On June 29-30, eight under 16 girls teams descended on the Manchester Basketball Centre for the second Maggie Forber invitational. The tournament this year saw GB enter two squads (GB White & Blue), with both teams having a successful weekend as GB White were crowned tournament champions and GB Blue finished third. Here’s a run-down of the action:
On Saturday, GB Blue tipped-off their first game at 10:00 against the hosts Manchester Mystics in what proved to be a tough game. However, GB utilised their talent to narrowly claim the victory 42-36. GB White’s first game saw them face Nottingham in what proved to be an easy win for GB who cruised past the Wildcats with a final score of 57 – 37.
GB Blue’s second game pitted them against a Solent side who where coming off a narrow victory. GB Blue came out with a strong offensive performance which saw them win by a comfortable 41 points (79-38.) In GB White’s second game, Sheffield Hatters took on the challenge against the Internationals but it wasn’t to be, as GB extended their tournament run with another 20-point victory (65-45.)
The final group games for the two sides had GB Blue face a winless West Lothian and GB White play Team Solent Kestrels. GB Blue made sure West Lothian finished the group winless as they blew them out 75-39 while GB White secured their biggest win of the group over the Kestrels 68-37.
Both teams headed into the Semi-Finals unbeaten with GB Blue taking on Nottingham Wildcats and GB White facing the Manchester Mystics. However, despite their successful group stage, GB couldn’t hold their momentum overnight and where beaten in a tough game against Nottingham 43-55.
As a result, the 3rd/4th playoff game saw a rematch of GB Blue’s first game of the day as they went up against Manchester Mystics once again. In the ‘re-match’ GB took note of their first match-up, this time comfortably defeating the Mystics in a 38-22 victory and securing a bronze medal.
The Mystics where the last team in GB Whites way to the trophy but after tightly contested game, GB managed to emerge victorious, securing their place in the final with a 52-44 win.
The penultimate game therefore pitted GB White against Nottingham Wildcats in the Finals, with the Wildcats looking for revenge after their 20-point loss against GB from the previous day. The rematch was a much tighter affair this time around, as both teams battled to take the lead throughout the majority of the game. However, GB managed to hold off the Wildcats and claim victory winning 54-37 and securing 1st place.
Overall, it was a very successful tournament for the GB U16 Girls which will allow the coaches to narrow the squad down ahead of their European championship and give the players valuable experience of playing together.