England U18s Victorious Over Estonia - Hoopsfix.com

England U18s Victorious Over Estonia

England Under-18s got past Estonia, 65-63, in their Division B European Championship opener in Varna, Bulargia, on Thursday.

The victory was a small vindication for the side that has faced mass criticism over the past couple of weeks, after injuries, withdrawals, and late additions.

A balanced effort saw four players hit double figures, led by Rowell Graham’s 12 points and 7 rebounds. Simeon Esprit and Raphell Thomas-Edwards added 11 points-a-piece, with the latter adding 9 rebounds, whilst Jamie Batish had 10 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists. Jordan Spencer had 5 points along with 4 steals, with Jack Crook, Elliott Sentance and Ross Wilson adding 4 points each.

The game remained close throughout, with neither team being able to gain a significant advantage. Down 59-54 with 4 minutes to play, Simeon Esprit made a three to bring England within two, before Rowell Graham got out on the break and hit a layup whilst being fouled to tie the game. Graham hit the free throw to give England a 60-59 lead with just over three minutes left.

Estonia responded with a thunderous dunk down the lane by Jöesaar, but Raphell Thomas-Edwards responded with a nice crossover move into the lane before drawing a foul. He calmly sank both to once again put England up one, 62-61 with 1 minute left. Jöesaar was the go to man for Estonia, as he hit a layup to regain the lead, but Esprit immediately hit a huge baseline jumpshot to put England back in control, 64-63, with 31 seconds remaining.

Estonia couldn’t convert down the other end, and Graham secured the rebound before being fouled. He split the free throws, giving England a two point cushion with 10 seconds left, setting up Estonia for one final play. Jöesaar advanced the ball, but quick hands from Raphell Thomas-Edwards poked it away from him, forcing the turnover as England held the ball as time expired.

Full box score, play by play and statistics available here.

England will now take on Belgium on Friday afternoon.


  • Starters: Jordan Spencer, Simeon Esprit, Ross Wilson, Raphell Thomas-Edwards, and Zak Wells.
  • The team struggled with turnovers, finishing the game with 24.
  • Great result for the team, and hopefully will go some way in silencing a number of critics they’ve faced over the last few weeks.
  • Shout out to SportMedia.tv for livestreaming the game, great quality too. All the games should be streamed, and the links will be found on Hoopsfix on game days.

Did you watch the live stream? Thoughts on the team’s performance?


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