GB Womens

Great Britain (W) vs Germany

Great Britain Women defeated Germany for the second time in an intense semi-final.

Helen Freeman stole the show once again, showing her creative prowess with an impressive six assists over the course of the game.

One of those got the team off the mark after a tense opening to the game – Great Britain’s first basket was brilliantly worked, with a quick exchange of passes and a smart finish from Niamh Horan despite aggressive pressure from multiple German defenders.

Midway through the second quarter, Lucy Robinson expertly dispatched a free-throw, and in the very next attack took a pass from Charlotte Moore and added another 2 points, helping to strengthen Great Britain’s position in the game.

Judith Hamer expertly drew a foul from Germany’s Lisa Bergenthal, drawing praise from her own teammates with a few proud fist-bumps. Germany opted to immediately call a timeout before Hamer was able to take her free-throw – but the number 9 didn’t blink, netting two from two to extend Great Britain’s lead further.

With the score 25-17 at the break, the contest was far from over – but a really strong and high scoring third quarter which saw Great Britain rack up 23 points to Germany’s 15 made proceedings slightly more comfortable.

But the game certainly didn’t mirror the two teams’ previous encounter as we approached the final ten minutes, as Germany rallied late, cutting the deficit from 17 to just 9 before Great Britain opted to call a time out and steady themselves. The group showed brilliant character to return to court and increase their intensity in a high-pressure game, introducing three substitutions and seeing the game out.

Scenes at fulltime were full of emotion, the team pulling together for a hugely important victory. A final score of 59 – 51 meant a hugely encouraging victory for Great Britain in testing circumstances.

Germany vs Great Britain (W)

Another close game for Great Britain women saw them edge out Germany in the final group stage game, booking a rematch against the Germans in the semi-finals.

Despite less-than-ideal conditions with Great Britain missing players and their coaching staff isolating, the team put in a collective effort to be proud of, and showed impressive mental resilience to stand their ground against a strong opponent.

Even with such a team effort – Robyn Love put in an especially strong performance, top scoring with 18 and playing every minute of the game.

There was nothing between the teams after the first quarter, Sophie Carrigill drew Great Britain level with a lovely effort on three minutes. In quarter two it was Charlotte Moore who turned on the style, netting twice in quick succession as the balance began to tip towards GB’s favour. Moore added 7 points in the second quarter alone, a vital contribution in a huge victory.

Going into the final quarter ten points clear of Germany, two coolly taken free-throws from Robyn Love early in the quarter settled any late nerves, and despite a few free-throw opportunities missed later in the quarter, Great Britain had done enough to invoke some desperation in the German team.

Capitalising effectively on some excessive fouls and some frantic play from their opponents as they tried to get back in the game, Great Britain saw out the encounter with bold and energetic pressing – Helen Freeman stealing the ball herself and scoring in style with just 3 minutes left.

Great Britain Women finished 40-53 winners, advancing to the semi-finals where they will take on Germany once more.

Great Britain vs Spain (W)

A nail-biting encounter with hosts Spain saw Great Britain Women narrowly lose out, with a final score of 52 -56.

Great Britain fell behind early on, but asserted themselves on the five-minute mark, overcoming a slight deficit to finish quarter one 18-10 ahead. A true team effort with 6 different scorers, Spain struggled to contain the variety and flexibility of Great Britain attacks.

Predominantly thanks to the brilliance of Virginia Pérez, who top scored with 24 points, Spain were able to slowly eat away at Great Britain’s lead. 3.5 player Robyn Love also shone, netting 10 points and 3 assists throughout the game – including a remarkable and dramatic late basket with 00:01 on the clock going into halftime.

The intensity only increased, and going into the final quarter the game was precariously balanced at 44-43 in Great Britain’s favour.

The final 10 minutes were full of nerves from both sides, and as the likes of Helen Freeman and Laurie Williams pushed hard to get Great Britain back in control, the game became frantic. Lots of quality on display from both sides, there we plenty of fouls as the game entered the final stage with the score agonisingly close.

With 1:45 left on the clock, Joy Haizelden continued her form from the previous game and netted from the free-throw line, bringing Great Britain within one 3-pointer of drawing level. But it was Spain who sensed opportunity on the break, and a with that deciding 2-pointer the hosts were able to call a tactical time out, and restrict Great Britain from retrieving the narrow lead they had taken into the final quarter.

