France Roll Over Serbia
France jumped out to an early lead and didn't look back on their way to an 89-57 win over Serbia at the U18 European Championship for Women.
Allison Vernerey had 19 points and 12 rebounds for Les Bleus who never trailed and already had a 30-17 advantage by the end of the first quarter.
The quick and assured start his team got off to proved to be the key, according to head coach Gregory Halin.
"We were very aggressive from the very beginning and we imposed our game, our style of play right away," he said afterwards.
And even though Serbia rarely put on a serious run to threaten the rest of the way, Halin made sure his players didn't get too relaxed and played to the best of their ability throughout.
"Even though we were ahead, in these games, you never know what can happen. So you have to make sure you're in control. There are no easy games. The score might suggest it was easy, but it's not always the case."
France did make it look easy as Verney had nine points and six rebounds in the first quarter. And even when the captain was on the bench, there was no drop-off in play as Diandra Tchatchouang, Pauline Thizy and Laurie Datchy took over the scoring duties.
France led 53-31 at the half and shot a blistering 63.6 per cent over the first two quarters, compared to only 37.5 for Serbia.
Things didn't improve for the Serbians after the break as Tchatchouang made sure France didn't come out too relaxed and scored the first five points of the third quarter.
Vernerey then made a fastbreak lay up as the lead ballooned to 32 before Zoran Kovacic's girls discovered some of their shooting touch and cut the lead back to the low 20s.
Tchatchouang finished with 17 points and both Thizy and Datchy had 12.
Tina Jovanovic had 11 to lead the way for Serbia.