U20 Day 2 Action - Lithuania Remain Impressive

09 July 2005

Lithuania continued their dominant form at the ACI Trading Ltd U20 European Championship Men in Chekov.

After dismantling Italy 109-77 on day one, Rimas Kurtinaitis' continued right where they left off on day 2, handing Belarus a comprehensive 93-49 loss.

Lithuania opened the game with a 16-4 run which effectively broke any resistance that Belarus were planning to offer.

Damir Makota (#6, CRO)
Damir Makota hauled down 20 boards against Slovenia
However, although the score indicated Lithuanian supremacy, they did not have things all their own way. Belarus missed shot after shot in the opening quarter, and although they managed to grab 6 steals and 6 offensive rebounds, they could only convert those turnovers and second chance opportunities into 9 first points.

Belarus trailed 9-20 after 10 minutes and Lithuania made the game safe in the second quarter. Belarus's shooting woes continued and they connected on only 2/12 field goals in ten minutes for 5 points.

Lithuania's lead had stretched to 44-14 by halftime and there was simply no way for Belarus to come back.

As in their opener against the Italians, Lithuania presented multiple scoring threats. 11 players got on the scoresheet, with Jonas Maciulis leading the side with 17 points.

In Group A action, Croatia recovered from their defeat against Russia with a spirited performance against Slovenia.

Croatia blew open what had previously been a close game with a slick final quarter display. They outscored Slovenia 18-2 in the period, turning a 2-point game at the 30 minute mark (58-60), into a convinving 62-81 win at the buzzer.

Croatian captain Kruno Simon provided the scoring impetus for his side right on cue. He scored 7 of his 9 points in a 3-miute burst which sparked Croatia to victory.

209 cm forward Damir Markota was also impressive, tallying 21 points and a tournament high 20 rebounds.

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