US Repeats as U17 World Champions for Women

Diamond DeShields hauls in a defensive rebound against Spain. Photo courtesy: FIBA

Spain played to the closest margin anyone has in the U17 World Championships for Women in Amsterdam, but 13-points is a substantial win in the finals of a World Championship tournament. Four players for the US scored in double figures as last years champs repeated the task, going undefeated throughout the tournament, culminating in a 75-62 victory to claim their Gold Medals.
The Americans ran off 11 unanswered points to open the championship game, before Leticia Romero got Spain on the board with two in the paint after 4:11 played. Spain got to within seven, at 15-8, but then the US scored another seven unanswered, five by team leader Diamond DeShields, to close out the first quarter with a sizable 22-8 margin.
To get the second quarter started, the US went on another run, this time 10-1, behind two three-point plays by Taya Reimer. With the Americans up by 23, 34-11, Yaiza Rodriquez got Spain on track with the three-ball. Ariadna Pujol followed-up with two free throws for Spain and then a triple of her own to cut the lead to 15, 34-19. Maria Arrojo dropped in two free throws and Marina Lizarazu took advantage of a DeShields turnover and nailed a three-pointer of her own, cutting the deficit to 10, 34-24 with 4:06 in the half. Lizarazu wasn’t finished though, she connected on two more from the charity stripe, cutting the lead to eight, 34-26 with 3:07 on the clock and capping a 15-0 run. Rebecca Greenwell stopped the drought for the US with a jumper, then Linnae Harper went to the hole on consecutive trips down the floor to push the lead back to 14 with 1:18 to play in the half. Romero scored two in the paint for Spain with 49 left and Rodriquez capitalized on a Harper turnover to can a three, cut the lead back to nine, 40-31, and close out scoring in the half.

Maria Arrojo drives the baseline against the US. Photo courtesy: FIBA

Once again, the US mounted a scoring run to open the quarter, tallying up 14 unanswered points, eight free throws and six by pounding the ball inside. By the time Pujol got Spain’s first points of the second half, the score sat at 54-31, a 23-point advantage. Not to be denied their opportunity to mount their own drive, the Spaniards went on a 17-4 run to close out the third quarter and bring the deficit back to 10, 58-48. Lizarazu dropped in two more threes during the run.
After trading baskets, Lindsay Allen drained back-to-back three-pointers for the US to extend the lead to 16, 66-50. Shortly after, Allen dropped in another three to put the US up by 19. Judith Sole got four in the paint to go along with four from Lizarazu in final minutes to outscore the US 10-2, but it wasn’t enough and the squad from the USA earned their second consecutive U17 World Championships for Women on a 16-0 record over the two tournaments.
The US had a balanced scoring attack with three players contributing 13 points a piece, Allen, Greenwell, and DeShields. Reimer also scored 12 in the win for the Americans.
Lizarazu ended with 19 points, Pujol added 10 for Spain.


  1. Jayman on August 27, 2012 at 10:02

    By FAR the best team in the tournement!

    • SRN on August 27, 2012 at 10:56

      As expected they won this tournAment (again).

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