|Radovan Kouril's re-injection into the game sparked the Czech Republic towards victory|
The Czech Republic stunned France to claim a 73-71 shock upset in the Second Round of the U18 European Championship in Latvia on Tuesday night.
The Czech Republic used an aggressive start to the final quarter to hold off a French team that came within two points late in the game, handing the French their first loss of the tournament.
Damien Inglis missed a three-point attempt with two seconds remaining that would have given France the win.
Aggressive and accurate from the start, the Czechs jumped out to momentum seizing second and third quarter leads, only to give up their grip on the game in the third term without the usual composure of floor general Radovan Kouril, who was being rested on the bench.
Kouril's return sparked the Czech Republic back into the game before a furious 10-4 start to the fourth quarter saw the team build a lead it would not again give up. His late game heroics, including a dagger three and an assist in the final 1:08, sealed the upset result.
Backup big man Prokop Slanina was sensational with 18 points and 10 rebounds while nimble guard Jiri Soula added 11 points.
Axel Bouteille topped France with 21 points.