Netherlands, Great Britain and Germany all got their European Championship campaigns off to winning ways on the opening day of the 2019 Women’s European Championship.
Hosts of the tournament, the Netherlands, started slowly as Spain matched the reigning World Champions early on, but an 8-2 run by the Netherlands saw them open up a seven-point advantage at the end of the first quarter. A close second quarter ensued with the home team edging it 15-13, to lead 32-23 at the break.
In the second half Spain began to fade away and the Netherlands’ captain Carina De Rooij lead by example scoring seven of the points for her team in the third, extending their lead to seventeen going into the final period. The momentum continued in the same form in the fourth and Netherlands rounded off a solid second half performance to win the first game of the competition, 59-36. Full Statistics
Mariska Beijer led all scorers with 31 points and 11 rebounds followed closely by Spain’s Vicky Perez who had 21 points and 12 rebounds.
In the second game of the day, Great Britain came up against a new-look French team. The score was level with six minutes gone, but Great Britain remained calm and managed to take control to push ahead to a 28-14 lead at half-time.
Great Britain tightened their defence in the second half, turning the pressure up on France and holding them to just four points for the half, whilst they themselves went on a scoring frenzy hitting 19 points in each of the third and fourth to open their European campaign with a 66-18 win. Full Statistics
Shooting at 73% from the field, Amy Conroy hit 23 points to lead the scorers for the game.
Conroy said following the game:
“Our plan was to come out with a lot of energy and confidence, and we did that. Everyone saw the floor and we just played hard. I think every time we changed rotations we bought in more energy, and we’ve always said ‘humble and hungry’ and on to the next one after wins, but we are now also trying to have a little bit of swagger as a team, not the typical British way.”
Despite Germany’s clear advantage, Turkey rallied in the second half and boosted by vocal crowd support, won the final quarter 9-6.
Germany’s Head Coach, Martin Otto, rotated his players throughout the game giving minutes to everyone, as their points were spread across the board with eleven of his squad of twelve getting on the scoresheet, finishing the game with the victory, 59-17. Seda Kinali top scored for Turkey with 9 points. Full Statistics
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The championship will act as the zonal qualification tournament for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, and only the top four will qualify.
More information about the 2019 Women’s European Championship please visit the websites below:
Photo credit – Steffi Wunderl / Eike Michler