|08 August 2008|
The Netherlands got off to a winning start at the U18 European Championship For Women Division B with a 72-69 victory over Hungary.
Maaike Klein had 18 points and eight steals for the Dutch, who went in front in the Group C clash for good at 55-54 a minute into the final quarter after a pair of Natalie van den Adel free throws.
The Hungarians, winners of their first game the day before, closed the gap to 65-63 with 3:49 remaining on two shots at the charity stripe from Réka Bálint.
Clara van der Hoek replied with her only three-ball from seven attempts in the game as the Dutch extended the advantage to five and they held on.
Van der Hoek finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Group C had another close game as Denmark defeated Finland, 71-65.
Kia Ignatius had 24 points, five assists and six steals but that wasn't enough for the Finns (0-2), who were undone by Ida Preetzmann's 27 points for the Danes (1-1).
FYR Macedonia weren't able to follow up their narrow win over Slovenia with another on Thursday as they slipped up against Israel, 80-76.
Israel's Naama Shafir led all scorers with 27 and Ana Tanturovska poured in 21 for the Macedonians.
Both countries are now 1-1.
Estonia are at the top of Group B with two wins in as many games after a 58-53 success against Portugal.
Kerttu Jallai dominated for the Estonians with 21 points and 16 rebounds. She also blocked a pair of shots.
Germany won for the second time in as many days, 62-47 over Austria (0-1), and they are first in Group A.
Luxembourg beat Switzerland like a drum, 78-64, with Jil Haentges enjoying a fine day on the court.
Haentges scored 29 points, hauled in 19 rebounds and also swatted two shots for the winners.
In Group D, England overcame Scotland 70-60 and Belgium won 72-65 against Ireland.
The Belgians are at the top of the pile with two victories.