U15 Development Squads struggle in Copenhagen
The Boys and Girls U15 National Development Squads both took part in a tournament in Copenhagen over the weekend of June 22-24, but picked up just one win between them.
The Boys were defeated 78-66 in their opening game by a tall Denmark team and then struggled offensively in losses to Poland (68-47) and Kosovo (52-45). Josh Foulds scored 16 points against Denmark and Luke Mitchell was top-scorer against Poland and Kosovo with 13 and 14 points respectively.
A fantastic first half saw them 42-29 up against Netherlands in their next game, but an over-confident start to the third quarter allowed the Dutch back into it and led to a nip and tuck fourth quarter that saw Netherlands come out on top 66-60. Mitchell again led the scoring with 15 points.
Their final match-up against Norway East saw the England boys collect their first win as they were comfortable 81-35 victors. Ben Maranan (21) and Josh Foulds (16) led the scoring as England controlled the game from start to finish.
Coach Jesse Sazant commented: "This tournament was excellent for us. It gave our guys a real understanding of how tough international basketball is. We improved throughout the tournament with our final two games being by far the best we played.
"The most pleasing thing was the improvement we made in our energy and defensive pride. We still have a long way to go, but they showed that they are capable of shutting down good European teams for long stretches."
Player Josh Foulds commented: "The basketball itself
was a huge step up from English National League and all the different countries
played with different styles. What satisfied me the most is knowing that I
could step up to that level and still perform well. Throughout the tournament
we improved dramatically as a team and as an U15 development squad our main aim
was to improve and we definately did that.
"Overall it was a great experience
and I would do it all over again. I would like to thank everyone involved for
making the whole thing happen and for making it a great once in a lifetime
The Girls' Squad also faced Denmark in their opening game and lost by the narrowest of margins, 42-41. They then tasted defeat against Berlin (72-43) and Iceland (63-52) before another narrow reversal against the Netherlands (50-47) saw them finish the tournament winless.