A GALLANT Australian Gliders squad claimed the silver medal after going down to Germany 58-44 in their final game at the 2012 London Paralympic Games yesterday morning.
After a strong opening from the Gliders, it was the Germans who went on a 10-0 run late in the first quarter that set the tone for the rest of the game.
Getting within four points early in the final period, the Gliders appeared set to make a late charge before the impressive Germans steadied to ensure the win.
Kylie Gauci, from Rooty Hill, was inspirational for the Gliders, leading the scoring charge with 15 points and 5 assists, while Shelley Chaplin added 8 points and 5 assists.
It was a classic arm wrestle from the outset, with the defensive pressure from the Gliders making life difficult for the normally free-scoring Germans.
Three-time Paralympian Gauci was the tone-setter early, finding ways to score and set up teammates, before the Germans began to find their rhythm.
Trailing the Gliders by six with under four minutes remaining in the opening quarter, the Germans went on to 10-0 to claim a four-point advantage at the first change.
With the shots not falling for the Gliders it came back to strong defence to stay in the contest as the Germans threatened to blow the game out, leading by double figures.
The second half continued in the same vein, with neither side able to take the ascendancy as the Gliders looked to close the gap on the Germans.
The Gliders outscored their opponents 9-8 for the quarter to give themselves a shot going into the final period.
Early baskets from Gauci and Chaplin cut the lead to four points but the Germans regained the momentum, finishing 14-point victors.