The Netherlands vs Great Britain (W)

Great Britain’s Women’s team suffered their first defeat at the European Championships as Paralympic champions the Netherlands proved too strong in a close-fought contest.

Bo Kramer and Mariska Beijer starred for the Dutch, scoring 29 and 21 points respectively.

From Great Britain, Helen Freeman and captain Charlotte Moore led a team determined to push their opponents all the way, and started the game strongly, Pressuring the Netherlands from the off, it took over a minute to see the first points of the game, Freeman netting a 2-pointer to give Great Britain the lead.

Up against the very best, but the first quarter remained a close encounter – only as we approached the final two minutes did the Netherlands flex their muscles and establish a slightly healthier lead.

Joy Haizelden was on top form from the free-throw line, scoring 4 in succession to draw Great Britain closer to their counterparts. Unfortunately for the Brits, both of the Netherlands’ sharp-shooters were in-form from every position on the court, and despite stern pressure from the likes of the industrious Lucy Robinson, put in an impressive attacking performance.

Great Britain Women return to action with another tough game against Spain.

Turkey vs Great Britain (W)

Great Britain’s Women’s team made it two wins out of two with another impressive performance against Turkey, the game finishing 12-78 to Great Britain.

Cardiff Met Archers player Jade Atkin put in an outstanding performance, racking up 20 points in just under 15 minutes of game time. It was a blistering start to the game, Great Britain ending the first quarter with a 2-21 advantage thanks to the excellent form of Atkin – assisted strongly by Lucy Robinson and Charlotte Moore who also netted several times to put Great Britain firmly in control.

Jude Hamer then entered the fray alongside Kayla Bell, and it didn’t take the number 9 long to find herself on the scoresheet. Following her masterclass in shooting the game prior, she was in a similar mood this time out and managed to net 11 points over the course of the game.

Great Britain Women saved the best for last, as they finished the game with the highest scoring quarter of the contest. Coach Steve Caine opted for four changes heading into the last 10 minutes, and this flurry of substitutions paid off to help Great Britain finish strongly and add a further 26 points.

Joy Haizelden added to her personal tally with two driving lay-ups in quick succession, and Niamh Horan added a final 2 pointer with just over 10 seconds remaining.

GB Women will be delighted with such a strong start to the competition – tomorrow they return to action against the Netherlands.

Great Britain vs France (W)

Great Britain continued their 100% start across both teams with another two victories on Sunday.

Great Britain’s Women’s team made a strong start to their campaign as they eased to an 86-16 win against France. Captain Robyn Love led the team from the front with 11 points over the game, with Great Britain’s number 9 Jude Hamer top scoring with 20 points.

At half time Great Britain had already established a 44-12 lead, settling any early nerves with a professional display that saw Jude Hamer enter the fray after quarter 1 and immediately show her quality, winning a foul and converting the second free throw herself.

The theme continued throughout, with Great Britain taking a huge 49 points off the bench. Strength in depth allowed the team to maintain quality throughout the game, the likes of 2.5 player Laurie Williams and Joy Haizelden impressing with tidy play and some excellent shots to round off the scoring in the final minute.

The second and last quarters were both shut outs, following extremely disciplined defensive play from Great Britain, determined not to give their opponents any chance of getting back into the game. Ruthless in defence but also in attack, as the team scored at least 20 points in each quarter and did not relent as France tired later in the game, with a final score of 86-16.

Preliminary Round: Great Britain Women 54:73 Canada

Great Britain’s Women’s team displayed a resilient performance as they started their Tokyo 2020 Paralympic campaign with a 54:73 defeat against three-time Paralympic champions Canada. 

Co-captain and assistant coach Maddie Thompson led the points scoring for ParalympicsGB with 11 points as the GB’s Women team played their first game together in 18 months. 

Meetings between GB and Canada are always extremely competitive and the Tokyo opener – the fifth time the pair have met at the last five major championships – was no different with the efforts of the GB athletes not truly reflected in the final score line.

