 2pm tip (Gibraltar time) Live game stats will be available through the above link also.
You can follow the Scotland U16 women’s progress throughout their Spanish Camp on their official Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Scotland-U16-Womens-Squad-2012/349542885080237