Hungary overcame an exhausted-looking Ukrainian team to win the first Quarter-Final of the Eural Trans Gas European Championship for U20 Women. Although the game finished with an 18 point margin it was a close run battle and only in the final minutes were Hungary able to pull away, even scoring 6 points in the final 12 seconds.
Ukraine again only used 6 players in the first 20 minutes and all were looking tired by half-time. Playing in two championships in a row has finally taken its toll on Olexandra Gorbunova (she was MVP at the U18s in Bratislava earlier this month) and she wasn’t nearly as dominant as we have seen here over the past week. The Hungarians too needed time to warm up and get into a rhythm in what was at times a scrappy game.
Ukraine’s bad luck continued in the second period as they missed easy baskets again and again while Hungary picked up on offensive rebounds. Budjdoso hit a 3 to stretch the lead to 20:13 but Ukraine hung in. Gorbunova drove to the hoop and scored and next time down the court Savina hit from downtown. These two went on the attack for Ukraine, but unfortunately big lapses on defence allowed Hungary to keep on scoring. Vajda kept going to the hoop and Savina picked up her 2nd and 3rd fouls. Neverthless Krasnikova hit another 3 to tie the score with 3 minutes on the clock: 29-29.
Anna Vajda then scored a 4-point play and with Gorbunova starting to force shots the Hungarians took advantage and led at the half 39-31.
Gorbunova and Savina made another push in the 3rd but Savina also quickly picked up her 4th and 5th fouls and went off. Gorbunova was therefore left alone, as Ohla Krasnikova and Lada Kovalenko were off form and couldn’t buy a basket today, and didn’t have the power to reproduce another winning performance. She only managed 6 points in the half and appeared shattered as she put in another 40 minute game. Nevertheless, Ukraine won the 3rd quarter and after 30 minutes were only 4 point behind, 53-49.
Anna Vajda kept on going to the hoop and received back-up from Dora Horti and Zsofia Fegyverneki. For the Ukrainians it was simply too much and eventually their heads went down. A lack of effort and energy from the Ukrainian players meant that in the final 12 seconds, Hungary scored 3 times, from steals and lay-ups. Final score 73-55 and Hungary go through.
Worth a mention from this game was the astounding amount of blocked shots – overall 18. Ukraine blocked a total of 13, Kovalenko alone had 6.
|Hungary celebrate their win|