|Ornella Bankole and France have sealed their spot in the second round of the championship|
France were made to work by the Slovak Republic but finished well to triumph 57-42 and grab their second win in Group D of the U16 European Championship Women.
It looked as if victory would be straightforward for the French team as they raced to a 12-0 lead, holding their opponents scoreless for the first six minutes behind a strong zone defense.
Ornella Bankole capped the great start with a tough drive to the basket, but their opponents roared back with a 14-0 burst of their own to change the complexion of the game.
The run was finally broken as Alexia Chartereau hit a three-pointer, and the teams remained close through to the final quarter.
Through nervy opening exchanges in the last period, defense was on top and neither team scored until Lisa Berkani leaped for an impressive steal which she took to the other end for a lay-up.
Ana Tadic followed with a strong inside move and Camille Lenglet's three-pointer extended the lead to a point where the Slovakian team could not come back from.
Chartereau ended with 14 points and Berkani and Bankole both added 13 points, with Bankole contributing 11 rebounds, three steals and three assists also.
Veronika Remenarova had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Slovak Republic, who will need to beat neighbours Czech Republic on Saturday to keep their hopes alive.