The Scotland U16 Women lost their first game to Cyprus, 64-45, at the European Championships Division C in Moldova.
Scotland got their first score on the board via a free throw from Rose Harvey who smartly drew a foul from the opposition. Jannike Marshall then racked up a couple of baskets for her side, as well as assisting Niamh Rana with the layup. Marie Morrison added to Scotland’s tally with a free throw and a layup, but Cyprus forged ahead late on in the quarter leaving Scotland trailing by eight, 9-17.
Despite the best efforts from new substitutions – Emma Dunsire, Jenni Torrance, Eabha Kerr and Lucy Lemmon -the Cyprian side used their aggressiveness to offensively overpower their competition as going into half time Cyprus had a 20-point lead, 18-38.
Lemmon got Scotland off to a good start in the third quarter as she made back-to-back baskets. A strong defensive start for Scotland limited Cyprus to only scoring two points within the first five and a half minutes of play. However, following a time out from Cyprus, they continued to plough on ahead with their lead. Even though a tough task was in front of them, the likes of Rana, Marie Morrison, Dunsire and Cummins done their best to keep their side in the game. At the end of this period Cyprus were leading 35-52, however this was Scotland’s best offensive quarter as they scored 17 points.
In the opening minutes of the last quarter Scotland just couldn’t find their offensive stride. That was until the final five minutes of play when there was a flurry of baskets from Rana, Kerr, Lemmon, Eva Morrison and Dunsire. By this point Cyprus proved too dominant to overcome as they took the win 45-64 with Scotland giving it their all to reduce the deficit as much as possible.
Niamh Rana and Emma Dunsire were joint top scorers for Scotland with eight points each. Rana also had 13 rebounds whilst Jannike Marshall had five steals.
Head Coach Donnie MacDonald spoke about the game in a post-match interview saying:
“It was a very tough game for us to start with – Cyprus came out with a very physical style of defence and executed very well offensively. We weren’t able to adapt to that until the second half, by which time we had left ourselves too much to do, and as a coach I take full responsibility for that. Cyprus were a very good team, but we can be much better.
We learned a lot about ourselves in this game, which we will look to take forward into our next game. I believe we have the strength of character in this team to bounce back and improve with each game we play.”
Scotland U16 Women will face Wales at 4pm today in their second group game.