|Greece simply had no way to stop Sweden center Paulina Hersler, who finished with 23 points and nine rebounds |
Heartbroken Greece allowed their slim hopes of a quarter-final place at the U18 European Championship Women go up in smoke as Sweden scored the last eight points of the game to claim a dramatic 58-56 Second Round success on Tuesday.
With a little over two minutes left on the clock of a riveting match-up, it looked as if the pendulum had swung towards Greece when back-to-back triples by Anna Stamolamprou and Vasiliki Tarla put them 56-50 in front.
Sweden looked emotionally shot having blown a double-digit lead but, just when it mattered, Greece pressed the self-destruct button and the joyful Swedes managed to scrape unconvincingly over the line - even having to watch as Stamolamprou almost converted a last-gasp, one-handed triple attempt.
Greece generally coped well with the height advantage of Sweden, helped by a nice cameo from Amanda Lovely and also played good defence to get themselves back into the contest.
They held Sweden to just nine points during the third quarter which set up a thrilling finale.
The big problem was stopping Swedish centre Paulina Hersler from dominating and she got to the line 16 times, which helped her finish with a near double-double of 23 points and nine rebounds.
However, the true hero for Sweden was Linnea Frybko who sunk four triples including the one that kick-started their late revival and crucially, keeps their hopes of a quarter-final slot alive for a little longer.