Great Britain’s women qualified for the 2011 Eurobasket finals after beating Germany 77-59 at Liverpool’s Echo Arena.

Tom Maher’s side produced their most emphatic display of this summer’s campaign, Julie Page hitting a game-high 18 points to lead the hosts to a victory that seals their place in Poland next summer with a game to spare.

The best was saved for when it counted. GB built a 24-point cushion in the first half and were never troubled as – against all predictions – they not only ensured a first place finish in their group but also wrapped up the top seed of all the qualifiers this summer.

“We came to prove we could be competitive and I think we’ve done that,” said Maher. “We got within nine against Slovakia and I knew we could do that then. We can win games, and this team has massive potential to improve, and they have which has got us to the finals.

“At the start of the campaign we wouldn’t have qualified, but when we started playing some games you could see the progress had taken us to the point we could win games.

“When we won in Slovakia we did it by flat-out sticking at it and keeping being aggressive. We ran over Germany tonight, and Julie gave us a great start with her rebounding. It’s a matter of being there all of the time and competing all the time – it was a magnificent effort.”

It is the first time a UK home nation has reached a major finals since 1956, when Scotland played in the European Championships in Czechoslovakia.

And with everything at stake at the Echo Arena, GB never trailed after Page put the hosts in front in the opening minute.

In a sparkling performance, their cushion was 20-11 at the end of the first quarter and it just grew and grew.

Page was everywhere. “She got five offensive rebounds but she just competed all the time,” praised Maher. “And those rebounds can stop them getting ten points in transition.”

Kim Butler scored 2 of her 12 points in an 8-0 run midway through the second that left the Germans shell-shocked.

Down 45-21, the Brits were in complete control of their own destiny. 47-24 ahead at half-time, there was only one thing to do.

“We just talked in the locker room about keeping it going,” Page revealed.

Although the Germans – led by 14 from Roli-Ann Nikagbatse – ate into the deficit, they never brought it back into single figures.

And after entering the fourth period 59-45 in front, Britain finished with a flourish as they celebrated their momentous achievement.

Jo Leedham added 15 for GB who complete their campaign on Sunday against Ukraine, who narrowly beat Slovakia 80-78 to keep their hopes of second place alive.

Maher wants his team to finish with a victory. But, the Australian added, “that’ll be drinks night.”

Deservedly so.

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