Coach Chris Bourne and the U15 Boys took on Denmark Black in game 1 this morning to kick-start their Group A campaign at the Copenhagen Invitational 2019. England brought the energy to start the game, taking a 38-26 lead at the half which they maintained through to the final buzzer with a score line of 63-53. Coach Bourne praised his players on winning their opening match-up:
“Overall, we still had some ups and downs and inconsistencies, we found it tough at times on defesne. Denmark were really good at shooting the ball from the 3-point line and rebounding so we had to adjust to that. But overall a good solid start, but weve got plenty of ground to try and be the best we can be by the end of the tournament.”
In the second game of the day, the England U14 Boys faced Kenya in Group C, a game the Brits knew coming in would be a tough match-up due to the size and strength of the Kenyans. And despite Coach Kelson Dickson’s optimism, the Boys found themselves behind early in the game which they then struggled to recover from. The final score ended 85-44 to Kenya. Coach Dickson commented on his side’s performance saying:
“I thought throughout the quarters the boys definitely got better. We started off a bit slow, a bit nervous, guys missing open layups; things that they are comfortable doing. But I think towards the end we gained some pointers that we can take into next game.”
The next set of games featured both the girls squads getting their Copenhagen campaigns underway, with the U15 Girls taking on Denmark White in Group F and the U14 Girls facing Norway in Group E. Coach Cristina Stanciuca’s side were well prepared heading into their first match-up as they took a 10 point lead at the half against the hosts before extending the advantage in the second half to eventually defeat Denmark White 55-42. The U14 Girls on the other hand found themselves down 6 in the first half, a deficit that they unfortunately struggled to recover from as Norway pushed their lead out beyond the reach of Coach Riki Broadmore’s side with the game ending 48-26 to the Norwegians.
After securing the opening win against Denmark Black, the England U15 Boys were back on task as they faced Iceland Blue in their second game of the day just a few hours later. For coach Bourne and assistant coach Troy Culley, it was all about setting the tone early:
“For us its about coming in and being prepared to defend multiple actions and being a bit more switched on. So, it’s about coming In and lining back inot what we said in the scout, making those adjustments and setting the tone early,” said Culley.
And the Boys did just that, who despite the intense schedule stormed past the sharp-shooting Icelanders in the first half to take a 20-point lead. Iceland chipped away in the second half but it wasn’t enough, as England held onto the lead to take the game 64-50 (2-0) and secure their second win of the day.
The evenings games where kicked off by the U14 boys who faced Team Skane from Sweden. The Swedes came out strong in the first half and mounted a lead quickly building on it throughout the first two quarters, so Coach Dickson’s side went in down 27 – 44. The second half continued in the same fashion with the English boys fighting hard but, the Swedish side showed their experience as they finished the game strong with the score at 49 – 77.
The second game of the evening saw the U14 girls take on the Sweden All Stars. The Swedish side showed their dominance from the tip building a big lead by the half with the English girls down 14 – 42. Coach Broadmore’s side came out of half time and played hard but, the Swedes kept up the pressure through the whole game gaining themselves their first win of the tournament in a commanding way with the final score being 46 – 94.
The last game of day one saw Coach Stanciuca’s side play Iceland Blue, who came out strong from minute one and built a lead over the first two quarters as the girls went into half time with the score at 15 – 31 in favour of the Blues. The U15’s came out of the break strong and pushed the team from Iceland the whole half winning the 2 quarters 35 – 24 but, this amazing effort wasn’t quite enough to gain the win as they lost a great game 49 – 56.