U18 WOMEN DIVISION B
|Belarus players celebrating their victory over Hungary in the Semi-Final|
England defeated Portugal 78-71 on Saturday to reach the Final of the U18 European Championship Women Division B in Strumica.
Waiting for them in the title game is Belarus, who won 67-63 over Hungary.
In the first Semi-Final, the Portuguese had a dream start and led 23-11 late in the first quarter but the English came back and took a 31-30 lead on a three-pointer by Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott.
Portugal went back in front by six, but a three-ball by Shequila Joseph cut the deficit to 37-34 by half-time.
The Portuguese looked as if they might win when going in front 64-58 with 7:00 to go after a jump shot by Ines Veiga.
The game was knotted at 68-68 when Janice Monakana made a driving lay-up for England with 1:42 left.
They finished the game on a 10-3 run for a seven-point win.
Belarus trailed 61-60 but Maryia Papova scored on a fast break, drilling a jump shot to spark a 7-0 run that put her team in front for good.
Papova had 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Both Belarus and England have now secured promotion to Division A.
Hungary and Portugal will go up against each other in the third place game on Sunday with the bronze medal and the remaining ticket to Division A awaiting the winner.
In Classification Round games, Switzerland won 53-46 over Scotland, F.Y.R. of Macedonia prevailed 72-62 over Norway, Bulgaria overcame Lithuania, 82-66, and Denmark defeated Germany, 78-71.
In Switzerland's win, Ljubica Cutunic finished with 23 poitns and nine rebounds.
Aleksandra Stojanovska poured in 22 points for F.Y.R. of Macedonia in their triumph and Iva Kostova had 30 points and nine rebounds for Bulgaria in their victory.