Great Britain Under-20s had little trouble dispatching of the England Under-18s in Saturday, in their first warm-up of the summer.
Head Coach Doug Leichner’s side jumped out to 17-5 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, as their age and experience proved too much for the talented 1995 born generation, who were without starters Luke Nelson and Mo Soluade.
Raphell Thomas-Edwards had 11 points and 7 rebounds to lead GB, with Devon van Oostrum adding 9 and 11 assists, whilst Jules Christian led England with 11 points.
“First off we were very excited about the opportunity to play against the England Under-18s, this is a great little event,” commented Leichner after the game. “It’s something I know our guys talked about, so it was exciting to play that game.
“Offensively I thought we did some good things in transition; we want to run, we want to push it, we want to do some random ball screens and get our point guards in action and flowing, so there was some good execution there. Defensively, I though we guarded the ball screen well early, but they started to pick it apart a little bit so we’ve got break that down on video.”
Having only had one day together with the full squad, the U20 Head Coach is focused on the team getting on the same page over the coming week.
“We’ve got to come together, we’ve only had a day or so with everyone together, so tomorrow we’ll practice and then we’ll have the next two days to get together kind of getting us all ready. Basically the team has been formed, the foundations are in place – now it’s about the adjustments you make when you go to national team camp or you play your other scrimmages and friendlies,” he added. “This is a huge, huge next three days for us, we’re gonna do some of our defence, zone offence and zone defence – so we’ve got a lot of work.”
Rowell Graham finishing with 8 points on 4/4 shooting for GB and Zak Wells added 6 points and 9 rebounds.
Dwayne Orija and Josh McSwiggan added 10 each for England, whilst Tyrell Isaacs finished with 7.
Next up for the U20s is a two game series against Belgium in Bristol on the 21st and 22nd of June, before they fly out to Helsinki, to play Finland, and then Portugal in Portugal, before returning to England where they will face Holland in Ipswich.
Meanwhile, the U18s are preparing for the Future Stars International Junior Tournament which starts on the 28th June at Surrey Sports Park.