Sweden, Poland Reach Final And Division A


Sweden beat England and Poland held off Montenegro's spirited comeback in the semi-finals of the U18 European Championship Men 2009 Division B in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The result means that Sweden and Poland will be promoted to Division A status, taking the places of Israel and the Czech Republic.

Andreas Person scored a game-high 25 points as Sweden remained unbeaten (7-0) and booked their place in the final as they pulled away in the third quarters for an 81-66 win over England.

The Swedes led 20-18 at the end of the first quarter and the English stuck around for a few minutes more, Lee Goldsbrough's basket with 5:34 left in the second quarter keeping his team within two, 29-27.

Pierre Hampton then scored seven of Sweden's final 11 points of the first half to increase their advantage to five, 40-35.

England would get within one, 47-46, on Levi Noel's basket with 6:22 remaining in the third quarter but Sweden then went on a 12-0 run and they took a 64-49 lead into the final frame.

Person gave his team their biggest lead, 71-49, on a three-pointer with under nine minutes to go as the Scandinavian nation cruised the rest of the way.

Noel had 19 points and four assists for England.

Poland meanwhile edged out Montenegro 65-63 thanks to Marek Szumelda-Krzycki's winning basket with 1:12 left to play.

Montenegro, who trailed 46-35 midway through the third quarter, had their chances in the final minute to tie the game or win but Bojan Dubljevic was called for a travelling before Stevan Lazovic saw his shot blocked with 18 seconds to go and missed again at the buzzer.

Sebastian Szymanski had 15 points in the winning cause, while Nemanja Radovic had a game-high 19 for Montenegro.

Poland led 18-15 at the end of the first quarter before the Montenegrins rallied back and took 33-31 at the break.

Szumelda-Krzycki tied the game at 35 early in the third quarter as part of a 13-0 run that saw the Poles take the game's only double-digit lead, 46-35, with 5:48 to go in the period.

That advantage was short-lived as Montenegro responded with a 20-8 run, capped off by Radovic's three-pointer to take a 55-53 lead heading into the final frame.

The fourth quarter was tense and close, with the lead never more than three. Dubljevic tied the game at 63 with 2:15 remaning and a minute later Szumelda-Krzycki scored the last points to send Poland into the final.

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