|01 August 2013|
U16 WOMEN DIVISION B
|Yuli Grossman and Israel edged Sloveniaon the opening day in Matosinhos|
After their respective relegations last summer, England, Germany and Serbia all got off to winning starts at the U16 European Championship Women Division B in Matosinhos as they start their bid to return to the top tier.
England had to work hardest to spark their promotion campaign, taking a narrow 58-55 success against Romania. Jessica Davies was the game winner, with 10 points and 16 rebounds, as well as sunk the free-throws which got her team over the finishing line.
Andreea Arsulesi missed out on a double-double for Romania by one board, having chalked 16 points.
Germany completed an 88-38 rout of Ireland with Patricia Brossmann unstoppable en-route to the victory, recording 21 points from a stellar 10-of-12 floor shooting. And, with team-mate Leonia Schutter producing an all-action line of 17 points, nine rebounds, six steals and three assists, Ireland were always struggling to contain their opponents.
Serbia won just as convincingly with a 72-41 triumph against Ukraine who couldn't handle the pressure and spilled the ball 24 times with Jovana Subasic, Aleksandra Katanic and Jovana Nogic grabbing a combined 15 steals.
Also in Group A, Norway are still searching for their first success at the tournament, after being defeated 72-25 by Switzerland and having lost all seven games last year on their Division B debut.
There was a dearth of three-balls in the match-up between Estonia and Poland, with both teams stone-cold from downtown and collectively going 0-of-23 from long-range, as the latter took a 55-43 win on opening day in Group D.
In the same pool, Slovenia were edged out 59-53 by Israel after committing an eyebrow raising 30 turnovers.
There was a similar struggle from distance in the game between Luxembourg and Finland with Luxembourg surviving a late scare to grind out a nail-biting 48-45 win.
They were 1-of-12 from the perimeter, whilst Finland were an eye-watering 2-of-29 although almost won the game after getting to within a point in crunch time having trailed by eight with less than four minutes remaining. But Lisa Jablonowski produced a top display, sinking the winning basket and getting 14 points, nine rebounds and six steals.
Finally, there was joy for the locals after home favourites Portugal claimed an 83-35 win against Denmark in Group C, facilitated by a powerful 19-8 start.
They also had two terrific displays by Maria Kostourkova who had a mammoth 30 points and 15 rebounds, whilst Chelsea Guimaraes added 19 points and 16 boards to get the hosts off to a winning start.