Joy Haizelden scored GB’s first points in Tokyo as GB made a confident start to the game, ending the opening quarter with a 14:11 advantage. With both teams pressing, it was a high-energy start with GB having their best scoring run of 10 points in the first quarter as they had success breaking down the Canadian side. 

The second quarter was close throughout with both teams seeing their points total ahead on the scoreboard. GB remained in front at the halfway stage, their three-point lead from the opening quarter protected with Amy Conroy, Maddie Thompson, Robyn Love, Charlotte Moore and Helen Freeman all adding points to GB’s total in the second quarter. 29:26 was the half-time score. 

Two points each from Love and Moore saw GB extend their lead to seven at the beginning of the second-half as GB started strongly, but then the momentum seemed to switch in favour of their opponents. 

Canada’s Kady Dandeneau led the Canadian charge, ending the game with a triple-double, as Canada drew back level halfway through the third quarter. Canada pulled out a 10-point lead heading into the final minute-and-a-half of the quarter, but Jude Hamer and Joy Haizelden both scored important baskets at the end of the quarter to make it a six-point game heading into the final 10 minutes. 

Knowing GB needed a strong start to the fourth quarter, co-captain Thompson led by example, scoring two baskets from range to bring GB back to within three points in the opening minute of the restart. 

As Canada continued to add to their points total so did GB, but, despite a resilient and battling display from GB, Canada’s lead began to extend further, growing to 19 points by the time the final buzzer sounded. 

It was a match of high-energy and high-quality with the opening Preliminary Round game in the balance until Canada began to pull away in the fourth quarter. 

Despite the result, it was a gutsy team performance, with all eight athletes representing GB on court contributing with points, including 11 points for Thompson and eight points for both Moore and Laurie Williams. 

The Women’s team will be wanting to bounce back with victory tomorrow when they face the hosts Japan at 03:15 (BST). 

Preliminary Round: Great Britain Women 48:53 Japan

A final quarter fightback saw Great Britain’s Women’s team narrowly lose to hosts Japan 54:48 in their second pool A game of Tokyo 2020. 

ParalympicsGB were trailing by 12 points heading into the final 10 minutes, but the GB Women fought to the very end, once again digging deep as they continued their Tokyo 2020 campaign, their first games together in over 18 months. 

It was a close first quarter with both Amy Conroy and Laurie Williams sharing GB’s early points between them, scoring six points each in the opening 10 minutes. The scoring of Conroy and Williams and defensive work of the starting five helped GB have the upper hand on the scoreboard in the early stages. But both teams cancelled each other out as the quarter went on with nothing to separate the end of quarter score at 12:12. 

Japan’s Rie Oajima scored the game’s only three-pointer within the opening five seconds of the second quarter and this seemed to spark a spell of Japanese points; their lead growing to 10 points towards the halfway mark in the quarter. GB did brilliantly to battle back to within four points at half-time as points from Conroy, Williams, Helen Freeman and Jude Hamer brought the score to 25:21 at half-time. 

It was after the restart when Japan began to build a lead of over 10 points, scoring 16 points compared to GB’s eight in the third quarter. With the score 29:41 heading into the final 10 minutes, ParalympicsGB showed great character and belief to close the gap to the hosts. 

GB’s top points scorer Helen Freeman, who also topped the assists and rebound charts, led the scoring charge, scoring 10 of her 14 points in the final quarter. The Watford native, competing in her fourth Paralympics, found her range superbly, and at an important time for ParalympicsGB. 

Haizelden utilised her speed and shooting ability to catch Japan on the break to add to her and GB’s points tally, while two points from Charlotte Moore from outside the paint closed the gap to four with four-and-a-half minutes to go. 

The belief was there and so was the momentum, but, just when the game was heading to a point where the result could have gone either way, Japan responded with two baskets of their own. Still determined and resilient in their efforts, the GB Women fought to the very end. 

Maddie Thompson converted a superb fast break from Haizelden, but there was no late twist with Laurie Williams’ successful free throw with 12 seconds to go ending the game’s points scoring with GB losing by six points. 

The GB Women still have two more games left in the Preliminary Round with the top-four from the group of five teams advancing through to the quarter-finals. Next-up for ParalympicsGB is Germany at 12:30 (BST) on Friday.