|Elena De Alfredo kept Spain alive with a jumper to force overtime but had to endure a Dutch win in extra time.|
by Björn-Lars Blank
The Netherlands didn't wait long to leave a mark in this year's U16 European Championship Women.
Right in the first game of Group C, the Dutch surprised reigning Champion Spain in dramatic fashion.Entering the overtime with 63 points each, the Netherlands outlasted Spain in the last two minutes of play, escaping with a 71-67 victory.
Kourtney Treffers had an incredible game, posting 26 points along with 12 rebounds. Her go ahead basket in the overtime (69-67) sent the Dutch right on the winning track. In very intense two minutes, both teams turned over the ball a couple of times, until Isabella Slim was able to convert a Spanish turnover into points for the Dutch. With 1:20 minutes remaining, the game was still everyone's to take. In a dramatic final minute no team managed to light up the scoreboard again. Finally, the Netherlands took the win and got the perfect start in this tournament.
In regulation, Elena de Alfredo of Spain sank a jumper with only two seconds remaining to tie the game and force the extra period. After leading for the most parts of the game, this huge shot kept the Spanish hopes for an opening win alive.
Over the course of the first three quarters Spain led the game. Irene Gari was very active in the opening minutes, scoring 12 points in the first quarter. Spain led by 22-14 at that point of the game. In the second and third quarter they held on to their solid lead. The Dutch fought back and tried to turn the game around. Entering the fourth quarter with a six point deficit, they rallied and tied the game just to be on the verge of victory seconds before the final buzzer. De Alfredo tied the game, but the Dutch recovered from that last second shock in overtime.