GB Womens

Preliminary Round: Great Britain Women 75:38 Australia

Great Britain’s Women booked their place in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games quarter-finals with a 75:38 victory and a super performance against Australia. 

Laurie Williams top-scored with 18 points and Helen Freeman posted a double-double, leading the game figures for both rebounds and assists, but it was a complete team performance from ParalympicsGB to set-up a quarter-final meeting with Group B winners China on Tuesday (31 August). 

ParalympicsGB were determined to bounce back after a tough start to their Tokyo 2020 campaign and it was brilliant response by the whole team in what was a must-win game for both nations at the Ariake Arena. 

Their determination was clear from the onset, the passion from the bench and a high-energy and confident start from the GB starting five of Charlotte Moore, Joy Haizelden, Laurie Williams, Helen Freeman and Amy Conroy set the tone for a brilliant GB performance. 

Freeman, Williams and Conroy all scored in the opening 90 seconds of the games as they would all go onto have a big influence on the game. Freeman ended the game with six points and game-leading figures of 10 rebounds and 10 assists, while Williams led the points scoring and also recorded eight rebounds and six assists. 

GB worked hard to press Australia and limited them to six points in the opening quarter, while in their offence GB’s ball movement was superb, scoring 16 points within the first seven minutes of play and ending the first quarter with a streak of eight unanswered points to hold a 14-point lead after the opening quarter. 

GB continued to dominate the play in the second quarter, extending their advantage to 22 points at the halfway stage. Williams added six points to her tally in quarter two, while co-captain and assistant coach Maddie Thompson made an instant impact off the bench scoring six points in a three-minute spell. 

It was a day when GB’s positive play was rewarded with a 55 per cent conversion rate across the game and quarter three was their biggest scoring quarter, scoring 23 points to Australia’s 12. Charlotte Moore got GB’s points scoring underway at the start of the second-half as Williams and Freeman were once again dominating the play and assists. 

Amy Conroy had her best scoring game of the Paralympics so far with 15 points, including seven points in quick succession in the third quarter, as GB extended their lead to 33 points by the time the third quarter ended. 

The fourth quarter was the lowest scoring quarter of the game but saw GB in control with Robyn Love scoring her first points of the game along with Lucy Robinson, who scored her first Paralympic Games points with four. 

Thirty-seven points was the winning margin for ParalympicsGB as they beat Australia at the Paralympics Games for the first time to confirm their place in Tuesday’s quarter-finals. 

Quarter-Final: Great Britain Women 33:47 China

Great Britain’s Women battled all the way against a strong China team in the quarter-finals as China claimed a 33:47 win despite a resilient effort by ParalympicsGB.  

Their team spirit, passion and resilience was once again on show on the Ariake Arena court as they came-up against an undefeated China, who topped Group B with a 100 per cent winning record. 

Buoyed by their stunning victory against Australia on Sunday, GB held their own in the early stages against China, with Laurie Williams levelling the scores after China scored the first basket. While the speed of the GB starting five of Williams, Charlotte Moore, Helen Freeman, Amy Conroy and Joy Haizelden and their early defensive pressure created an early turnover and forced China to make a change to their line-up. 

GB were creating opportunities, but as was the case in the Preliminary Round, the baskets just weren’t falling for GB. A 6-0 scoring run for China saw the 2018 World Championships semi-finalists establish an early lead, but a three-pointer from Freeman, who posted her second double-double in Tokyo, broke China’s momentum and made it a three-point game. 

After a couple of shots were missed by GB, China ended the quarter with three baskets in the final 90 seconds of the quarter to build a nine-point lead at the end of quarter one. 

It was extended to 15 points with just over four minutes gone in the second quarter, but GB responded well and the baskets began to fall, Conroy scoring five points and both Moore and Maddie Thompson adding two each to make it a 14:27 half-time score line. 

Two close quarters followed with both teams defending defiantly including GB forcing China into two turnovers in the opening half of the third quarter. A combined four points from Freeman and Conroy cancelled out the opening scores of the second-half. 

Points from outside the paint for co-captains Thompson and Conroy and the first two of the game for Jude Hamer reduced the deficit to 11 points with two minutes, 30 seconds left of the third quarter. But it was China who extended their advantage in the final 11 seconds of the quarter to make it a 14-point game as it entered the final quarter. 

ParalympicsGB battled all the way to the end, never giving up belief and showing great character to try and close the gap on China who were defending resolutely, just as they had done throughout the Preliminary Round. 

Five points from Freeman and two points for Haizelden in the opening half of the final quarter brought GB back to within 11 points but both teams cancelled each other it in the final quarter as China held firm to claim a 33:47 win despite ParalympicsGB fighting all the way to the end. 

7th/8th Play-Off: Great Britain Women 62:43 Spain

Great Britain’s Women once again showed their collective strength and determination as they were victorious against Spain to secure seventh spot at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Co-captain Amy Conroy was the game’s top-scorer with 22 points during a superb team performance as ParalympicsGB ended their Tokyo 2020 campaign with a 62:43 win.

The Women’s team have shown incredible resilience and fight throughout the past 18 months in challenging circumstances, and, again on Thursday, the team played with enormous pride and quality to bounce back from Tuesday’s quarter-final heartbreak.

GB were determined to leave Tokyo on a high and this was clear from the onset. Laurie Williams scored within the opening 25 seconds as ParalympicsGB made a fast start to the match, racing into a 10:4 lead halfway through the first quarter.

Six points from Amy Conroy and four from Williams helped GB establish their early lead as GB played with fluidity in offence and high-energy pressing in defence. Their work rate and persistence was rewarded, not only with a 14-point lead at the end of the opening quarter, but, ultimately the win, with GB forcing Spain into nine turnovers in the opening quarter and 25 during the match.

Conroy ending the first quarter with eight points and Williams six with Joy Haizelden, Helen Freeman and Robyn Love all scoring points in an opening quarter that saw GB score 22 points against Spain’s eight.

Co-captain Maddie Thompson extended GB’s lead to 16 points at the start of the second quarter, but, Spain battled back to within seven points of ParalympicsGB’s total with just over two minutes left in the half.

A strong end to the quarter saw Williams, Conroy and Charlotte Moore all add to GB’s tally as ParalympicsGB held a 12-point lead at half-time, 21:33.

The difference was back to eight with two minutes gone in the third quarter, but two more points for Conroy from outside the paint started a spell that saw GB score 18 points in the final eight minutes of the quarter, limiting Spain to just two.

The dominant third quarter helped ParalympicsGB build a 24-point lead heading into the final 10 minutes. A lead that grew to 26 thanks to points from Moore and Lucy Robinson early in the final quarter.

Love and Thompson both added to their points totals in the final quarter as GB defended well to make sure there was no way back for Spain. When the buzzer sounded, it secured a fantastic 62:43 win for ParalympicsGB after a brilliant team performance.