|14 August 2012|
|Croatia guard/forward Mislav Brzoja contributed another solid performance on Tuesday, with 15 points and two steals |
By Jared Grellet
Croatia had no problems retaining their undefeated record at the Samsung U18 European Championship, strolling past hosts Latvia 82-62 on Tuesday to clinch top spot in Group E.
It was one-way traffic in Liepaja as the Croatians controlled proceedings from start to finish, with Latvia struggling to contain the height of their opponents.
The problem was compounded following the loss of influential forward Ivars Zvigurs, who had to sit out the game through injury.
Croatia were menacing under the boards at both ends of the court, out-rebounding Latvia 44-26.
11 of those were offensive rebounds, leading to 17 second-chance points.
With the game won with a quarter remaining, Dario Saric and Mislav Brzoja stepped over for their teammates to add the finishing touches.
Despite their limited input in the last quarter, Saric still finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds and five assists whilst Brzoja ended with 15 points.
Latvia's best effort came from Elvis Endzels with 14 points.
The co-hosts now need to defeat Slovenia on Wednesday to assure their spot in the last eight.