GB U20 Women recorded a fourth-place finish at FIBA U20 Europe, missing out on bronze and promotion to Division A by just three points as Ireland claimed a 60-57 victory last night.
The team, which included Scottish trio Alix Henderson, Shawnisay Millar and Sian Phillips, lost out to Ireland 72-58 in the opening game of the tournament, before bouncing back with a 58-53 win over Ukraine to book their place in the second round.
The tournament structure meant that any result picked up against a Second Round opponent in the group stage was carried over, meaning GB started 0-1 after their defeat to Ireland and had to win both remaining games to progress. The team did that, earning comfortable wins against Croatia (67-89) and Israel (67-47).
In the semi-final GB faced Finland, who had won all four games in the earlier stages. It was a strong start to the game, with the score 39-35 in GB’s favour at the half. The Finnish team replied in the third, winning it 32-14, to send GB into the Third Place game with a 86-86 victory.
Their tournament concluded against Ireland last night and after a shaky start, which allowed the Irish to take a 17-point lead into the half, the team fought back to within a single point in the fourth. It was a great effort from the squad, but Ireland hung on to claim victory by just three points (60-57).
Despite falling short of their goal of promotion, the young GB team will take a lot from the tournament and – with the exception of two players – the squad are all eligible to play again in the summer of 2020.
Looking ahead for the Scottish Trio, Sian Phillips will return to Scotland and re-join the Caledonia Pride squad ahead of the 19/20 season. Both Alix and Shawnisay have departed Caledonia Pride, heading to the US where they’ll continue their educations at Point Loma Nazarene University and Midwestern State University respectively.