Italy sustained a 57-52 defeat to the Netherlands in their last group stage tie, leaving the hosts of the U16 European Championships to look for improvements when they return to action in the quarter-finals on Friday.
But the Dutch asked some questions of the Italians as they ground out a win that sent them into the play-offs for ninth place on a high.
They never trailed after a 7-2 start, building an advantage that peaked at 25-14 in the early stages of the second quarter.
Italy were 37-29 behind at half-time but paid for their failure to get to the foul line as the Dutch held firm. Although the lead was cut to 53-50 with four minutes left, the Netherlands - led by 18 from Klaziena Guijt - won out.
Now Italian coach Renato Nani must get his team ready for their next challenge.
"We have to be ready to focus and concentrate," he said. "We have a day off, then it is a new game with new possibilities in this tournament. But from this game, we must learn to defend and be strong for 40 minutes. Because whoever we play will be tough."
Cecilia Zandalasini hit 18 points for Italy.