|14 July 2011|
U20 European Championship
The first win of Germany arrived already on Day 1 of the U20 European Championship in Bilbao, Spain following a 72-68 victory over Ukraine.
Germany jumps to a 1-0 record in Group D tied with Lithuania who beat Italy earlier today.
Ukraine dropped to 0-1 and share the 3rd spot with Italy.
Patrick Heckmann led Germany with 22 points in 75% from the field, Mathis Monninghoff added 15 while Daniel Theis finished with 11 and 6 rebounds.
Germany connected 10 times from long distance, and Monninghoff was the main power behind that show with half of the shots in 62.5% accuracy.
Andriy Lebedintsev collected 18 for Ukraine, Oleksandr Lypovyy hit 16 and Olexandr Mishuia reached 14.
Monninghof started his shooting show in the first quarter already and together with Heckmann pushed the German team to an 18-6 lead after 6:32 minutes.
Lebedintsev scored a jumper to close the first quarter with Germany up 20-11 but saw Monninghof add his second three pointer and push the gap back to 10 after 16 minutes, 25-15.
Lypovyy showed he can do the same trick and Volodymyr Iegorov added a lay-up to score the last 5 points of the half and register a 30-23 score on the boards.
Germany scored the first point after the break, but couldn't connect from the field, as Ukraine finished a 1-10 run with a lay up by Dmytro Tykhonov and the score set on 31-28, yet that wasn't enough.
A team effort sent Germany on a 9-0 run that re-wrote a 12 point gap, 42-30 this time and soon enough Heckmann added one more bucket to extend the lead to 14.
It seemed like a done deal after Monninghoff scored his 4th three pointer and give Germany a 60-49 lead with 5:11 to play, but Ukraine wasn't about to give up yet.
Mishula scored 8 points in a row and Lypovyy added another three pointer that in 2 minutes made it just a 65-61 game.
Germany didn't lose their focus and went to the tools that worked well the entire game - Heckmann and Monninghoff, as the first attacked the rim and the later capped his three points show just in time, pushing the gap from a scary 1 to 70-66.
Ukraine entered the last minute down by just 2, but a series of turnovers and missed shots kept them from shocking Germany right before the buzzer.
Tomorrow Germany will face Italy and try to get their 2nd win, while Ukraine will take on Lithuania in the first game of Day 2 in Bilbao Arena.