- National Teams
Great Britain Under-20’s are guaranteed a spot in the quarter-finals at the European Championships in Chalkida, Greece, after beating the Netherlands 48-40 for their fourth straight victory, on Tuesday afternoon.
Andreas Kapoulas’ side produced a strong finish and are now 4-0 with the chance to advance as group winners when they take on the hosts, Greece, in their final Group C encounter tomorrow.
Callum Lawson finished with a game-high 18 points for GB, while Josh Steel and Deane Williams both collected eight boards to go with six points and Jules Dang Akodo dished out eight assists in the win.
It was a slow start for GB as they missed their opening 12 shots from the floor as the Netherlands forged a 7-0 lead in the first five minutes. Lawson stopped the rot with a score from beyond the arc and despite finishing the period with the final five points, GB still trailed 13-8.
The momentum continued into the second with Lawson moving into double figures with the first eight points in the second quarter to fire GB ahead for the first time.
GB kept their opponents scoreless for over seven minutes in the quarter, conceding just two points before the half to take a slender 16-15 advantage into the break despite shooting 17% from the field.
After an even start to the second half, Sam Idowu netted from downtown as GB moved 24-19 ahead for their biggest lead of the game, only for the Netherlands to respond with a 7-2 run to level proceedings.
Sedale Hanson-Young ensured GB would head into the final quarter with a lead after adding a free throw to end the period with the score 27-26 in his side’s favour.
The Netherlands re-took the lead to start the fourth, but GB hit back through triples from Steel and Hanson-Young in a 7-0 run. However, there was another twist as a run of eight unanswered points saw the lead change hands once again.
Captain Dang Akodo stepped up down the stretch with some important plays at both ends of the floor with GB going on a 12-2 run to seal the victory and secure their spot in the last eight.
GB held their opponents to below 25% shooting from the field and forced 17 turnovers during the contest.
GB now close out the group with a game against Greece at 4:45pm UK time tomorrow (Wednesday) with top spot in the group up for grabs.