Sweden grabbed a winning start in Group A of the U16 European Championship 2011 for Women with a hard-fought 56-49 win over Belgium on the opening day of competition.
However after grabbing an early lead which they refused to give up, the Swedes had to work to take a priceless victory in Cagliari, paced by 14 points from Gabriella Hanson.
In a ragged first quarter in which both teams went scoreless for over five minutes, Belgium trailed 14-7 before a 9-2 run at the start of the second levelled the tie at 16-16.
Sweden surged clear to lead 31-18 at half-time and although the Belgians hit back to close to 42-35 by the end of the third period, they saved their best to last.
A 10-0 run midway through the fourth cut the Swedes advantage to 50-48 with 2:11 left. But, despite a game-high 15 points from 1.70m forward Hind Ben Abdelkader, there was to be no late drama as Belgium's hopes faded.