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Russia roll, Italy bounce hosts

09 August 2008

Russia were the latest team to join the Qualifying Round of the Termosteps U16 European Championship Women on Saturday with a hard-fought 61-35 victory over Germany to remain perfect Group D.

Italy took a big step to advancing to the second group stage as Gaia Gorini's 19 points paced three players in double figures in Italy's 71-58 win against hosts Poland in Group C.

Gorini added nine rebounds while Alessandra Formica collected 14 points and 11 rebounds and Irene Cigliani chipped in 17 points for Giovanni Lucchesi's team, which improved to 2-0.

Poland dropped to 1-1 in the group despite 18 points from Monika Jasnowska while Ramona Cossengue Casimiro added 13 points in a losing effort.

Formica tallied six points as Italy jumped ahead 8-0. But the hosts knotted the game at 9-9 on Dorota Mistygacz's foul shots. Lucchesi's girls rebounded and Virginia Galbiati's triple gave Italy a 19-13 lead after one period. Gorini opened the second quarter with a three-point play and Cigliani knocked down two long balls to keep Italy ahead 28-24. Cigliani drained another three-ball and Formica tallied six points as Italy closed the half on a 13-1 run for a 41-25 cushion at the break.

Cigliani pushed the lead to 20 points shortly after intermission - 45-25. Jasnowska and Casimiro both knocked down three-pointers as Poland tried to get back into the game, trailing 45-33. But Gorini scored seven points in re-establishing a 55-37 cushion, which was 55-42 after three periods. Clara Salvini increased the lead to 17 points early in the fourth and Poland did not have enough firepower to go along with Jasnowska, who scored eight points in the final period.

Russia booked their spot in the Qualifying Round as Svetlana Efimova and Yulia Stepanova each scored 17 points, and Tatiana Makarycheva's defense held Germany to 22 percent shooting for the game.

Finja Schaake (Germany)
Finja Schaake (Germany)
Germany fell to 0-2 as their defense was not strong enough to hold down the mighty Russians. Christina Schnorr was Germany's top scorer with nine points.

The game was just five seconds old when Russia's leading scorer Yana Matveeva went down with a right knee injury and was forced to watch the rest of the contest from the end of the Russian bench. The first quarter was a real defensive struggle as Germany led 2-1 after five minutes. Efimova was Makarychev's main offensive weapon and scored six points but saw Germany lead 10-8 after one period. Other players got into the scoring column for Russia but it was Efimova's three-ball which opened a 21-17 lead. Schnorr answered with a triple of her own but Ekaterina Fedorenkova's trey sent the Russians into the locker-room ahead 26-20.

Stepanova hit back-to-back baskets as Russia scored the first six points of the second half to push the advantage to 32-20. Daniela Vogel's three-pointer trimmed the deficit back down to 34-27 only to see Stepanova knock down a trey of her own starting a 9-0 run, giving Russia a 43-27 lead going into the fourth quarter. Maerz's team did not have the scorers to get Germany back into the game and Russia increased the lead to 26 points.

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