Nordic Championships 2014 Day one Report
Sweden 72-29 Norway
Iceland 41-77 Estonia
Finland 59-47 Denmark
A good first day of action from SolnaHallen where I spent the day observing the u18 games.
Sweden look composed against an under power Norway team. They returned their stellar players that featured strongly in the Baltic Sea Basketball Cup 2014 in Tallinn. Their physical dominance both inside out (active posts players!) and patient offence was too much for Norway who only scored one field goal in the first qtr. At the half with a 41-9 lead I am sure Coach Ericsson gave the obligatory lets not switch off team talk…. Ah well. Norway found some confidence with shots that they were not able to create in the first half and quickly doubled their score. 50-20 as we started the 4th, Sweden kept the score board ticking over but the game had all but fizzled out, final score 72-29. Not often you have an International game where all 12 players score and not a single Swedish player got more than 18 minutes, maybe there’s a lot more to come!?
(Semen 13, Lundquist 10, Ljunggren 10)
My first time seeing Iceland did not disappoint…
The team that went on the rampage in the Division C European Championship back in 2012 have got a balanced scoring effort that matched Estonia play for play in the first 5 minutes. Estonia led by the ever impressive Lass then jumped out to a 21-12 lead as she had 8 pts, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 assists in the first 10 minutes of action!, She was well supported throughout the game, especially by the hard working Roosalsu. B.Hinriksdoittir came back in the game in the 2 qtr and a zone press rattled Estonia who gave away too many cheap baskets off turnovers. Still holding onto a 34-27 lead at the start of the 2nd half the game ebbed and flowed in either direction but a critical moment came in the game where both Hinkriksdoittir sisters had to sit with temporary injuries and Estonia stole the moment. Final score 77-41.
( EST Lass 25, Roosalu 18)
Finland and Denmark, what a game! It could have been… Denmark missing a couple of their u16 stars from last summer’s great campaign and the refs seemed intent on letting us hear their whistle. The first qtr was a bizarre affair with neither team able to get in to any rhythm. Ultimately Finland shot the ball better by creating better chances around the basket. Menna and Koskinen combined for 16 having only played a collective 20 minutes in the first half. Pehadzic showed glimmers of last summer’s form offensively but Finland where able to really focus on stopping her get hot in the first half. Finland rotated players at the Guard spot and secured some stability both in the half court and in transition. Extending their lead throughout the whole of the third qtr it was up to 5-30 as we headed into the 4th. You have to credit Finland’s defense, they never give you anything cheaply, harassing the ball handler and jamming passing lanes right up to half court. No team should expect to get anything for free from them during this summer’s campaign. Denmark rested some of the regulars in the final qtr and Adika showed her athleticism could case people problems, the aptly names Iversen hit a couple of nice jump shots to give Denmark hope and bring it back to 11 point game with 5 mins to go. In the end the depth of Finland’s bench lasted the game and gave them the edge. Final score 59-47