- National Teams
England Under-18’s suffered a 74-65 defeat at the hands of Ukraine in their Division B opener at the European Championships in Skopje, Macedonia, on Friday evening.
Steve Bucknall’s side were down 10 points at half-time and were unable to claw back the deficit despite an improved second half display.
Luke Mitchell top scored with 17 points, while Carl Wheatle amassed a big double-double with 14 points along with 16 rebounds and Zion Tordoff also reached double figures with 10 points.
An even start began with Mitchell scoring five early points as the two sides exchanged leads throughout the opening period. Micah Savery-Richards netted a triple to edge England 15-12 ahead, but Ukraine would close the quarter with a late 3-pointer to take a slender 18-16 lead.
Tordoff fired England back in front with a three at the start of the second, but Ukraine began to gain control and they used an 11-2 run to build a double-digit advantage, eventually leading 42-32 at half-time.
England halved their deficit with five quick points to start the second half, but that was as close as they would get and despite winning the third period, they still trailed 53-46 heading into the final quarter.
Ukraine continued to build on their advantage with the gap returning to double digits to leave England with too much to do down the stretch. A battling effort fell short in a nine-point defeat.
England U18s are next in action tomorrow with their second game in Group D against Slovakia at 8pm (UK time).