After narrowly losing to Hungary in the Preliminary Round games, the Czech Republic were determined that there would be no repeat of that this afternoon. For almost 30 minutes the game could have gone either way but Hungary lacked their top scorer Anna Vajda (15 points, 5 rebounds) when they needed her most and the Czechs turned it to their complete advantage in the latter stages.
|Zsofia Fegyverneky (#15 HUN)|
Johnova started her scoring run right at the start of the second period hotting a huge 3-pointer. Within 1 minute Vajda had already been called for her 3rd foul but coach Sterbenz couldn’t afford to take her off as only Zsofia Fegyverneky was any threat on the Hungarian team. Her ball skills challenged the defence but often was spoiled by a turn-over from a sloppy pass.
Both teams lacked concentration and many turn-overs ensued, at both ends. Depsite her foul trouble Vajda kept Hungary in the game, scoring a 3-pointer and taking a nice steal at the other end, passing off for 2 points on the fast-break. Hungarty moved to zone defence, but the Czechs reacted well, passing round the top of the key and finding the free spot. Johnova and Romana Stelikova did a good job making the Hungarians work. With 3 minutes left, Hungary were 4 points up, but then Vajda was called for her 4th foul and Sterbenz had no choice but to take her off. Still Hungary held on and appeared more in control - at the half they led 30:36.
Following the break the Czech fortunes changed. Within 5 minutes they had turned the game around and had evened up the score, now looking like the stronger of the 2 sides. A series of 3 pointers from Johnova and Musilova meant that with 2 minutes left the Czech Rep. was leading by 7, soon to be 10 points. Anna Vajda came back on, for 9 seconds! Another really unnecessary foul saw her head back to the bench. Hungary now really missed her scoring as another 3 from Johnova handed the Czechs a 55:43 advantage going into the final quarter.
|The Czech team celebrate 3rd place|