|Hanna Kalenta led Belarus in a hard-fought Group C opening night victory over Latvia with 18 points|
Belarus claimed a 68-67 win over Latvia and England edged hosts F.Y.R. of Macedonia, 57-53, in the closest games on the opening day of the U18 European Championship for Women Division B, both in Group C.
Three teams are gunning for promotion in Strumica.
Belarus got off to a great start with Hanna Kalenta pouring in 18 points.
They led by as many as nine in the final quarter but Latvia refused to go away and closed the gap to 68-67 on a three-pointer from Ilze Jakobsone.
Jakobsone then had a chance to give her team victory but missed a jumper with two seconds to go.
Ruta Veidere and Renate Reine had 15 points apiece for Latvia.
Veidere also grabbed 13 rebounds.
England blew a 35-15 lead late in the first half with FYR of Macedonia coming back to go on top 50-45.
But two free-throws by Cheridene Green, who had a team-high 12 points, snapped a 50-50 tie for England and they claimed a four-point win.
In Group A, Portugal won 60-45 over Austria after getting 14 points from Laura Ferreira.
The Portuguese had a dream start, outscoring Austria 17-6 in the first frame.
Hungary were 68-55 winners over Israel.
Amadea Szamosi had 24 points for the Hungarians.
Bulgaria were convincing 67-41 winners over Norway in Group B.
Iva Kostova had 23 points, eight rebounds and six steals for the Bulgarians.
Finland had a fast start and blew away Switzerland, 71-42, in the other Group B encounter.
The Finns, who got 13 points from Kaisa Kuisma, opened up a 21-9 lead by the end of the first quarter and kept the pressure on the rest of the way.
In Group D, Germany romped to an 80-32 victory over Scotland after taking a 17-5 lead by the end of the first quarter.
The advantage at half-time was 47-19.
Lithuania are celebrating a 76-60 triumph over Montenegro.
Justina Kraujunaite and Greta Tamasauskaite poured in 14 points apiece for the Baltic side, who broke open a close game in the fourth quarter when they poured in 25 points to just 13 for Montenegro.