By David Hein
Laurie Datchy led four players in double figures as France dominated Bulgaria to open the U20 European Championship for Women with a 73-51 victory in Group A action.
Datchy scored 16 points while Diandra Tchatchouang had 13 and Medelome Medenou and Hhadyina Minte each tallied 11 points for the French, who led from start to finish in Liepaja.
France, who have no players back from the 2009 U20 championship-winning side, won the game by forcing 32 turnovers and grabbing 17 offensive rebounds.
|Klaudia Sosnowska and Barbara Skowronek of Poland opened with a win over the Netherlands.|
Datchy and Tchatchouang combined for 18 points in the first quarter in helping France open a 12-point lead en route to a 24-12 lead after one period.
The Bulgarians fought hard to keep in the game. But the French pushed the advantage to 16 points and led 38-29 at halftime.
France created 10 turnovers in the third quarter in pulling away thanks to a 14-0 run to open the second half and a 52-29 lead. The gap was 61-40 after three periods
Bulgaria, who were led Violina Kocheva with 11 points, would not get closer than 19 points the rest of the way while the French were ahead by 28 points at one point in the final quarter.
Tough defense bring Poland win over Dutch
Reserve Klaudia Sosnowska's 14 points and a tough defense guided Poland to a strong 72-57 victory over the Netherlands in the other Group A encounter.
Olivia Tomialowicz had 13 points and six assists while Magda Kaczmarska collected 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and two blocks for Poland, who held the Dutch to just 30 percent shooting for the game.
Demelza Ten Caat led the Netherlands with 16 points while Fieke Ligthart and Chatilla van Grinsven both had eight points and 10 rebounds in a losing effort.
The Dutch jumped ahead 16-8 early on and still led 18-12 after one period. The lead was 20-12 at the start of the second quarter but Poland used a 13-2 surge to jump ahead and lead 37-35 at halftime.
Leading by just two points, Poland kept the Netherlands scoreless for more than four minutes in reeling off a 9-0 run for an 11-point lead. The Poles led 52-43 after three periods.
And the Dutch would not get closer than eight points in the fourth quarter.