Slovaks Sent To First Loss
The Ukraine sent the Slovak Republic to their first loss 80-64 in the U18 European Championship for Women.
Ol'Ha Maznichenko had a monster performance with 32 points and 11 rebounds for Ukraine who also got huge games from Kateryna Dorogobuzova (27 points, 21 of which came before the break) and Olesya Malashenko (21 points and 19 rebounds).
Dorgobuzova said afterwards that while it was great to get the win, the way her team ended the game left much to be desired.
"We played well in the first three quarters and looked headed for a comfortable win and then we just did so badly in the fourth quarter."
The Ukraine felt the full force of the Czech's Republic full-court press defense and turned the ball 15 times in the final frame.
"We didn't have enough players who could dribble the ball up the court and we kept getting double teamed. We have to work on that before the next game," Dorgobuzova added.
That effectiveness at the defensive end of the court encouraged the hosts at the other as they used a 10-2 run to close within 14, 68-54, on Veronika Cernakova's three-pointer with just under seven minutes left in the game.
But Ukraine had built a sizeable enough lead in the first half to hold them off - even though they were by far the lesser of the two teams in the final period, getting outscored 23-14.
Dorogobuzova displayed the full extent of her offensive arsenal in the first two quarters, scoring at will in the paint, from mid-range and beyond the arc.
She also got a lot of help from Maznichencko and Malashenko, who took over the scoring duties in the second half.
The hosts struggled mightily in the opening period but improved in the second quarter, with Cernakova and Natalie Spodniakova breathing a little life into their offense, but again fell into a slump after the break as Ukraine's lead quickly climbed into the 20's.
Cernakova had 18 points and Klaudia Lukacovicova added 14 and seven rebounds.