|08 August 2006|
Spain and the Czech Republic each claimed their fourth consecutive victory on the trot at the Termosteps U16 European Championship Women in Kosice.
The Spaniards, who are taking aim at a third successive title in the tournament and fourth since 1999, whipped Serbia & Montenegro 88-56 on the first day of Group E action.
Carlos Colinas' team grabbed a stranglehold on the game early, with Cristina Ouvina's back-to-back baskets giving them a 14-2 lead just three and a half minutes into the game.
The Serbo-Montenegrins closed the gap to 25-17, early in the second quarter but Spain outscored them 24-9 up to half-time for an unassailable 49-26 lead.
Alba Garcia had 18 points for Spain, who began the tournament with narrow wins over Lithuania and Russia but have now blown out Estonia and the Serbo-Montenegrins.
The Czech Republic are showing signs of emulating their senior team, the EuroBasket Women 2005 champions.
|Renáta Brezinová scored 14 points in the Czech Republic's win.|
Dominika Behalová, the Czech point guard, had 18 points and four steals as the under-16 team beat Ukraine 71-61 in Group F.
Romana Ptackova's team only led 46-41 late in the third quarter but a 12-2 surge saw them seize a 58-43 lead with 8:21 to play in the game.
Olesya Malashenko's free throw trimmed the deficit for Ukraine to 62-58 midway through the final period, but a three-point play from Katerina Bartonova stemmed the tide for the Czechs who pulled away for the victory.
Malashenko had a game-high 23 points in defeat.
Meanwhile, Poland overcame the challenge of Lithuania 73-58 thanks to a haul of 28 points from Olivia Tomialowicz.
Poland had just a one-point lead at half-time, but accelerated throughout the third quarter to stretch their 29-28 lead to a considerable 54-42 advantage going into the final 10 minutes.
Lithuania were unable to apply any real pressure throughout the final quarter, leaving Aurime Rinkeviciute's 20 points as mere consolation.
In the night's other game, France swept to a 80-63 win over Belarus.
Guards Laurie Datchy and Najat Ouardad starred with 17 points apiece for the winners.