The first semi-final of the 2019 Women’s European Championship, in Rotterdam, Netherlands was a re-run of the World Championship semi-final last year in Hamburg, between Great Britain and Germany, when Great Britain came out on top, 60-37. This time the Germans were hoping to show how far they’ve come since that defeat and continue their recent improvements.
Germany started strongly taking an 8-0 lead as Great Britain’s shots failed to drop in the opening exchanges. Following a time-out by GB’s Head Coach Miles Thompson, their first points came four minutes in to the game, giving them the opportunity to put the press on. Germany’s press break had mixed results, giving GB the chance to get back in to the game, winning the final part of the quarter 8-6, to make it 14-8 to Germany at the end of the first.
The second quarter was all square, 14-14, as Great Britain’s press continued to force a number of eight second violations and turnovers from the Germans, whilst at the same time allowing Germany to occasionally work their forwards into the key and draw fouls from GB. The six-point advantage was maintained going into the half-time break.
Great Britain edged the third quarter 13-11, as the game took on a similar pattern to the second quarter, but you could sense the intensive defensive pressure from GB starting to work more and more as Germany found open shots harder to come by.
Starting the final ten minutes with a four-point lead, 39-35, Germany found themselves on the wrong side of an 8-0 run as GB came out all guns firing to take the lead for the first time in the game. With renewed confidence, GB utilised the open spaces in their transition offence to get some easier looks at the basket to ensure they remained in front. A couple of stops from Germany though resulted in a tense finish to the game as they came back to within a single point. With only several seconds on the clock, Laura Fürst drove to the basket but with the shot didn’t drop and play continued and GB saw out the remainder of the time, to take the victory 49-48, and their place in the 2019 Women’s European Championship final.
Germany’s Mareike Miller was the games topscorer with 20 points, followed closely by Great Britain’s Amy Conroy making 12 points. Full Statistics.
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Photo credit – Steffie Wunderl / Eike Michler