France Rout Poland To Reach Last Four

U18 Women

France displayed a fast, physical game to beat Poland, 81-54, and advance to the semi-finals of the Global Vision U18 European Championship Women.

The Polish team had already overachieved in this tournament and they couldn't do much in front of one of the big favorites for the gold medal.

The French set the pace of the game right from the start, and had nine points on the fast break just in the first quarter.

The presence of Christelle Diallo inside the paint was huge as she finished the first ten minutes with eight points, three rebounds and two assists.

The Polish defensive systems were unlocked on almost every possession by their opponents, and after the first quarter France were leading 29-16.

In the second quarter it was Jodie Cornelie who picked up the game from the hands of Diallo, and the forcing continued.

In the end, the two centers of 'Les Bleues' totaled 28 points and 12 rebounds.

"We had a good defensive effort, played like a team and we are only thinking about the gold medal. We want to be champions," said Cornelie after the game.

The French team dominated the encounter under the two baskets, finishing with 44 rebounds, to only 31 of Poland, who had only 11 rebounds in the first 20 minutes of the game.

Adam Zieminski's team was forced to many desperate shot attempts, in the final seconds on the shot-clock and they finished with 33.3 percent shooting from the floor.

Dominika Owczarzak led the Polish team on offense with 14 points, helped by Monika Skrzecz with 11 points, nine of them from beyond the arc, on 3-for-6 shooting.

After winning the second and the third quarter with the same score, 20-13, the French players relaxed in the last period of the game that ended 12-12.

"We played Poland in friendly games, before this tournament, and we knew that we could easily win the game. But I had to put some pressure on my players, because in this youth category sometimes they lose their focus. You could see that in the final part of the game. The strategy worked, we played a good game after all, and we are waiting for the semi-final," said Arnaud Guppillotte, head coach of France.


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