U16 Men win silver in Euro C
After a couple of convincing vistories against Los Barrios in the South of Spain the boys travelled to Gibraltar to kick off their Euro C tournament with group matches against Andorra and Gibraltar lined up.
Group Game 1 – Scotland v Andorra
Having not played on the first day of tournament, the squad were excited to be in action in their first match in European competition with none of the squad having been involved at this level previously. The game started steadily, but Scotland slowly started to find their rhythm and began to convert in offense, while gaining multiple stops in defense. This enabled Scotland to take a half time lead of 35 – 9. The second half followed a similar pattern, as Scotland continued to rotate players into the game. The team was able to continue to execute their player rotations throughout the game, and were able to get valuable court time for each player. Scotland ran out comfortable winners in the end after an all round team performance.
Final Score – Scotland 75 Andorra 34
Top performers: Kieran McAdam 11pts, 6 rebounds. Malcolm Winning 10pts, 3 rebounds. Fraser Malcolm 8pts, 11 rebounds. Gregor Gray contributed 7 rebounds.
Group Game 2 – Scotland v Gibraltar
Scotland went into this game knowing that a victory would give them qualification for the semi-finals as the top seed in their group. However, the host nation had also won their first game, with top player, Jake Haefner scoring 37 points while shooting 6 from 7 from 3 point range. During practice the squad had worked on defending Haefner and the players were given their defensive assignments. Having taken a 1 point lead in the first quarter on the buzzer, Scotland slowly increased their lead by the half to 6 points. The team recognized that a stronger performance on the boards would improve their chances in the game, and this ensued in the second half, as Scotland dominated the boards. They also played an aggressive defense throughout, while utilizing the squad, and this enable them to pick up the win.
Final Score – Scotland 70 Gibraltar 41
Top performers: Gregor Gray 17pts, 5 rebounds. Malcolm Winning 16 pts, 4 assists. Fraser Malcolm, 13pts, 10 rebounds.
Semi-Final – Scotland vs San Marino
San Marino had finished 2nd in their group, but had two of the tallest players in the tournament in their team. Scotland again had practiced how to defend against them, especially 6ft 7inch center, Igor Biordi, who was dominating the rebounding stats at the tournament. Scotland ran a combination of defenders on Biordi to tire him out and took control of the boards. This enabled multiple stops in defense and by half-time they had a 24 point lead. The second half never really changed and Scotland were again able to utilize the squad as they ran out comfortable winners and would await the winner of the Gibraltar v Monaco match.
Final score – Scotland 72 San Marino 32
Top performer: Rian Neill 12pts, 6 rebounds. Malcolm Winning 11pts, 4 rebounds. Fraser Malcolm 13pts, 9 rebounds.
European Championship Final – Scotland v Monaco.
The game started slowly, with both teams looking nervous in the early stages. Scotland were able to finish the close quarter up 11-10. The second quarter started similar with teams again struggling to get into their scoring rhythm but towards the end of the quarter Monaco went on a small scoring run, while Scotland struggled to connect on their shots. A buzzer beater shot at half time gave Monaco a 10 point lead.
Scotland came out strong after the break and reduced the deficit to 5 points, but Monaco stretched it back to 10 after some transition points and a 3 point shot deep into the shot clock. Scotland fought back once more, this time reducing the gap to 2 point. A referee over rule gifted a second possession to Monaco after they had appeared to throw the ball out of court, and Alessandro Generale, who was having a special game, hit a heavily contested 3 pointer with 1 second left of the shot clock. This knocked the wind out of the Scotland squad and Monaco went into the final quarter still up by 10. Scotland rallied again in this quarter with points in the paint against the fourth different type of zone they had faced in the game, but a costly turnover again gave Monaco the chance to score in transition, and pick up a bonus shot on the play. Scotland made one final push, but having expended so much energy in trying to get the score back, they ran out of steam and ended up on the wrong side of a 53-61 score line. Having been equal on the stats in almost all areas apart from 3 point shot conversion, Scotland left the court with heart ache. Throughout the whole tournament the team had lost only one quarter, and this proved to be the pivotal moment in their European campaign.
Final Score – Scotland 53 Monaco 61
Top performers: Gregor Gray 16pts, 11 rebounds. Rian Neill12pts, 5 rebounds. Fraser Malcolm 10pts, 8 rebounds.