Gems beat China in game one of second tournament

Gems beat China in game one of second tournament

After making the long journey from Shangluo to Shuozhou, including a lengthy bus journey through beautiful and at times spectacular Chinese countryside, the Gems joined China, Czech Republic and USA in readiness for the second tournament.

The Shuozhou community was out in force ready to support their national team in the opening game against the Gems. The capacity crowd of approximately 5,000 included various groups wearing national colors, waving banners and chanting for their team.

The Gems scored the opening basket through a quick exchange that resulted in a lay-up for Gretel Tippett. The teams then traded baskets for the entire first half, with scores tied at the end of the first quarter (19-19) and at half time (31-31).

Both teams were clearly playing according to their scouts. The Gems through Rebecca Cole and Kerryn Harrington, were containing the much fancied Chinese guards, who countered by finding scoring avenues through their forwards. 

Playing with greater patience than in their earlier games, the Gems were able to find various scoring opportunities inside and out, with Alex Bunton and Tayla Roberts providing great targets inside.

The third quarter was a dominant one for the Gems.  Their defensive pressure continued to frustrate the Chinese team, while they dominated the boards at both ends.  In a quarter that provided outstanding team work, Gretel Tippett provided the finish with 10 points.

The Gems sealed the game keeping China to nine points for the final quarter, and when Aimie Clydesdale nailed a three pointer on the buzzer the final score line read 66-52.

“The girls continue to improve with each game," said Gems head coach Cheryl Chambers.

"I was very pleased with our tough D tonight, and offensively we played with a lot of poise.”

Gems' standouts: Gretel Tippett 14 points, 6 rebounds; Rebecca Cole 12 points; Tayla Roberts 10 points; Sara Blicavs 9 points