GB women claim 9th place at the IWBF World Championships 2022 after a hard-fought victory against Brazil.
Written by Omer Hagomer
Lucy Robinson captured the first possession for GBR, but Helen Freeman was unable to convert in transition. Vileide Almeida opened the scoreboard for Brazil with 2 points after a highly contested shot. Great Britain slowed the pace down on offense, and Joy Haizelden tied the game up with an assertive shot inside the paint.
Robinson took the lead for GBR with a good shot after a long pass from Freeman. Shots did not fall for BRA while captain Sophie Carrigill was wide open and increased the lead of GBR. Perla Assuncao broke the spell and responded with 2 points from the mid-range for BRA.
Robinson and Almeida were competing for most points inside the key. Halfway into the first quarter, Oara Assuncao tied the game, GBR 8:8 BRA. Freeman gave GBR a 2-point lead with a wonderful shot from the 45-degree angle.
The Brazilians struggled to defend against the powerful presence of Robinson, P. Assuncao decreased the lead of GBR from the mid-range. The commander of consistency Freeman answered back with a coast-to-coast layup.
Both Robinson and Freeman turned up the heat heading into the second quarter. Almeida beat the buzzer with 2 points from the baseline, GBR led by 6 points at the end of the first quarter, GBR 18:12 BRA.
Haizelden collected defensive rebounds like checks in the second quarter, and Freeman cashed them in for points. Brazil kept fighting to reduce the lead, but Robinson was hell-bent on keeping it the way it is for GBR. Brazil made a substitution to freshen things up and Klokler rewarded them with 2 points from the baseline.
Brazil waged a war on defence and attempted to force Great Britain into 8-second violations. Nevertheless, Freeman remained cool, calm, and collected under pressure; she manoeuvred her way to the basket for 2 points.
The speed of Haizelden was difficult to break, she cruised past the defence and made a great layup. Almeida converted a no-look layup of her own to lower the deficit for Brazil. Halfway through the second quarter, Brazil took advantage of a loose ball and the lead of GBR was down to 6 points.
Brazil called for a timeout. Robinson converted a 3-point play as BRA were not afraid of contact on defence. Charlotte Moore replaced Carrigill. Haizelden used pick & rolls to extend the lead of GBR. Almeida found mismatches to keep Brazil’s hopes alive. GBR called for a timeout with only a couple of seconds until half-time, GBR 33:24 BRA.
In the third quarter, Jade Atkin replaced Freeman and Carrigill checked back into the game replacing Kayla Bell. J. Atkin made an impact instantly with a 3-point play. P. Assuncao responded with 2 points from long-range. Shots were exchanged, as Brazil briefly got the better of GBR.
Brazil were making progress, as Denise Eusebio used the man-out play and scored a layup down the middle. Freeman and Maddie Martin subbed in for GBR. The British defence was rock solid, and Brazil were backed into a shot clock violation.
GBR called for a timeout with just 3 minutes to go in the quarter. J. Atkin was fouled and made 1/2 from the free throw line, she ended the quarter with a fantastic shot off the backboard. GBR maintained a 9-point lead heading into the last quarter. GBR 43:34 BRA.
In the fourth quarter fatigue was setting in, both teams missed crucial shots. Captain Carrigill increased the lead of GBR against all odds with a superb layup under the basket. Freeman felt a surge of energy and landed a coast-to-coast layup. Brazil had no choice but to call for a timeout.
Klokler made 1/2 from the free throw line for Brazil and Almeida was back to claim more points from the mid-range. Both teams made it challenging for one another to score, yet J. Atkin found the space and added 2 points.
Moore was sharp from the elbow and got on the scoresheet after a picturesque shot. Brazil called for a timeout with 3 minutes remaining in the game, and P. Assuncao fired for 2 more points from the 45-degree angle.
Jude Hamer replaced J. Atkin and Haizelden replaced Martin. BRA were going down swinging as Silvelane Oliveria added 2 points outside the key. Haizelden came off the bench rested and dispatched 2 points in transition. Brazil called for a timeout. However, GBR showcased excellent time management skills and held onto the lead, full-time, GBR 55:44 BRA.
GB Women’s Joy Haizelden commented:
“That game was really just about us and how we are going to set ourselves up for Europeans. We were trying different things, different line-ups. I thought Lucy Robinson did a really good job starting this game – she did a really really good job. It is so good to see the development of our juniors as well coming up through the program and it is good for them to get experience.”
C. Moore (2), S. Carrigill (6), K. Bell, H. Freeman (14), J. Hamer, L. Robinson (15), S. Fitzpatrick, J. Haizelden (10), J. Atkin (8), M. Martin, E. Fraser, A. Atkin.