|Alexia Chartereau and France will fight for fifth place and a ticket to next year's U17 World Championship for Women|
Turning Point: Ornella Bankole grabbed a huge offensive rebound in traffic with 4:18 remaining, converting to put France four ahead after Ivana Dojkic's three-pointer had cut the lead to two.
Game Hero: Bankole was fearless driving inside throughout the game, and her 19 rebounds were a huge factor in France's dominance on the boards.
Stats Don't Lie: Croatia shot 6-12 three-pointers in the first half and continued the long-range attack in the second half, taking 35 shots from outside in total. But Bankole and her teammates were able to control the defensive glass, claiming an overall 52-31 edge in securing victory.
France remained in contention to claim fifth place at the U16 European Championship Women and a spot at the 2014 U17 World Championship for Women by holding off Croatia for a 70-65 win.
The two sides enjoyed displaying their long-range shooting skills in the first half, with Ivana Dojkic setting the tone with two three-pointers as Croatia leaped out to a 12-5 start.
France came back with a 13-1 run to close the first period, as Fleur Afonso, Lisa Berkani and Alexia Chartereau connected from distance.
Chloe Mantelin and Camille Lenglet added three-pointers at the start of the second quarter as France's lead increased to 12, before Dora Goles and Josipa Silov replied from distance.
Ana Tadic showed finesse on a couple of moves in the lane to keep France ahead, but Iva Slonjsak scored on some aggressive drives to the basket before Dojkic profited from leaking out off a French miss to score a lay-up which cut France's lead to five, 37-32 at half-time.
Anita Kelava connected from the corner at the start of the second half and Slonjsak added two more long-distance efforts later in the third period, but Bankole converted on some tough drives to the hoop to ensure France stayed in front. In the final minute of the period, a broken possession wound up with Margot Bienvenu, who flipped in a jumper from the elbow to put France 57-49 ahead.
Bienvenu chased back to block Dojkic's lay-up, but Dojkic responded with consecutive three-pointers to bring the lead back to four points and force French coach Julien Egloff into calling timeout.
Tadic kicked out from the post to find Lenglet for another three, but Iva Belosevic's post defense was boosting her team, and she poked a pass away before a fast-break give-and-go with Slonjsak to cut the lead to three. Belosevic was then close to another steal, but the ball ended up with Aida Sow under the basket for a simple score.
Dojkic responded with another three and, after Bankole followed her huge offensive rebound with another tough drive, Dojkic was there again to convert for the fourth time in the quarter. Croatia were back within three with less than three minutes to go, but they couldn't get their final efforts to fall, and Chartereau sealed the victory from the free-throw line.
Dojkic ended with a game-high 25 points plus five steals and Slonjsak had a double-double with 15 points and 11 assists, but Bankole's 16 points and 19 rebounds led the French team. Lenglet, Chartereau and Berkani all ended with nine points, Berkani adding four steals.
France will take on Russia or Latvia on Sunday, with the winner joining the four semi-finalists from this tournament plus hosts Slovak Republic at the 2014 U17 World Championship for Women.