by Björn-Lars Blank
For hosts Greece the U16 European Championship Women did not start the way they hoped for.
They lost their opening match against Belgium by 45-62. The Greeks suffered from a very tough first half, scoring only 13 points during this period of time. Belgium took control of the game and set the course for a convincing victory early on.
Heleen Adams (14 points) led the Belgium team in scoring. For Greece, Stefania Sideri (13 points) and Vasiliki Tarla (11 points) led all scorers.
The Greek team had trouble finding their offensive rhythym. With 11 of 36 shooting from the two-point distance and a tough 2 of 20 from behind the arc, it seemed the Greeks just couldn't put the ball through the basket.
Despite a bad shooting percentage from the three-point range (only 1 of 15) as well, last year's runner up Belgium never let the victory slip out of their hands once they took over. A strong first half and good work on the glass (Belgium outrebounded Greece 49-32) layed the foundation for their victory.
While already building up a solid lead after the first quarter, the Belgians were able to improve their game in the second quarter. On the opposite side Greece had tremendous trouble to score on a consistent basis. After only scoring nine points in the first quarter they scored only four points in the second. Belgium exploited the offensive struggles of the host and built a commanding 38-13 halftime lead.
After the break Greece improved their offense and reduced the margin under 20 points again. Yet it wasn't enough to ignite a major comeback. After three periods, Belgium was still up by 49-30.
In the final ten minutes the host closed the game in a more positive way compared to the first half. However, the Belgians maintained a double digit lead all the way until the end of the game.