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England Cadettes finish fifth in Croatia

30 April 2003
Pozega, Croatia

The 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.
Source: EB

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