|22 July 2010|
Greece had a great start in the OMNITEL U18 European Championship by outscoring Germany 65-55 in Group D's closing game at the Lietuvos Rytas Arena in Vilnius, Lithuania on Thursday night.
Both sides knew it's going to be a tough game, and very few teams know how to win a tough game better than Greece.
The 10 point difference doesn't tell the story of the game as for 35 minutes the teams were neck-to-neck with each other, until Spyridon Motsenigos scored 5 points in a row in 34 seconds to create a 9 point gap down the stretch, Germany couldn't handle.
Motsenigos starred for Greece with 18 points including 4 hits from the arc while Sokratis Psaropoulos added 14.
Germany saw Patrick Heckmann reach 20 points while big guy Philipp Neumann added 11 points and 8 rebounds.
The first quarter exampled the final outcome as both teams combined only 17 points in the first 7 minutes, as Germany held a 7-10 lead.
Psaropoulos scored half of his points already in the first quarter, the last of them beyond the arc, set Greece as the leader after 10 minutes, 14-12.
The same Psaropoulos added another bucket, but Heckmann and Neumann were aggressive around the rim, combined points and soon Germany took over the lead again, 21-24.
Greece answered with an 8-0 blitz in 70 seconds, and held on to the momentum to take a 31-27 margin at the break.
Linos Chrysikopoulos stepped up in the 3rd to create a 9 point gap for his team after 25 minutes, but Germany used power from the bench to answer with a 1-10 run and tie the score quickly.
Despite the great fight Germany never managed to create a steady lead, while Greece took over, and held a small but consistent difference, entering the last 4 minutes with a 55-51 score, only to see Motsenigos step up and with 5 points in a row push the gap to 9 and decide the game.