A slow 2nd quarter from Great Britain’s Under 18 Men allowed France the opportunity to build a lead they’d never relinquish, eventually confirming a 52-81 final score in Volos, Greece. Tomiwa Sulaiman top scored for GB with 14 points, coming close to the double-double as he also pulled down 9 boards.
GB looked lively to open the first quarter and were the better team for most of the early exchanges. 7 points in the frame from eventual top scorer Sulaiman was enough to help Britain move out to a 15-6 lead, and the advantage hit double digits shortly after.
The teams would trade baskets from there before late free throws from Ethan Price left GB leading 21-12 after 1.
For all GB’s momentum in the 1st quarter, France turned the game on its head in the 2nd. A 17-2 run allowed GB’s opponents to surge into a lead, one which would only grow the further the game wore on.
Without influential big man Theo Hughes, GB were doing a good job just to stay in touching distance of their opponents as they quickly moved through the gears and by the time the half time buzzer sounded, GB trailed 30-41.
Both teams would struggle to find their range to begin the 2nd half before France would seize the opportunity to push further ahead. With point guard Matthieu Gauzin pulling the strings, the difference would flirt with the 20-point mark before settling at 41-58 with 1 quarter to go.
With the usually reliable Mate Okros struggling due to an ankle problem, the French lead did eventually pass the 20-point mark in the 4th. To their credit, GB would continue to push but they were powerless to slow their opponents as the game reached an end.
GB’s Top Performers: Tomiwa Sulaiman – 14 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals: Josh Uduje – 8 points: Tosan Evbuomwan – 7 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists.
Great Britain will conclude their Division A campaign tomorrow as they now slot into the game to decide 7th and 8th place for 2019. That match will be against Lithuania and it’ll tip at 12:30pm UK time.