by Dan Casey
|Paulius Zalys looks frustrated but Lithuania found the next gear to finish off Poland|
Lithuania beat Poland 85-78 to take control of the fight against relegation from U16 European Championship Men Division A.
Lithuania shot 51% from the field to edge past a tough Poland performance and Mikolaj Witlinksi's huge double-double (35 points, 13 rebounds).
Poland went on a 9-0 run in the second quarter, but Paulius Valinskas hit a three-pointer late in the half to cut the lead to seven, 45-38 to Poland at half-time.
Lithuania then responded with a 10-0 surge in the third quarter to take a 65-62 lead into the final period. Poland fought for victory in the fourth quarter, but a late sequence where Lithuania collected five offensive rebounds in one possession sealed the game.
Edvinas Seskus led the Lithuania team with a double-double (18 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds). Valinskas contributed 14 points, and Karolis Razukas added 12 points and 8 rebounds.
In Pardubice, Montenegro collected their first win of the competition with an 81-68 triumph over Bulgaria. Monetenegro were able to use a rebounding advantage (50-31) and a strong third quarter to power to victory.
Predrag Mijatovic put back an offensive rebound at the half-time buzzer to give Montenegro a 35-33 lead, and a 13-4 run in the third quarter was enough to keep Montenegro ahead for the rest of the contest.
Luka Savic top-scored for Montenegro with 22 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.
Milovan Draskovic added a double-double (10 points and 11 rebounds), and Stanko Latkovic contributed 12 points and 6 assists.
Vassil Stoimenov led Bulgaria with 19 points, and Aleksandar Vezenkov recorded a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds.