Great Britain finished off a summer of international action with a 52-49 overtime win over Switzerland at the FIBA U16 Women’s European Championship in Podgorica.
Amelia Sandie produced 12 points, while Hannah Dawson was responsible for 9 points and six rebounds, Molly James 8 points and Rebecca Dwomoh contributed 8 points, sixteen rebounds and seven steals.
For the final act of the junior team summer, Coach Kenrick Liburd kept faith with the same starting five – Jade Mbam and Ella Doherty joining Sandie, Dawson and Dwomoh.
Trailing 7-8 after the first quarter, the points came a little quicker in the opening moments of the second with Dawson among those to strike – the Surrey Blue Storm forward driving down the lane with authority. Switzerland were also more confident though, however, perhaps the moments in which the game turned came just before the half.
GB’s 8-2 run gave them the 23-19 half-time lead, but with Molly James’ crisp trey and an outstanding and-1 from Tamara Fournillier-Onadeko, the bench was providing depth just when it was required.
With Dwomoh showing her physical prowess in the paint as she has done all week, GB would lead throughout the third quarter. With turnovers – GB’s biggest weakness all tournament – at a minimum, their advantage stretched to 10 at one point.
With a 35-27 lead, Switzerland looked down and out but given the way Ireland forced their way past GB in the latter stages 24 hours earlier, they would have taken note. Slowly but surely, they closed the space on GB defensively and chipped away at the lead.
Stoianov’s jumper with 1:49 to play tied the game at 43-43 and surprisingly proved to be the last bucket of regulation.
Overtime saw constant lead changes until Dwomoh’s hook shot bore fruit with 1:40 to play.
Then GB called timeout after Switzerland missed a 3-pointer and Sandie was given the responsibility to deliver, which she did for the and-1, punching the air with delight.
While the extra point was spurned, GB held out for the final minute and this short-handed team who have been beset by illness and injury since before the tournament began, could celebrate a morale-boosting win to complete a challenging 10 days.
With the win, GB finish 15th in Division B (31st overall) and individuals will use much of the experience and take it to the new season.
Coach Liburd told www.gbbasketball.com, “I’m really excited today because that was a really nice performance to close out the tournament.”
“It was great to see contributions from all nine players who we could put out onto the court. It was another really positive showing from Amelia who made some big shots and took care of the ball really well down the stretch. Rebecca showed real toughness where it counts too.”
“It was a real team performance. We were in a good place mentally going into overtime and then our defence gave us the opportunity to close out the game. It’s a good way to see out the tournament for a good group and I can’t wait to see them in the future.”
Source: GB Basketball