Youth International Basketball : 6 teams for 3 places

 Israel U18 after a job well done  ©

Today was the youth international basketball day for tears as well as joy.

England fell short (61-66) in a dramatic last-minute finish that ended their hope of a semi-final place and with defeat tears flowed.

Croatia ran out winners (70-44) against Germany. Yet this victory did not change much because they were defeated.

Finland were taken to the wire by Romania before coming out on top (67-63).

Denmark played some of the best basketball in this tournament and for 28 minutes they gave Greece a good battle.

Greece, more experienced at this level of youth international basketball, turned things around to win (72-53).

Hungary are the only team not to drop a game in this competition and ran out winners against Slovenia (61-51).

Slovenia played the match with only eight players because Damir Grgic decided to rest key players before the quarter-final.

Israel continue to impress as they held off Bosnia and Herzegovina (65-55) in a very aggressive game.

For the Netherlands the 2009 European Championship is already over, with them claiming 13th place after beating Norway (70-37).

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

Bosnia 55-65 Israel

England 61-66 Portugal

Romania 63-67 Finland

Greece 72-53 Denmark

 Israel U18 after a job well done  © IT Sports - Limor Noah

Israel win group after beating Bosnia

 Shira Shecht  © IT Sports - Limor NoahNeither side was able to get into their stride during the first period. The first points of the game came after two minutes from Shira Shecht (right). Avigiel Cohen opened her account as well a few seconds later for Israel to lead (4-0). Tamara Kapor hit a trey for Bosnia and Herzegovina after almost four minutes. She was to hit a second three-pointer for her side to take the lead (6-4) midway through the first period. The action did not get much better. But Mayan Levy found her way to the basket for Israel to draw level. Kapor continued her festival with 2 more points for Bosnia. The rest of the quarter was played out on the free-throw line with Bosnia edging the quarter (10-9). A change in approach by Israel at the start of the second period allowed them to open up the first lead of significance in the game (17-11). Bosnia did not panic and tied the game once more (18-18) with five minutes to play in the second period. Both teams stepped up in defense. Opportunities to score were hard to come by. However Hadar Gutin and Shira Ben Barak were at the end of fast breaks for Israel. Kapor hit back with a trey for Bosnia. Then Ben Barak made an interception in her own half and raced off to lay-up (26-23) with 59 seconds remaining in the first half. Both teams split free-throws as Israel went into the interval leading (27-24).  Shira Shecht  © IT Sports - Limor NoahMatea Tavic (left) opened her account with a jump shot in the paint for the first points of the third quarter. But Israel were still controlling the pace of the game with Shecht and and Cohen scoring. Gutin scored back to back baskets for Israel as her side led (35-28) with five minutes left to play in the period. Bosnia were then on the back foot and struggled to get any shots in. They did most of their scoring from the free-throw line. Israel despite losing the battle of the boards led (44-34) going into the final period. Tavic hit a trey to open the scoring but Bosnia were struggling. 90 seconds into the final period the game turned a little nasty as Tavic clashed with Ben Barak. The Bosnian coach took Tavic off immediately to calm things down: she was on her fourth foul. Gutin was having a solid game for Israel in defense. Israel moved 12 points clear (51-39) with Dorin Gabay scoring her first points of the game. Tavic returned and hit a trey. But with only Kapor doing any offensive work Bosnia were in trouble and continued to concede baskets on the fast break (44-57). While Tavic continued to hit three-pointers for Bosnia, Shecht was scoring on the counter attack for Israel to lead (59-47) with four minutes to play. Bosnia came storming back with Kapor, Amna Fazlic and Tavic with a three-pointer (55-59) with 50 seconds left to play. This was as close as Bosnia came as Shecht scored again on the counter attack which ended the Bosnia fight back. Israel ended up winning (65-55).

Youth International Basketball Box Scores Box Scores.

U18 youth international basketball 2009 audio after match comments Behudin Bajgoric speaks in his own language and Anesa Hamsic translates. You will hear both voices in the audio He first of all congratulated Israel for the win but explained that his team handed Israel the victory because of poor shooting under the boards and a bad day from the free-throw line. He went into detail: 14 free-throws were missed and his team went 10 from 42 within 2-point range. In addition Israel took advantage of the rebounds lost. It was not possible at youth international basketball level at this stage of the competition to win games with such statistics. However he would like to play Israel again and would expect his team to come out on top.

Edny Dagan explained in English why his team had to play a little bit more aggressively than in previous matches although he stressed that his team played aggressive basketball.

They knew about the offensive treat of Matea Tavic and Tamara Kapor so they decided to keep the other players out of the game because two players could not win a game at youth international basketball level.

His players followed his game plan and maintained the intensity by playing aggressively and smart.

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 Portugal U18 at the interval  © IT Sports - Limor Noah

Portugal eliminate turnover-prone England

There was no time to blink as both sides went on the attack from the start.

Michelle Brandao scored a baseline jumper for Portugal with less than 15 seconds on the clock.

Katrin Chiemeka replied almost immediately for England with a 3-point play (2+1). But Portugal hit 3 shots from exactly the same position to lead (8-3) with less than two minutes on the clock.

Jessica Hurd ended the Portuguese run with an outside jump shot.

The two teams continued to run at each other in a typical youth international basketball fashion.

