U16 Men earn historic Division A win
England U16 Men collected an historic first ever victory at the Division A level with a 86-77
win over Czech Republic on Monday.
An impressive rebounding display was key to the success with England outrebounding their opponents by 52 to 44, including grabbing an impressive 16 offensive rebounds in comparison to the Czech's 26 defensive boards.
The advantage on the boards made a big impact early in the fourth quarter when England streched a two point lead into a double-digit advantage on the back of second chance points. A tense start to the fourth quarter, littered with turnovers, saw England stretch their lead with pivotal second chance scores from Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye, Theo Oghide and Joe Junior Mvuezolo after the Czechs had picked up momentum in the third quarter.
England had enjoyed a 14-5 run in the first quarter powered by 6 points from Oghide and completed by back to back scored from Justas Muzekivicius to put them 22-15 ahead. The Czechs hit back to make the score at the end of a high scoring first period 27-24 in England's favour and the teams continued to trade scores in the early part of the second quarter.
England held their opponents to just 2 points in the final four minutes of the first half to pull into a 45-36 lead that threatened to be decisive. However, the Czechs were not finished as they chipped away at the lead to get within five and a three pointer from David Pekarek late in the third quarter narrowed the gap to two points. Despite Sedale Hanson-Young replying almost immediately, England only held a narrow lead at 56-54 going into the final quarter.
Once the double-digit lead was established all that was left was for England to make enough of their free throws once their opponents started to foul to stop the clock. On a couple of occassions the Czechs got back to within 6 points, but there was never enough time for them to overhaul the difference.
Jules Christian was again impressive for England with 16 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds and Theo Oghide provided good support with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye and Joe Junior Mvuezolo supplied matching 11 point and 8 rebound efforts to back up this pair. Matej Svoboba was impressive for Czech Republic with 23 points and 7 rebounds.
England's campaign to avoid relegation continues on Tuesday with a game against Slovenia.