France start U18 youth international basketball with a victory in Nitra
The Fiba Europe’s youth international basketball calendar is beginning to get overcrowded as the U18 European Championship Women has started although the U20 Women Division A and B are still to be completed.
France U18’s first match was against one of the up and coming nations in women’s youth basketball, Sweden.
The match was keenly awaited as players from both sides had won gold medals at youth European Championships: Sweden 2006 Div B champions and France 2007 Division A champions.
In an evenly contested first quarter Sweden got the better of France to lead (20-18). Laura Datchy opened her three-point account with scoring France’s first points. However Stefanie Yderström from Sweden with 9 first-quarter points was the main force behind the Swedish offence.
France quickly got into their stride during the second period and hit 8 three-pointers from eight attempts as they subdued their opponents. Isabelle Strunc (left) hit three from behind the arc while Margaux Okou Zouzouo and Datchy hit two each.
France stretched their lead to 22 points on the back of a pair of free-throws from Mèdélomé (Maud) Medenou (51-29) with 18 minutes on the game clock.
France relaxed a bit but still went into the interval leading (52-35).
France did not let up in the third period and continued to bombard Sweden from beyond the arc to go into the final quarter with a significant lead (74-49).
Grégory Halin continued to turn his bench which resulted in all twelve French players getting on the score sheet.
The Swedish coach, Jan Enjebo, tried everything but his players had no answer to stop France.
France went on to win (91-60). They finished the game with 15-of-29 from behind the arc.
French points: Okou Zouzouo 17, Datchy and Strunc 11, Konaté and Vernerey 9, Igoufe and Medenou 8, Plagnard 5, Tchatchouang and Thizy 4, Kadila 3, Westelynck 2.