Diandra Tchatchouang led a balanced scoring attack with 13 points as France hammered Ukraine 60-48 in Group A action of the Termosteps U16 European Championship Women in Kosice on Saturday.
The French, beaten in last year's final by Spain, clinched their second win in as many games.
|Diandra Tchatchouang (France)|
Jerome Fournier's team took a 19-9 lead late in the first quarter on Myriam Igoufe's three-pointer, but Kateryna Dorogobuzova split two free throws to pull Ukraine back to 19-15.
France then went on a 16-3 run for a 35-18 lead midway through the second quarter and appeared set to blow out their opponents.
Ukraine came charging back with a 9-0 surge of their own to trail 35-27 but France scored the last seven points of the first half for a commanding 42-27 advantage and the result was never in doubt again.
Myriam Igoufe had 11 points and Allison Vernerey 10 for France, while Ukraine's Nataliya Havrylyuk led all scorers with 21 points.
Also in Group A, Croatia defeated Greece 56-51 for their first victory.
Croatia appeared to be control but had to survive a nervous final minute after Niki-Maria Tsakiridou, who poured in a game-high 17 points, scored on a lay-up to make it 54-51 with 21 seconds to lay.
Greece fouled Paula Raguz and she missed a pair of free throws.
Angeliki Nikolopoulou took a potential game-tying three-pointer with eight seconds remaining and missed, and Tomica Bacic rebounded for Croatia.
Greece put Raguz back on the line and this time, the 1.75m guard made both to seal the victory.
For the Croatians, Raguz and Anja Skara each had 13 points and Tomica Bacic weighed in with 11.