European Championship Women U18 Basketball Division A classification round news
In the first day of action in the qualification round of the European Championship Women U18 basketball Division A championship in Nitra, France and Lithuania maintained their perfect records and require one more victory for a place in the semi-final.
In the classification round Romania beat Croatia (63-58) and Belarus downed Italy (62-58).
France won again
France did not waste much time in blowing Bulgaria apart. France opened the game with a 17-0 run. Diandra Tchatchouang and Allison Vernerey (left) scored the first 12 points for France.The French players lost their focus a little allowing the Bulgarians to come into the game reducing the French advantage by the end of the first period (23-10).
Gregory Halin turned his bench frequently with all players playing no more than 20 minutes and asking them to remain focused. France went into the interval leading (47-25).
They went on to control the rest of the game to win comfortably (90-44).
All twelve French players made the score sheet with five registering double digits. Vernerey led the scoring with 14 points. She also had 7 rebounds.
Tchatchouang contributed 13 points and also pulled down 6 boards and made 3 blocks. Laurie Datchy finished with 11 points while Pauline Thizy and Bettina Kadila scored 10 points apiece.
Stanislava Stankova scored 15 points for Bulgaria.
Spain waited until the third period to put away Serbia
Both teams started slowly which resulted in little offensive action during the first five minutes. However Serbia had the lead (5-2).
Marta Tudanca gave Spain the lead briefly after making a steal and concluding with a lay-up (6-5).
The pace picked up and the lead changed hands as both sides put runs together. Spain went on a 7-0 run only to be hit for 10 points by Serbia with 7 straight points coming from Jovana Popovic (left in picture).
This gave Serbia the advantage (19-13) by the end of the first period. They then completed the 13-0 run at the start of the second quarter.
Spain stopped the onslaught as they changed their defensive systems. But they struggled offensively shooting 35% from the field and 0-of-5 from beyond the arc.
Yet Spain managed to score 5 unanswered points by Marta Xargay to reduce their deficit (18-24).
Both teams continued to struggle offensively for the remaining of the second period which allowed Serbia to hang on to the lead at the interval (31-26).
Carlos Colinas, the Spanish head coach, changed things around after the break. Hence his team went on a 8-0 run with Leonor Rodriguez involved in most of the action as Spain regained the lead (34-31).
Miriam Bolivar (Spain)
The two teams then traded basket for basket with the game tied on two occasions (37-37) before Spain managed to subdue the attack. They opened up a 10-point lead before going into the final quarter (55-45).
Spain were rather cautious during the last period and nothing happened offensively for almost two minutes. Serbia then started to reduce their deficit on the back of Janovic's free-throws. Spain's advantage was cut to 4 points (65-61).
Serbia had three minutes to save the game but once again became stuck offensively allowing Spain to restore their 10-point lead.
With the game in money-time Spain's Cristina Ouviña scored 5 points as they went on to win (76-64) with Isabel Pérez concluding with a Buzzer-beater.
Rodríguez led the scoring with 17 points. Xargay contributed 13 while Vega Gimeno and Ouviña finished on 10 points each for Spain.
Popovic finished with 20 points for Serbia. She was joined in double digits by Sara Krnjic with 14 points, who also had 17 rebounds.
Sweden like Youth European Championship Women U18 Basketball competition
This generation of Swedish players won the U16 division B championship in 2006 and have only got better. On day 4 of this year's championship they beat Russia (65-56).
The Swedish hero was Cleopatra Forsman Goga (left) who hit 13 points during the third period.
Goga scored the very first points of the game from beyond the arc before Russia hit them 8-0. Anna Ostroukhova and Anastasia Logunova led the Russian attack as they won the first period (22-15).
Sweden fought back quickly and drew level as Kajsa Lundahl hit one from beyond the arc to bring the teams level (22-22).
Both teams then won on a basket to basket exchange with Sweden moving ahead (27-26). Sweden's ability to hit from behind the arc enabled them to move 10 points clear (41-31).
Russia fought back with Tatiana Petrushina hitting a buzzer-beater trey to end the first half to reduce the Swedish advantage (42-37).
Russia came out more aggressively in the third period. Hence Sweden's lead was reduced to 2 points (45-43) after Ekaterina Kiryanova finished a Russian attack.
Danielle Hamilton Carter was on hand to give Sweden some breathing space. But the last four minutes belonged to Goga as she scored 13 points which allowed her side to go into the final period (60-47), with a 13-point lead.
Sweden were not able to score for the first minutes of the last quarter as Russia clawed their way back into the match (56-60). With the game in money-time Carter finally scored for Sweden.
Russia were unable to score and Goga hit the last points of the game and her 26th for the evening for Sweden to win (65-56).
European Championship Women U18 Basketball results from other games