By Jared Grellet
|Marko Arapovic made all of his three three-point attempts en route to 25 points for Croatia|
A 76-72 loss to Croatia has ended any hope that Latvia had of advancing to the quarter-finals at the Dadu U16 European Championship.
After carrying his team to victory in their two previous games, Rauls Avenitis was having a notably quiet night for the Latvians with just two points, requiring someone else to step up for the Latvians.
That role fell to Klavs Cavars and Ervins Meznieks-Zahars who kept Croatia within Latvia's sights until early in the fourth quarter when Lovro Mazalin exploded, scoring 15 points in eight-and-a-half minutes to put Croatia up by nine with 90 seconds to play.
Latvia, showed a slight glimmer of hope, coming back to be within two points on a pair of Davis Zonne free-throws with seven seconds to play.
But with Marko Arapovic replying with a pair of his own at the other end, the dream was over for Latvia.
Mazalin ended with 27 points and 10 boards. Arapovic also provided another big performance for the Croatians, ending with 25 points and nine rebounds.
Cavars finished with 18 points whilst Meznieks-Zahars' tally reached 20.
Latvia's final second round game against Turkey on Tuesday now holds little relevance for the home team whilst Croatia and Ukraine square off in a virtual eighth-quarter final.