Under 16 Women’s National Team finished a long and arduous
week in Croatia, as they placed 5th in the Challenge Round of
the European Championships for Cadettes. Despite a fantastic performance
by our Under 16’s on the international scene, they are now
eliminated from the Final Round of the Championship. Two losses
on April 25th and 26th for England confirmed their omission from
the European Championship.
Ukraine were England’s opponents on April 25th and they
jumped to a 38-10 lead to end the first quarter. Despite closer
margins of victory in the following three periods, England could
not get themselves back into the game that saw Ukraine win 105-58.
Lauren Thomas-Johnson led England with 11 points.
England 58 (10, 14, 20, 14)
Ukraine 105 (38, 19, 25, 23)
The final tournament match for the England Under 16’s was
against Germany, where they began brilliantly, winning the first
quarter 18-17. This was a close game throughout, as Germany could
not manage to pull away from England at any point. However, the
German Cadettes were able to maintain a slight lead for much of
the game’s remainder. A notable accomplishment by the England
team saw them losing by only eight points to one of Europe’s
strongest countries. Jo Leedham led with a ‘double-double’
scoring 14 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Thomas-Johnson
had 13 and Helen Naylor scored 11 to finish a superb week for
both of these young women.
Germany 64 (17, 17, 19, 11)
England 56 (18, 12, 13, 13)
The team and coaching staff of the England Under 16’s are
happy with their team’s performance regardless of not qualifying
for the Final Round. This was not a realistic expectation from
the onset of the tournament. The event did, however, prove how
far the status of basketball for young women has evolved over
the years. The women’s programme is rapidly developing in
England and this Cadette team is purely indicative of this. England
Basketball wants to congratulate the team on their efforts in
Croatia. The top three teams to advance to the next round from
Group A are Croatia, Ukraine, and Germany in that order.