|02 July 2009|
Hosts Israel and Slovenia each prevailed in hotly-contested games on the opening day of the U18 European Championship Division B.
The Israelis, playing in front of their own fans in Eilat, got 28 points and 13 rebounds from their American-born point guard Avigiel Cohen and won 66-55.
The home side led just 55-53 at the end of third quarter after four straight points by Denmark's Anne Pedersen.
The Danish offense then broke down over the last 10 minutes with Israel outscoring the Scandinavians 11-2 en route to victory.
Slovenia trailed 51-50 at the end of the third quarter against Portugal following a three-ball by the opponents' Michelle Brandao (16pts 5ass).
Nika Baric and Lea Jagodic opened the final quarter with jump shots to put Slovenia in front for good.
Power forward Tjasa Gortnar led the way for Slovenia with 22 points and 11 boards.
In the days other games, the Hungarians got 11 points from Krisztina Raksányi and 10 from Réka Bálint in a 58-50 win over Romania and Bosnia and Herzegovina raced into a 36-18 half-time lead against Norway before winning 68-45.
Matea Tavic scored 17 points to lead the team from the Balkans.
Sonja Greinacher came up strong for Germany in their 59-46 triumph over the Netherlands. The talented forward scored 14 points and brought down 11 rebounds.
Finland beat Switzerland 56-48 with Salla Ekström pouring in 14 points for the Finns.
An inspirational performance from Angeliki Nikopoulou fired Greece to a 53-42 win over Croatia.
Nikopoulou had a game-high 20 points and nine rebounds to help secure victory for the Greeks.