Sweden's youth program appears ready for another solid showing at the Termosteps U16 European Championship Women after knocking off Czech Republic 74-61 in their Group B opener.
Sandra Hasahya Ngoie made five three-pointers in scoring 22 points while Farhiya Abdi collected 15 points and 10 rebounds for Peter Johansson's team.
Amanda Zahui tallied 15 points for the winners, and Salome Kabengano had 10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists but also 13 turnovers. The Swedes overcame 29 turnovers total - mainly by out-rebounding the Czechs 42-27.
Richard Fousek's Czech Republic was paced by 20 points from Karolína Elhotová and 15 by Jana Hausknechtová.
|Salome Kabengano (Sweden) had 10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists|
Kabengano pushed the advantage to 10 points straight away in the third period and three-pointers by Hausknechtová and Elhotová kept Sweden from pulling away further, even trimming the margin to 45-39. Hasahya Ngoie, however, drained two triples as the gap grew to 57-45 after three periods.
The Czechs would fight back once again and Elhotová's next trey made it 61-57 with six minutes left. But Sweden's defense forced four turnovers over the next four minutes and another three-ball by Hasahya Ngoie helped increase the lead to 74-61 with two minutes remaining, deciding the game.
Hosts Poland meanwhile started their Termosteps U16 European Championship Women in fine fashion, streaking past Hungary 70-46 in Group C.
Dorota Mistygacz led the way for Poland with 12 points,10 rebounds and four blocked shots while Magdalena Zietara had 13 points and Ramona Cossengue Casimiro added 12.
Andrzej Curyl's team held Hungary to a paltry 22 percent shooting from the floor while forcing 29 turnovers with their pressure defense.
Hungary were paced by Bettina Baksa with 14 points and Melinda Késöi with 12.
The game started back and forth with four lead changes and three games tied in the first quarter, which ended with Poland ahead 17-14 thanks to late three-pointers from Casimiro and Mistygacz. Poland began taking over in the second quarter, showing their class against a Hungarian side that scored just eight points in the period including two three-balls by Baksa. But Monika Jasnowska's trey completed a 9-0 run to finish the half ahead 41-22.
Poland came out strong straight away in the second half to retain the momentum of the game and used an 8-2 run for a 25-point game - 49-24. Késöi's three-pointer cut the deficit back to 49-29 but it was again at 28 points just minutes later and 57-32 going into the fourth. And Judit Balogh's Hungarians could not mount a comeback at all in the fourth quarter, not getting closer than 24 points the rest of the way.