|Ondaye Elenga France)|
A majestic first-half performance and some stunning perimeter shooting by Marine Johannes carried France to a 71-55 success against Italy and into the Second Round of the U18 European Championship Women in Vukovar.
Johannes dropped five scores from behind the three-point line on her way to 19 points and with Ondaye Elenga cleaning up on the glass with 15 rebounds, it proved to be a long night for Italy.
Les Bleues were on-song as soon as the game ball was thrown up and threatened to blowout their shell-shocked opponents completely with a stirring first 20 minutes.
They outscored Italy 10-2 at the end of the first quarter to build a double-digit lead and that set the tone for what was to follow.
A superb 12-0 run in the second period promptly left Italy reeling and 40-17 behind, something that always looked insurmountable taking into account the tough defence of the French team.
The Italians did enough to slow France down and briefly threaten to launch a recovery effort in the second half, but it was too little too late.
Francesca Gambarini top scored for Italy with 13 points but none of her teammates could join her in double-digits.