Youth international basketball: day 3 in Eilat
Drama and suspense all the way to the end

 Croatia and Norway Day 3 U18 Europeans championship © IT Sports Limor Noah

It is elimination day at the youth international basketball event in Eilat.

Croatia dashed the hopes of Norway in a winner-takes-all match by winning (66-44).

Denmark needed to win by at least 10 points against the Netherlands to avoid direct elimination in case of a three way tie.

They made sure that overtime was required and won the match, but by only 4 points.

You can read more about youth international basketball reports from the following games by clicking on the following links or scrolling down the page:

Norway 44-66 Croatia

Denmark 77-73 Netherlands

Hungary 75-33 England

The news from Israel' match against Germany with audio comments from Head Coach, Edny Dagan and play-maker Shira Ben Barak and a summary of the rest of the games can be found by following the link.

Croatia eliminate Norway from the competition

 Sarafina Margic playing basketball for Croatia © ITSports Limor NoahCroatia were quick into their stride with Sarafina Margic opening the scoring with less than eight seconds on the clock.

Antonija Salopek fired in a couple of three-pointers as Croatia opened the game (10-2).

The Norwegian head coach called a time-out and calmed his players down. He was rewarded as Maren Austgulen fired in 5 unanswered points.

It was then the turn of the Croatian head coach, Vladimir Englman, to call for a time-out.

However Cecilia Gnaly completed the Norwegian 7-0 run with a difficult shot in the paint (9-10) with six minutes played.

Croatia on the back foot started to play more physically and bulldozed their way into the paint to score and regained temporary control.

The pace went up as both sides went for their shots. The quarter ended in a dramatic fashion with Ingvild Skorpen firing in a three-pointer for Norway to take the lead for the first time in the game with 26 seconds remaining in the first period.

However Croatia won the first period (18-16) as Anja Skara hit a clutch three-pointer with three seconds left.

There were two contrasting styles of basketball on display but it was good advertisement for youth international basketball as both teams fought tooth and nail for their survival in this competition.

Norway were dangerous from behind the arc as Skorpen put in her second trey of the game. Yet Croatia's strength in the offensive paint allowed them to stay ahead in a low scoring second quarter (28-21).

The pace slowed down at the start of the third period as both sides played more cautiously.

 Croatia and Norway battle for the ball © IT Sports Limor NoahNorway continued with their athletic approach while Croatia switched and applied a traditional player to player marking system.

This enabled them to hit on the fast break and finally take control of the game (44-27) with three minutes remaining in the quarter.

Norway recovered their energy and went all out for the rest of the period to finish strongly and reducing their deficit (31-44) by the end of the period with another trey by Skorpen.

There were no fireworks in the final period as Croatia managed to control the pace of the game to lead (51-37) with five minutes left to play.

Croatia ran out winners (66-44) and will play in the qualification round while Norway will play in the group for 12th place.

Skara from Croatia was the top scorer with 20 points.

Youth International Basketball Box Scores Box Scores.

 Denmark and the Netherlands battling it out © ITSports Limor Noah

Denmark win and eliminate the Netherlands after overtime

Denmark needing to win by at least 10 points to be sure of qualification for the next phase of the competition did not get the best of starts as the Netherlands rushed out to an early lead (8-1) with less than three minutes played.

However the two teams knew each other well after a series of friendly games and Denmark recovered. After five minutes they trailed by a single point (9-10).

The trade mark of Dutch youth international basketball is three-point shooting. They did not disappoint with Zara Butter and Rianne Hofstraat connecting from beyond the arc in quick succession (16-9).

Tessel van Dongen and Marlou de Kleijn added two more three-pointers as the Netherlands won the first quarter (22-10).

The second period was a scrappy affair as Denmark put an end to the Dutch three-point shooting.

Ida Krough went all offensively for Denmark and took the Dutch alone with 7 of her team's first 11 points as her side brought the deficit to below 10 points (21-29) with four minutes remaining in the quarter.

The two teams traded basket for basket for the rest of the period and the Dutch team went into the locker room leading (35-27).

