Bronze Medal For Happy Hosts

12 July 2009

Sweden captured a bronze medal at the U18 European Championship Women on Sunday after pulling away late in the third quarter against the Czech Republic in Södertälje.

The tournament hosts, whose title dreams were ended by Spain in Saturday's semi-finals, prevailed 67-54.

Leading 40-35 with two minutes to go in the third quarter, the Swedes reeled of six unanswered points to take command.

The Czechs did manage to cut the deficit to 50-41 with 7:35 to go in the contest but Sweden outscored them 17-13 the rest of the way.

Binta Drammeh poured in nine of her game-high 19 points in the final quarter for Sweden.

"Binta really came up strong for us tonight," said Sweden's Farhiya Abdi, who contributed with 18. "She was very good on offense and defense.

"We put our defeat to Spain behind us and focused on this game and winning bronze and we achieved this."

Cleopatra Forsman-Goga finished with 14 but came up with five of Sweden's 13 steals and also blocked three shots.

Both teams started ice cold and produced the lowest scoring opening quarter of the tournament with the contest knotted at 7-7.

"My players had a nervous start," said the Czech Republic coach Romana Ptackova."We got back in the game but we made many mistakes when it mattered.

"Sweden have more experience and have great individual players.

"We are disappointed but it was a surprise for us to have gone so far in the tournament."

Sweden's Frida Fogdemark nailed her team's first attempt from long range at the start of the second frame as the hosts went on a 13-3 run for a 20-10 lead.

Alena Hanusova scored six straight points to spark the Czechs in a 12-4 run that cut the gap 24-22 with less than two minutes to go in the half.

10. Binta Drammeh (Sweden)
Binta Drammeh stunned the Czechs with her best performance of the tournament going for 19 pts and 7rbs

Sweden ended up going to the changing rooms with a 27-22 advantage, with Drammeh leading all scorers with 10 points that half-way mark.

The home fans then had to endure a nervous start to the third quarter when Abdi was forced to take a seat after picking up her third foul.

They kept their composure, though, and finished the tournament on a high by reaching the podium.

Abdi was only eight of 24 from the floor but did corrall 15 rebounds and dish out six assists.

However, she had seven of her team's 16 turnovers.

Sweden hit 18 of 45 (40%) attempts from inside the arc while the Czechs were 18 of 47.

The visitors were just one of eight from long range after two quarters and finished three of 19 (15.8%) while Sweden made six of 22.

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