Youth International basketball tears for the Czech Republic in Thailand
There was youth international basketball drama and suspense on the last day of the Qualification Round in the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women in Thailand.
As usual at this stage of the competition there were tears of joy as well as tears for despair.
France and Canada finished the day with the biggest smiles but have tough assignments waiting for them in the quarter-final.
Czech Republic lose out in a three-way tie with France taking the honours
In Group E, France had to play in the first match of the day against the Czech Republic.
France trailed at the interval (29-40) and appeared to be saying good bye to the world championship.
However Margaux Okou Zouzouo (left) had other ideas and started to hit the target from all over the court.
Then Medelome Medenou joined in to level the score from beyond the arc (48-48) with a minute remaining in the third quarter.
France went into the final period leading thanks to a three-pointer by Hhadydia Minte (51-49).
Medenou and Minte continued the French offensive. By the time Okou Zouzouo joined in, the lead had increased to 10 points (61-51) with six minutes left to play.
France continued to press forward and two more three-pointers by Okou Zouzouo enabled France to win the game (73-58).
The 15-point margin of victory was very important to France in terms of qualification.
Okou Zouzouo led the French attack with 21 points, while Medenou finished on 18 points. Mintes had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Youth International Basketball Box Scores.
Argentina knew before they took the court that they had to beat Lithuania in order to qualify for the quarter-final.
The match was evenly contested and with 40 seconds left the teams were level (57-57).
Egle Siksniute from Lithuania was called for a foul on Agostina Burani.
Burani was hurt in the challenge hence replaced by Ornella Santana, who hit the two free-throws to put Argentina in front for only the second time in the game.
The remaining 38 seconds were played out on the free-throw line with Argentina going 2-for-4 to win the match (61-57) and claim second place in Group F.
Brazil went into the last game of the group knowing that they were eliminated from the competition.
The Czech Republic however needed Brazil to win in order to finish third and eliminate France.
The suspense lasted seven minutes with Brazil leading (15-10). Australia then went on a 12-0 run to finish the quarter leading (22-15).
Australia dominated the second period and went into the locker room leading (42-27).
The game was over as a contest by the end of the third period with Australia leading (61-30).
Australia went on to win (72-51) with all 11 players scoring. Liz Cambage finished with 20 points and Bree Faley was next in the scoring list with 10 points.
France finished in 3rd place on point difference. They had 3 points more than Lithuania and 6 more than the Czech Republic.
Canada take the last place in Group F with a victory against China
The USA had already beaten Japan (109-68) in the first group match of the day. All 12 players from the USA scored with Taber Spani (right) having the honours of top scoring with 15 points.
This result meant that Canada already knew that they had one foot in the quarter-final before their game against China.
For China to qualify they would have had to win by at least 16 points. China dominated the first period and led (19-12) by the end of the first quarter.
However Canada recovered in the second period and drew level (23-23) with three minutes played.
The two teams traded basket for basket for another two minutes and were still level (32-32) midway through the quarter.
Canada finally gained the upper hand and went on a 14-0 run to go (46-34) ahead into the locker room.
China took more and more risks. But Canada controlled the pace of game during the second half to win (75-67) with Taryn Wicijowski (left) scoring 20 points.
Youth International Basketball Box Scores.
Spain maintained a perfect record with a (70-54) victory against Russia.
Spain waited until the final quarter to make their move with a 10-2 run to lead by 10 points with six minutes left to play (52-42).
For the second match in a row Russia tied badly and allowed their opponents a free run to the basket.
Vega Gimeno (right) was the top scorer for Spain with 17 points.
The youth international basketball festival in Thailand has a break for a day and then the quarter-final matches will take place on Friday, 31 July 2009:
Australia vs. Canada
France vs. USA
Argentina vs. Russia
Lithuania vs. Spain
The Czech Republic will face China while Brazil plays Japan in the classification games for 9th place.
All to play for in Group E and USA qualify in Group F
France still in with a chance, the USA beat Canada
France lose again - this time Argentina
Liz Cambage scores 38 points in beating France
France start with a win on day 1
U19 World Championship for Women draw
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Youth international basketball picture credits:
Glenn Nelson for ESPN.com
Date created: 29 July 2009