 Petronella Kraaijenoord driving to the basket © ITSports Limor NoahThe Netherlands switched to a classic 3-2 zone at the start of the third period. But they still struggled in holding Krogh.

Yet they held on to the lead with another shot from the land of many (40-36) with five minutes remaining in the quarter.

The Netherlands were then forced to change their approach and started to contest more offensive rebounds.

However this was when Denmark fired in a three-pointer by Lotte Tobiasen to take the lead for the first time in the match (41-40) with just over four minutes left in the quarter.

The game suddenly changed as Denmark went 5 points clear after another trey by Tobiasen.

However on the period-ending buzzer Butter, who was way behind the three-point line, hit a three-pointer.

The Netherlands, trailing by 2 points at the start of the final quarter (47-49), went into the lead 15 seconds later when Butter again fired a shot in from beyond the arc.

Denmark went into the final quarter leading (49-47) but the Netherlands were back in front with two more three-pointers.

Van Dongen also scored from beyond the arc almost a minute later for the Netherlands. But they were unable to put the game away despite the efforts of Butter before fouling out.

With Krogh not scoring for Denmark Anne Pedersen and Tobiasen kept Denmark's hopes up (55-57) with the game in money-time.

Denmark kept on pushing and tied the game as Alberta Dokkedal forced her way to the basket. Then with under 90 seconds left to play Pedersen was left open on the baseline and fired in a three-pointer.

The last couple of minutes of regulation time were tough mentally for both coaches and with the game tied (60-60), Denmark played out the last move without shooting. The match went into overtime.

 Denmark looking for 10 point victory © ITSports Limor NoahThe overtime turned into a youth international basketball shoot-out as both teams traded shot for shot in the first two minutes with the Netherlands leading (67-65).

Denmark had a time-out and then went on a three-point shooting spree with treys from three different players.

However they only led by 3 points (74-71) with 78 seconds left in overtime.

Denmark were to hit another three-pointer and won the game (77-73) but then had to wait for the result of the game between Germany and Israel.

Youth International Basketball Box Scores Box Scores.

Dominika Gergely flying to the basket © ITSports Limor Noah

Hungary's youth international basketball players too good for England

Hungary got off to a flying start and scored 11 points with just over 21/2 minutes played with Dorottya Tamis and Réka Bálint scoring from beyond the arc.

England finally got off the mark with four minutes played through Ella Clark. But with Krisztina Raksány and Tamis controlling the pace of the game Romania controlled all aspects of the game.

England lost Katrin Chiemeka early with two fouls. Despite the offensive efforts of Gemma Bullard, Romania led (25-9) at the of the first period (25-9).

Chiemeka returned for the start of the second period and fired in a baseline three-pointer to get things going for England.

Jessica Hurd started to throw her weight around in the paint. England appeared that they would come back with a second trey by Chiemeka but the recovery was short lived (16-29).

Dominika Gergely fired in a trey for Hungary which was the start of a 9-1 run. 7 of the points came from Gergely for Hungary to lead (38-17) with five minutes left to play in the quarter.

Ella Clark ready to block © ITSports Limor NoahEngland stepped up defensively for the rest of the quarter. They reduced their deficit with individual exploits from Francesca Whitby, Chiemeka and Clark's blocks. The Hungarian advantage as they went to the locker room came down to 14 points (42-28).

Hungary quickly got into their stride at the start with a trey by Bálint. With Raksány doing the rest Hungary's advantage went up to 21 points (52-31) with six minutes left to play in the third period.

Hungary kept England at bay and went into the final period leading (62-40).

They played out the final quarter and Hungary won comfortably (75-53).

Youth International Basketball Box Scores Box Scores.

Youth international basketball news from Division A

France already in Qualification round

Division B news

Slovenia, Germany and Greece qualify for next round

Israel open with a win with 28 points from Cohen

U18 European Championship Women Division B 2009 is hosted by Israel

Return to "What's New" page

Return to the Youth International Basketball Index page

Youth International Basketball picture credits:
IT Sports - Limor Noah

Date created: 04 July 2009

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