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Hosts and Holders Reign Once More

20.07.2014
SMALL COUNTRIES WOMEN
9. Sigrid Koizar (Austria)
Another inspired display from Sigrid Koizar confirmed victory for Austria

An outstanding all-round display from Sigrid Koizar inspired Austria to an 87-81 win over Iceland in St. Pölten on Saturday as the holders retained their European Championship for Small Countries Women title on home soil.

The final paired the tournament's two unbeaten teams but Austria came out on top as Koizar went within a single rebound of recording a triple-double, going for 32 points, 10 assists and nine boards.

Both teams held double digit leads during the contest but only three points separated them with 34 seconds remaining, before Koizar scored four of the game's last five points to help her team over the line - and to the championship - to the delight of her coach, Mike Kress.

"That is what finals should be," said Kress.

"We did an excellent job. It was again a team effort. Sigrid Koizar is one of the most talented players I've ever seen in Austria. She has a great future."

Iceland coach, Ivar Asgrimsson, said: "Our defence was not good in that game. Austria made big threes."

Malta also ended the competition on a high as they took home the bronze medal with a 66-59 victory against Scotland, to ensure their fourth consecutive podium finish.

Scotland led 45-34 in the closing stages of the third quarter. But two quick fast-break baskets sparked a 13-0 Malta run, which would take them into the lead before outscoring their opponents 26-14 in the fourth period.

Josephine Grima led Malta with 23 points on the night but her coach Angela Adamoli dedicated the success to the work put in leading up to the competition.

"I am so happy for my team," said Adamoli. "We worked hard for two months plus. I think we deserved this medal."

In the final day's other game, Wales coasted to a wire-to-wire 57-41 defeat of Gibraltar behind 25 points from Sarah Wagstaff, as they claimed fifth position.

Despite defeat in the final Iceland's Helena Sverrisdóttir had reason to celebrate as she was named the competition's Most Valuable Player and headlined the All-Tournament Team, which also included Austria's Koizar and Sarah Schicher, Dina Ulyanova from Azerbaijan and Grima, from Malta.

 

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