- National Teams
England under-16’s finished their two-game series in Slovenia with a win and a loss as they concluded their preparations ahead of the European Championships.
Alan Keane’s side led by as many as 11 points in the first game but were unable to repel a second half fightback from the hosts as they suffered a narrow 60-56 defeat.
They recovered well to record a 61-54 win 24 hours later as Jacob Iwowo led his side to victory with a 21-point haul including 14 in the first quarter.
“Team growth and development comes from the ability to give positive performances back-to-back,” said Keane.
“The players delivered what was asked of them and should be commended for their execution on both ends of the floor.”
— Alan Keane (@CoachKeane14) July 30, 2015
After an even start, England moved ahead to lead 12-7 at the end of the first quarter. A 6-0 run saw their advantage grow to 11 points at 31-20 but they would go into half-time 33-27 ahead.
The gap between the two sides was reduced to three points by the end of the third and Slovenia’s comeback was complete as they took the lead on a 7-0 run in the fourth and outscored England 17-10 to take the win.
Iwowo top scored with 13 points while Nelson Boachie-Yiadom added 11 points and Jacob Round had 8.
In the second game, England made a similarly strong start and opened up a 26-15 advantage at the end of the first with their lead already in double figures.
They were held to just seven points in the second quarter as Slovenia managed to slightly peg back their opponents with England still ahead at 33-26 at the half.
Another low-scoring quarter ensued when play resumed after the break as England edged the third 9-8 to take a 42-34 lead into the final quarter.
England had led by as many as 17 points at one stage to see Slovenia close within four points, but this time they were able to hold their nerve and close out the victory.
Micah Savery-Richards added 10 points to Iwowo’s 21 while Boachie-Yiadom pulled down 12 rebounds during the contest.
The under-16’s now return home before flying out to Lithuania to begin their Division A campaign at the European Championships.
Image credit: Mark Dayson (Twitter)