- National Teams
Great Britain’s under-20 women produced their third victory of the European Championship, when they outscored Romania 75-45 in Sofia on Friday morning.
A day’s break from competition had clearly served GB well, with four players scoring 10 points or more including Harriet Ottewill-Soulsby’s GB tournament-high 22 points in addition to eight rebounds.
After GB has suffered a number of recent narrow defeats in recent days, this day would be different against a Romania team still without a win at the Championship. Megan Lewis, Janice Monakana, Cheridene Green and Jay-Ann Bravo Harriott were part of the starting five, but it was Ottewill-Soulsby who led the way with nine points in the opening quarter. She helped GB to take a ruthless grip of the game which they never relinquished, with a 15-2 run putting them 23-8 ahead at the end of the first quarter.
While it was understandable that GB didn’t repeat their 53.5% shooting percentage in the second quarter, it was a surprise to see defences on top for as long as they were. But while points were scarce until Megan Lewis’ 3-pointer with 3:14 remaining, GB remained in the ascendancy and took a seventeen-point lead into the second half, leading 34-17 at the break.
After the interval, GB’s ruthlessness prevented Romania from getting any headway as they attempted to get back into the game. An early six points from Ottewill-Soulsby did just that but a feature of the game was how the duties were spread around the GB team – with just one example that of Hannah Peacock closing in on a double-double. Great Britain extended their lead to 19 points going into the final quarter, 55-34.
A lightning start saw GB pull further as the fourth quarter began. Head Coach Peter Buckle’s team pulled out a 10-2 run in the opening four minutes to make sure that Romania would not find a way back. In addition to Ottewill-Soulsby’ feats, Peacock was one rebound short of that double-double (12 points, 9 rebounds) while Green (11 points, seven rebounds) and Sarah Thomson (11 points, five rebounds) contributed as part of a fine team effort.
Ottewill-Soulsby told gbbasketball.com, “It was a good team effort. We moved the ball well and our ability to find the open man improved. We’ve executed our structure really well.”
Great Britain now have three wins from seven and will face Hungary on Saturday morning UK time (0930 BST), with their final game against Israel on Sunday.