|France were all smiles after the finished the tournament in great fashion and a ticket to the U17 World Championship in their pocket|
France shut down Croatia to snatch fifth place at the U16 European Championship Men and the bonus prize of a ticket to next year's expanded U17 World Championship.
France led virtually from post to wire against a lacklustre Croatia team who never found any rhythm.
Stephane Gombauld had 15 points and eight rebounds to lead France to victory, while they succeeded in shutting down Croatia's most dangerous weapon.
Lovro Mazalin, a day after pouring in a tournament high 44 points against Turkey, was held to just seven today, although he did get 10 rebounds.
After France jumped out to an early 13-5 on Gombauld's dunk, Croatia replied with eight straight points to tie it up once again when Ante Zizic made a lay-up with 3:14 left in the first quarter.
But it proved a rare significant run from Croatia as France quickly re-established control.
Croatia went scoreless for more than six minutes to start the second quarter and by the time the buzzer sounded, they had been outscored 16-2.
When Gombauld hit a jump-shot with 3:40 remaining in the first half they led 32-17, and Bathiste Tchouaffe's three-pointer gave them a 16-point edge at half-time.
Croatia stemmed the bleeding in the second half, but passed up opportunities to get the gap back down to something manageable.
A turnover and unsportsmanlike foul from Kevin Cham gave Mazalin a chance from the line at the end of the third quarter, but he missed both shots and Nik Slavica was off target with a three-pointer as France's lead remaining 49-36.
That was all the margin they needed as they controlled the fourth quarter to ease to victory, and while there was no medal on offer, France launched jubilant celebrations at the buzzer.
Bruno Skokna led Croatia with 12 points while Zizic finished with 11.