The U18 European Championship Women moved into its Quarter-Final stages today as the top two teams from each Preliminary Round group met in the first cross-over games of the Quarter-Final Round.
And there were no surprises on offer as the four teams favoured for the Semis all came good, each winning by a margin of at least 16 points.
|Spain on the fast-break|
Spain’s lead was only a narrow four points however at half-time and at the beginning of the second half it looked like Hungary might stay in the game. Dora Horti was again excellent for the home side, hitting 16 points and grabbing rebounds and was crucial for the Hungarian inside game.
She was countered by Spain’s Laura Gimeno who answered with 14 points and 11 rebounds, but it was the Spanish combination at the guard/forward spot which proved unstoppable for the Hungarians. Silvia Dominguez, Patricia Arguello, Anna Carbo and Maria Pina Tolosa all scored in double figures as Spain went on a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter to secure the win.
Hungary must win against Russia tomorrow to keep any Semi-Final hopes alive.
In the second game of the day, Serbia & Montenegro took the lead from the first minute and never looked back, crushing title-holders Russia by more than 20 points, 81-60. The Serbs performance in the first half was the key: the Russian team was held to only 9 points in the second quarter as their opponents stretched the margin to 21 points after 20 minutes.
|Miljana Musovic (Serbia & Montenegro) |
Russia could do little to pull back – the scoring remained balanced in the second half but Serbia & Montenegro were simply far too strong to let the Russians make any challenge. The Knezevic/Musovic duo was again on top form – the two forwards combined for half of Serbia & Montenegro’s points; Adrijana Knezevic hitting 24 and Miljana Musovic adding 17.
The Czech – Slovak derby also provided little excitement as the Czech team rolled over their neighbours 73-54 in another strong performance. The Slovaks were ahead in the first minutes, however, the Czech team quickly recovered and slowly pulled away.
The Slovaks came back to within 3 points at the start of the second half, Eva Kmetova getting a quick lay-up in first seconds but the Czechs quickly answered, stepping up the defence and effectively shutting down the Slovak offence. Tereza Peckova was outstanding for the Czech side, scoring 22 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. She was backed up by Romana Heydova who added 18 points.
|Eva Kmetova (Slovak Republic) |
French coach Francois Gomez ran his entire bench and all players saw at least almost 10 minutes of playing time. Sandrine Gruda dominated again when on court – she had 12 points and 7 rebounds in only 18 minutes of court time.