Basketball: Scotland win Small Countries bronze

Scotland coach Iain Maclean says his team learned some harsh lessons
Scotland coach Iain Maclean says his team learned some harsh lessons
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Scotland men are still seeking their first title in the European Small Countries Basketball Championship.

The Scots had to make do with the bronze medal while tiny Andorra triumphed for a fifth time in Gibraltar.

Scotland duly beat San Marino 67-55 in the third place play-off but it was scant consolation for a desperately disappointing performance against Andorra in the semi-final when they went 22-2 down at the start and never fully recovered, losing the match 84-63.

Andorra went on to beat Malta by 66-63 in the final.

On his return home last night Head Coach Iain Maclean said: “The players are certainly disappointed but we should concentrate on the positives of which there were many. We’ve a core group of dedicated, hard-working players who gave their all in every game and have gained some valuable experience as well as some harsh lessons.”

Meanwhile, Scotland’s senior women, who took the silver medal in Malta in 2006 as well as a bronze in Armenia four years ago, will bid to go one better when they open their campaign in Austria today against Azerbaijan, followed by other group games against Wales tomorrow and hosts Austria on Wednesday.

Gibraltar, Iceland and Malta comprise the other group in what looks like a tougher tournament than the men faced in Gibraltar. Scotland coach Graham Gunn has had to give up several key players for Great Britain duty while experienced starting point guard Emma Findlay has been unable to get time off work.

Meanwhile, Claire Paxton (Polonia), Hannah Peacock (Kool Kats) and Sarah Thomson (St Mirren) have all done well for GB in the Euro B tournament in Sofia. Peacock and Paxton each took 14 rebounds in their final 66-61 win over Israel yesterday, Peacock adding eight points and Paxton six.

In the 75-45 win over Romania Peacock scored 12 points and took nine rebounds, Thomson had 11 points and five rebounds and Paxton eight points and six rebounds and a block.

GB men Under-20 excelled in beating hosts Greece 69-66 in Crete to reach the second round of Divison A, guaranteeing their place at the top table for another year. North Berwick’s Grant Mackay has been in the starting five in all their games so far.