Bourges Basket have put themselves in the driving seat in their LFB championship final bid by beating USO Mondeville by a single point. In the other semi-final Challes-les-Eaux made home advantage count in beating Lattes Montpellier (74-66).
Mondeville had the chance to take game one against Bourges Basket with the last shot of the match but K. B. Sharp's effort did not fall into the basket.
The match was a typical play-off game with both teams having moments of offensive dominance in between long droughts when defense took over.
USO Mondeville led (6-0) after five minutes. However under the drive of Céline Dumerc Bourges were in front four minutes later (9-8) and took the first quarter (15-12).
Bourges continued to control the tempo of the match and stretched their lead (19-12) with 12 minutes played.
When USO Mondeville stepped up defensively they just conceded 2 points for the rest of the quarter. At the same time they started an 11-0 run including 2 three-pointers by Touty Gandega to lead at the break (27-21).
The third quarter was hard and fair with both sides fighting tooth and nail for every ball.
Bourges had to play some of their better basketball this season as they managed to level scores (37-37) by the end of the third quarter.
The cat and mouse game continued in the final quarter with either Laetitïa Kamba or Katerina Zohnova from Mondeville matching Emméline N'Dongue basket for basket.
As a result the teams were still tied together (46-46) with four minutes to play.
Bourges were able to open up a (54-51) lead with the game in the last minute. With about 19 seconds to play Sharp gave the home fans something to hope for as she made it a 1-point game.
After 14 lead changes and 7 ties, the expectation of one more firework from the home fans was understandable and Sharp was so close but yet so far.
Bourges take a 1-0 lead in the series and with home court advantage in the next games, another LFB championship final for them is looking possible.
Marielle Amant (in picture) and Céline Dumerc (5 assists) both scored 12 points while N'Dongue added 11 points in the victory. For Mondeville Gandga also had 12 points while Giedre Paugaite and Sharp followed with 10 points each.
Challes-les-Eaux keep cool at home
Challes-les-Eaux trailed for most of the match against Lattes-Montpellier and yet ended up winning game one (74-69).
Montpellier hit 61% of their shots during the first 20 minutes and led (40-36).
Their shooting percentage dropped during the third quarter but they had a maximum lead of 12 points before having to settle for a 9-point advantage going into the final quarter.
Challes-les-Eaux' calmness from the charity stripes (13-of-17) was to see them through as Montpellier hit the self-destruct button in the final minutes.
The usually calm Gaëlle Skrela from Montpellier had a few words with the officials which resulted in a technical for her and the beginning of the end for Montpellier.
Danielle Page was the top scorer in the match with 20 points.