Hungary and Portugal both took a big step on Wednesday towards clinching first place in their respective groups in Classification Round For 9th-16th Place at the U18 European Championship Division B, in Strumica.
Of the four teams that entered Classification Round for 9th to 16th Place carrying over a victory from the first stage of the tournament, the Hungarians and the Portuguese were the only two to add one more win on Wednesday in Groups G and H, respectively.
|Tibor Bán and Hungary are 2-0 after their win over Norway|
Classification Round For 9th-16th Place - Group G Day One
Norway entered the Classification Round for 9th to 16th Place with no wins to their name and started strong on Wednesday against Hungary to reverse that situation.
The two sides reached the end of the first quarter tied at 20, but when Hungary raised the tempo a notch in the second frame, Norway was left behind.
Hungary outscored their opponents 19-8 in that period and then extended the gap to 13 points in the third quarter, taking a safe cushion into the final stanza when the Norwegians attempted a comeback.
The Hungarians took a 66-56 win and lead the group with a 2-0 record, behind an all-round display by György Golomán who collected 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists; for Norway, Johannes Dolven finished with 13 points in a losing effort.
In the other game in the group on Wednesday, Finland trailed Germany by as many as seven points in the fourth quarter but clawed their way back and Shawn Hopkins drilled a triple with 1:09 left in regulation to tie the scores at 77 and force overtime.
Not content with that, the Finns proceeded to edge out the Germans 85-82 in the extra period, denying them the option to lock one of the top two spots in the group together, as now both teams stand at 1-1 in the standings.
Finland's Juho-Matti Henttonen led all scorers with 19 points while Hopkins and Alexander Madsen finished with 18 points each, the latter also adding eight rebounds; for Germany, Christian Sengfelder had 17 points and six rebounds in defeat.
Classification Round For 9th-16th Place - Group H Day One
Portugal were made to work hard on Wednesday to rise to first place in Group H with a 2-0 record, as Romania came out guns blazing and grabbed an 11-point early lead.
The Portuguese however gradually balanced the encounter to reduce the gap and then went on a 13-2 run in the final three minutes to snatch a 74-69 triumph.
Nuno Ferreira paved the way for the winners with 15 points and eight rebounds while Sérgio Da Silva and Pedro Marques contributed 13 points apiece; Romania's Andrei Ciordas had a 15-point, eight-rebound effort in defeat.
In the other game in the group, Switzerland started off strong but run out of fuel in the second quarter and Belarus pulled away steadily to register a comfortable 70-49 victory.
Yauheni Beliankou of Belarus led all scorers with 23 points and also collected 10 rebounds to complete a double-double display; Vuk Damjanovic had 17 points for the Swiss in a losing effort.
|Rasmus Hansenand Denmark started Group I action in style with a win over Austria|
Classification Games For 17th to 22nd Place
In Group I action in the Classification Round for 17th to 22nd Place, Denmark put in a solid second-half performance to secure a 68-54 win over Austria, their first in this phase.
Sebastian Petersen and Frederik Benzon scored 14 points each to lead the winners, while Austria's Jakob Pöltl was not rewarded for his impressive double-double of 22 points and 14 rebounds.
On Thursday, Denmark take on Georgia, who stand at 0-1; Austria have no more games in the group and will finish with a 1-1 record.
In Group J, Luxembourg grabbed a 28-19 advantage after the first 10 minuted of play and then held on to defeat Scotland 66-57.
Luxembourg's Philippe Gutenkauf led all scorers with 20 points and team-mate Timothy Kauffmann delivered an all-round performance of 16 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals; for Scotland, Fraser Malcolm picked up a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds in defeat.