Great Britain’s run at the European Under 20 Championships in Sarajevo ended with the reward of 13th place after an 83-71 victory on Sunday over Iceland.

But Tim Lewis’ side will return home to reflect on a mission not accomplished, still in Division B for another year and short of the targets that were set at the outset of the tournament.

GB might feel a sense of injustice at their ranking after finishing with seven consecutive wins and just the two damaging defeats they suffered at the very outset.

After beating Romania 104-50 on Saturday despite the absence of injured Ryan Richards,who might now hope for a call-up into the senior squad, they ended up on a high note with a second win over the Icelanders at the tournament where they led from tip to buzzer.

“We started really well, and although we had a bit of a lull when complacency set in, we did the job we set out to do,” said Lewis.

“We’ve done a good job in the tournament over all, and the standard has definitely risen year on year.”

Alex Marcotullio top scored with 24 points along with 11 rebounds while Devon van Oostrum contributed a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Marcotullio set the tone early on with two triples, starting and finishing an 8-2 start. Five points in quick succession from Aegir Steinarsson helped Iceland to close the gap but GB increased their lead to 18-13 after ten minutes despite four points from Sigurdur Thorarinsson. Steinarsson and Will Saunders opened the second with four points each before the Icelandic guard added a further four points as he dominated his side’s scoring.

The 20-year-old reduced the deficit momentarily prior to three pointers from van Oostrum and John Bantock starred in an 8-2 burst to make it 32-22. Martin Hermannsson replied with one of his own but another score from the perimeter from Bantock sparked a 12-2 close capped by four points from van Oostrum as GB took a convincing 44-27 lead into half time. Iceland set about chasing down GB when play resumed with an early 9-2 run including a three from Haukur Oskarsson.

Baskets from Ali Mackay, Alasdair Fraser and Adam Thoseby pushed the lead back up to 16 points. Iceland had the final say in the third quarter finishing with the last 13 points to trail by three heading into the final quarter, 51-54. The dominant spell contained triples from the trio of Oskarsson, Tomas Tomasson and Arnthor Gudmundsson.

Marcotullio opened the fourth with an important three point play and GB never looked back. Four points from Tomasson made it a four point game but that was to be the closest Iceland were to get. Bantock and Oddur Olafsson traded scores from beyond the arc before a three point play from van Oostrum.

After a brief fightback from Iceland, GB powered on with a 10-3 burst to lead 80-66 as both van Oostrum and Marcotullio passed 20 points. And it was the 20 year old guard who finished the match with another three pointer as GB stormed away.

“Different people have stepped up in different games as we’ve gone through the tournament and it would be unfair to place the emphasis on one or two individuals,” said Lewis, who is already facing calls from some quarters to step down.

“We’ve been a great example of team work, we didn’t play well as a team in the first game against Portugal, and the players realised that and dealt with it.”

A unique performance for hosts Spain bestowed them their first ever gold medal in the Under 20 European Championship after an 82-70 victory over Italy in the grand final on Sunday night in Bilbao.

A journey that started with a 49-point win over Turkey on opening night finished with a combined margin of 39 in the Semi-Final and the title game with Real Madrid’s Nikola Mirotic named as MVP.

The U20 European Championship Division B came to the finish line as Georgia topped Estonia 79-70 to win the title with both sides promoted to Division A.

Report: Brad Gains

Future shock Germany

Great Britain Futures picked up their second win in three games against Germany Under-23’s as they won a tight match-up 72-66 on Sunday afternoon in Nuremberg.

A strong second half was the key, and the visitors were again led by Kyle Johnson as he finished with 24 points and seven rebounds, hitting eight of his ten two-point efforts in 33 minutes for Nick Nurse’s team.

Andrew Lawrence was also on fine form with 20 points, including four of six three-point efforts, adding four rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes of action.

Nurse was again able to give at least 15 minutes court time to each of his ten man roster, and he received good contributions from Will Neighbour and Shane Walker with nine and seven points respectively.

The GB coach was delighted with the victory for his side, Nurse said: “It was a good bounce-back for us after yesterday’s loss.

“From an effort, toughness and togetherness stand-point it was very pleasing, and it was a nice way to finish our time in Germany.” (Stats)

A 14-0 run from Germany  in the fourth quarter saw the Futures fall to a 69-55 defeat on Saturday evening in the second game of their short tour.

Having beaten the hosts in an informal friendly 24 hours earlier, poor shooting cost GB dear.

Kyle Johnson led the GB scoring with 16 points, while Andrew Lawrence added 12 and four rebounds, with Lester Prosper also contributing four boards to his 11.

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