Great Britain’s U20 Women concluded this year’s European Championship in 8th position of Division B, after a mixed campaign in Israel.
The squad started impressively, breezing past Ireland and Romania in stunning fashion, racing to a 2-0 record to sit atop of the Group B rankings. The team’s momentum, however, was abruptly halted by the tournament’s hosts in the following fixture. A trio of defeats, at the hands of Israel, Belarus and Croatia, rounded out the group phase: relegating GB out of semi-final contention and into the classification games for 5-8th place. Despite a disappointing end to the group phase, a series of stunning individual performances from Stevens, Nikitinaite, Gayle and Johnson meant there was plenty of optimism in the camp heading into the classification games.
A close, hard-fought defeat to Czech Republic in the opening classification round saw GB drawn once more against Israel, this time with 7th place the prize. Gayle’s 20 point outburst, in the loss, her 2nd 20 point of the tournament. GB’s tournament finale went much the same way as their group encounter with Israel, the hosts proving too strong. Mel George’s big double-double proved the high spot in the contest as GB were forced to settle for 8th place.
Group Phase – Group B
Great Britain 69 v 46 Ireland; A. STEVENS 18p-7r
Romania 48 v 74 Great Britain; G. NIKITINAITE 20p, G. GAYLE 20p
Israel 88 v 50 Great Britain; G. NIKITINAITE 18p
Great Britain 58 v 70 Belarus; G. NIKITINAITE 16p, A. JOHNSON 15r
Croatia 72 v 38 Great Britain; G. NIKITINAITE 10p, A. JOHNSON 10r
Classification Game for 5-8th place
Czech Republic 77 v 71 Great Britain; G. GAYLE 20p, A. JOHNSON 13r
Classification Game for 7th place
Great Britain 49 v 77 Israel; M. GEORGE 16p-15r