|Isaiah Hartenstein lived up to expectations in Germany's opening game in Grobina|
Germany got their U16 European Championship campaign off to a winning start with a hard-fought 72-60 win against Poland in Grobina on Wednesday.
Turning Point: Germany led for much of the game but were never out of sight. Poland pulled back within four when Dominik Rutkowski struck inside the final four minutes but Isaiah Hartenstein responded with an ‘and-one' play to take the lead back to 63-56 and give Germany the momentum heading into the closing stages.
Game Hero: Hartenstein gave his team exactly what they needed, just when they needed it. He scored eight of his game-high 15 points in the final period when it looked like Poland might sneak in and steal victory. He also had nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
Stats Don't Lie: Germany's 17 steals gave them ample opportunity to get out and run the fast-break while also planting doubts in the mind of their opponents, who always had to be wary of having their pockets picked. In a close game, such easy scores proved the difference.
The Bottom Line: This win will have given Germany great confidence, and a good starting point from which to build as they look to advance from a tight-looking Group C. For Poland, it was a blow to lose this opener but it by no means ruins their chances of advancing to the next phase.