U18 Women Division B
Israel had an improbable win against Greece, 58-57, after a thrilling game, to boost their chances of being in the Quarter-Finals of the Pannergy U18 European Championship Women, Division B.
The Greeks led right from the start and during the first three quarters they never gave the impression that they could lose this game.
But Israel slowly built the comeback and managed to erase a 12-point deficit at halftime, 24-36, to take the first lead at the debut of the last period.
It was Keren Mozes who first closed the gap at one point, 42-43 with a deep three-point shot, assisted by May Dayan.
Then, the latter made her own shot, a lay-up, to put her team in front for the first time, 44-43
What followed was a do-or-die battle, with the two teams exchanging the lead nine times, while the scores were tied five times.
It was close to the 35th minute mark when the two teams started to trade baskets, clutch-shots were falling from everywhere, and Artemis Spanou put on her own show.
She scored 10 of her 24 points in the last five minutes of the game but it was simply not enough to bring success to her team.
Israel brought to the table more offensive weapons and held their nerves better in the tight battle from the free throw line. No team scored from the field in the last 50 seconds of the game.
Chatzigiakoumi split two free throws to level the score at 57, with 27 seconds to go. Then she fouled Dayan on Israel's next possession.
The point guard scored only one free throw, with 20 seconds to go, but it proved to be enough. The Greeks missed their last possession, but they are still sure of their place in the Quarter-Finals.
Spanou added 16 rebounds to her stellar performance in the losing effort, while Anthoula Chatzigiakoumi finished with eight points, seven rebounds, three steals and four blocks.
Israel had four players in double-digit scoring. Dayan and Chen Weisbort had 14 points each, Nof Kedem added 13 and Mozes 10.
Now they need a victory with Norway, to be sure of their place in the Quarter-Finals.
Israel can advance also with a loss, but it has to be a close one, in order to have the upper hand in the three-way tie, in case Denmark beat Latvia.
If Latvia beat Denmark, than Israel has nothing to worry about.
Division B action saw yesterday yet another thrilling game, as Finland needed overtime to finish Latvia, 88-86, and stay perfect at the top of Group F.
Evita Iiskola could have won the game for Finland, but she made only one of her two free-throws, with 30 seconds left, to send the game to overtime.
She improved her percentage in the closing seconds, when she sank both of her free-throws to seal the game for Finland.
She finished with 26 points, while Anette Juvonen set the record for most points in one game at this tournament, pouring in 33.
Guna Lagzdina did the best she could for Latvia, with 21 points and 15 rebounds. In the other game of the group, Denmark beat Norway 74-60.
In Group E, Belarus beat the hosts, Hungary, 62-55, to remain undefeated, Croatia crushed Germany, 84-54, while Portugal won against Bulgaria, 54-51, to keep their chances alive.
Belarus will fight Croatia today for the first place in Group E. Hungary are the big favorites against Bulgaria, while Germany and Portugal will have a do-or-die game to find out which of them are going to advance.