Portugal used their power in the paint for Brandao and Victória Pacheco to score. However England came storming back with back to back scores from Jamila Thompson.

Francesca Whitby went on a solo run into the paint and managed to score for England to briefly take the lead.

The two teams ended the first quarter level (14-14).

A couple of turnovers by England led to two easy baskets for Portugal but England were soon back on level terms (18-18).

Portugal regained the advantage as Filipa Bernardeco was left open at the top of the key for a three-pointer.

Two more turnovers by England allowed Portugal two more baskets (25-18) with just over six minutes left to play in the second period.

The two coaches used time-outs to change tactics. Yet England’s love of turnovers allowed Portugal to move 11 points clear with Bernardeco hitting her second trey of the game.

England finished strongly with Chiemeka hitting a trey andHurd sneaking in the back door. Both scores came from passes from Ella Clark.

Portugal went into the interval leading (32-26).

After the interval there was a lot of fouling and bodies on the floor with Portugal taking advantage of turnovers by England to extend their advantage (40-31). Maria Andrade  © IT Sports - Limor Noah

Portugal's more patient approach in the built-up enabled them to extend their advantage (46-34).

Once again England finished the quarter stronger and reduced their deficit going into the final period (42-48).

Renee Busch hit a trey for England at the start of the final period.

But neither side was really able to get their shots to drop. With 5:55 left to play it was (50-47) in favour of Portugal.

A second trey by Busch and a free-throw by Hurd made it a 1-point game with just under five minutes to play.

Portugal regained the lead with Maria Andrade (right) scoring again.

Then Brandao fired in a three-pointer (57-51) with four minutes left to play.

Hurd fouled out for England with 3:40 to play but England were back in the game with a jump shot from Clark.

Busch hit a couple of free-throws. With 2:56 left to play Portugal's lead was a single point (57-56).

England continued to put the pressure on and Thompson drove to the basket to score. This was quickly followed by a drive from Gemma Bullard who was fouled.

She hit the free-throws and England went into the lead (60-59).

The game was tied by Andrade with 1-of-2 from the foul line.

Portugal took the final advantage as Maria Correia hit a three-pointer for Portugal.

With another England turnover the game was gone and Portugal won (66-61) with a couple more free-throw from Felicite Mendes.

Youth International Basketball Box Scores Box Scores.

Finland's defense helped them beat Romania

It was a nervous start from both sides with a place in the quarter-final at stake.

Vilja Kesänen opened the scoring for Finland from the free-throw line. Salla Ekström added 2 more points as she finished a fast break.

Romania put a 7-0 run together to briefly take the lead (7-3) with four minutes played.

Finland found their range from the land of many with Kesänen and Nea Mäkelä both connecting as Finland went on an 8-0 run.

Both teams made scoring difficult and Finland held on to their advantage and won the first period (14-9).

The second quarter started slowly with Finland putting the first points on the board.

Romania spent a lot of time trying to break the Finish defense and left themselves open to three-pointers by Kesänen and Saara Väre.

With two minutes remaining in the quarter Finland were ahead (31-25).

With Gabriela Cursaru double-teamed by Finland the Romania team had to look elsewhere for three-point shooting: Oana Baluta obliged.

However Finland went into the interval leading (38-30).

Cursaru opened her account at the start of the third period. However there was not much fire works as scoring was next to impossible.

Finland led (42-34) with five minutes remaining in the quarter.

The only scoring was coming from the free-throw line. But a three-pointer by Cursaru made Romania go into the final period trailing (41-44).

The final quarter was tension packed with Finland never losing the lead although Romania drew level on a couple of occasions.

Finland were in front (59-50) with five minutes to play.

Yet the last half of the fourth quarter was full of suspense but rather scrappy for youth international basketball at this level.

However Finland’s coach kept his word and Finland hit on the fast breaks and held on to win (67-63).

Youth International Basketball Box Scores Box Scores.

 Greece qualify for the semi-final  ©

Greece ended Denmark's dreams

The first half of the match was very technical and not interesting to watch.

Greece struggled in containing Ida Krogh early. Then they let Denmark score 8 unanswered points at the end of the second period to level the game at the interval (40-40).

The third quarter was very dull with both teams doing a lot of running but not much scoring.

Georgia Panou from Greece levelled the score for the last time (47-47) with three minutes left to play in the third period.

Anna Kavasila put Greece in front for good with her 18th point of the game.

Maria Tranta completed the 6-0 run for Greece to go into the final period leading (51-47).

Denmark were playing with a roster of just 10 players due to injuries. After tying the game they conceded 4 more points at the start of the final period.

Krogh ended the onslaught but the pendulum had swung in favour of Greece (58-50) with six minutes left to play.

Greece stepped on the accelerator and outscored Denmark 14-3 to win (72-53) and qualify for the quarter-final.

Kavasila led the Greek scoring with 20 points while Krogh hit 21 for Denmark.

Youth International Basketball Box Scores Box Scores.

Youth international basketball news from Division A

France and Spain Remain undefeated

France in pole position for qualification round

France already in Qualification round

Division B news

Germany and Slovenia qualify quarter-final

Bosnia, Hungary and Israel already in quarter-final

The Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland are out of the competition

Israel make home advantage count

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

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Youth International Basketball picture credits:
IT Sports - Limor Noah

Date created: 08 July 2009

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