2015 U16 European Championship, Quarterfinals set

2015 U16 European ChampionshipThe Quarterfinals of the 2015 U16 European Championship are locked after Groups E and F finished on Wednesday in Kaunas, Lithuania. France, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Spain, Finland, Turkey, Lithuania, and Serbia are the teams who will now contest the last 8.

Germany eased past Greece in Group E to consign the Greek’s to the bottom of the table without a win. Turkey downed tournament hosts Lithuania to rubber stamp its own progression, while Spain eased past England in the other contest in Group E. Serbia made it four consecutive victories by seeing off Montenegro in Group F and joined a French team that blitzed Finland as winners on Tuesday. The other nation celebrating on Wednesday was Bosnia and Herzegovina with a big scoring effort resulting in victory.

Group A

Germany vs. Greece, 77-59
Greece ended the Second Stage at the 2015 U16 European Championship without a victory after slumping against Germany, with the Germans cementing their position in the Quarterfinals. The Greeks stuck with Germany through twenty minutes, leading by a single point (34-33), but in the second half the wheels came off the Greece attack. Germany scored 13 unanswered points to open the third quarter, a 15-0 run spanning two frames, and from there never looked back. Germany doubled Greece in terms of points in the paint (36 to 18 points) and rebounds (48 to 24) on the way to securing victory.

Lithuania vs. Turkey, 64-67
There may be some worries in the Lithuanian camp as the hosts fell to second consecutive defeat. The home team is through to the next round, but goes to the last eight in poor shape and will need to improve. Turkey also punched its ticket to the Quarterfinals with this narrow win, with the winners building the victory from a huge 7-19 first quarter. Lithuania had fought back with a downtown flurry in the fourth, but with 15 seconds remaining Turkey made a four point play to see it through. Ahmet Duran was hot for Turkey with 13 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks and three steals while Onuralp Bitim went for 15 points and 11 boards.

Spain vs. England, 75-64
After picking up its first win in the last game, England came crashing back down to earth as Spain put them to the sword. Spain are still in the hunt for the gold, while England will now step down to classification games. Spain’s strength in depth told throughout the game, while the eventual winners dominated in the paint and scored 56 points there, compared to 36 for England. Spain led by 15 points through halftime (40-25), but England worked hard in the third to make it an 8 points game. However, Spain went again with an 8-0 run that put the game to bed once and for all.

Group B

Montenegro vs. Serbia, 64-78
Serbia started the 2015 U16 European Championship slow, losing the opening two games. Since then the country has found its stride and reeled off four consecutive wins, including this comeback victory over Montenegro. The score was 57-50 in favour of Montenegro through the final split, but Serbia found another gear in the fourth act, closing the game with an 18-2 run in a 28-7 winning fourth quarter. Serbia built that big winning run in the final stanza with spectacular free throw shooting, hitting 14 out of 15 attempts from the charity strip.

France vs. Finland, 57-38
Finland slipped to its first defeat, worryingly getting demolished by France as both teams head to the Quarterfinals. Are the Finnish running out of steam after an explosive start to the competition? It’s an interesting thought and one Lithuania will be exploring further when the teams meet in the next round. France looked good in organizing attack and 14 assists helped Les Bleus dictate play in offensive areas and a 16-4 first quarter sent the French on the course to victory. The winners could even afford to get crushed 5-12 in the third act before closing the game in the fourth frame.

Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Croatia, 86-59
After bouncing back in the last round, Bosnia and Herzegovina continued to push its scoring prowess with a healthy win over Croatia. The Bosnians progress after an impressive and hungry display in which they stole the ball 18 times and helped themselves to 24 points on the break. Croatia could not keep up as their opponents opened an 11-6 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, winning big through thirty minutes before easing through the fourth quarter to win.

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