France Pull Away From Greece To Reach Final


France stormed into the final of the A.C.I. Trading Limited U20 European Championship Women in Brno on Saturday with a 69-44 demolition of Greece.

The Greeks were a determined bunch but eventually caved in against the powerful French, who got a game-high 22 points from their 19-year-old forward Julie Barennes.

Greece did fight hard early, however, and were level at 19-19 just four seconds from the end of the first quarter following a basket from Theoni Tzegiannaki.

Four seconds was plenty of time for France to score, it proved. Yvette Assilamehou passed ahead to Clarisse Costaz and she buried a jump shot for a 21-19 advantage at the end of the opening frame.

France stretched the lead to seven, only for the Greeks to battle back and trim the deficit to 30-28 with 3:35 left in the first half.

That's when the wheels came off for the Greeks.

Fatimatou Sacko (France)
Fatimatou Sacko
France went on a 17-0 run that bridged both the second and third quarters to take control for good.

Much of France's success owed to their excellence in rebounding.

They grabbed 46 boards to just 20 for Greece. Fatimatou Sacko, France's 1.85m power forward, was particularly outstanding with 13 rebounds - five of them on the offensive glass.

Next up is the final against Poland, whom France have already beaten 75-67 in this competition.

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