USA Men's U16 National Team Cruises Past Canada 126-78 In Semifinals
-- Six Players Record Double-Digit Scoring Games As U.S. Advances To Gold Medal Game --
June 20, 2009 - Mendoza, Argentina
|Quinn Cook has been a steady leader for the USA team.|
Six players scored in double digits, with two recording double-doubles, to help the 2009 USA Basketball Men's U16 National Team (4-0) cruise past Canada (2-2) 126-78 and advance to the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship gold medal game on Saturday night in Mendoza, Argentina. The U.S. traveled to Argentina with two goals: qualify for the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship and win a gold medal. The first goal was clinched with tonight's victory. The United States will face host and also unbeaten Argentina (4-0) on Sunday night (5:00 p.m. EDT) in the championship game in hopes of achieving its ultimate goal of bringing home the gold.
In yet another balanced team effort, every player scored and James McAdoo (Norfolk Christian H.S. / Norfolk, Va.) led the way with 19 points, 11 rebounds, three blocked shots, three assists and two steals. Adonis Thomas (Melrose H.S. / Cordova, Tenn.) also netted 19 points, Brad Beal (Chaminade College Prep H.S. / St. Louis, Mo.) scored 18 and pulled down seven boards, Quinn Cook (DeMatha H.S. / Bowie, Md.) had 15 points and was credited with five assists, Tony Parker (Miller Grove H.S. / Lithonia, Ga.) came off the bench for 12 points and seven rebounds, while Johnny O'Bryant (Eastside H.S. / Cleveland, Miss.) posted 10 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.
-If you look at the stats we had 17 assists and only nine turnovers. That's pretty good," said USA head coach Don Showalter, head coach of Mid-Prairie High School (Iowa). -Our goal is to have at least one assist for every turnover, so that's pretty good. Quinn (Cook) had five assists, Sterling (Gibbs) had three assists, James McAdoo had three assists. We're distributing the ball pretty well. By the same token, we're making shots. You don't get assists unless you're making shots.
-Obviously Argentina, playing on their own court in the gold medal game, is going to be good. They're going to press. They're going to make about five or six passes, reverse the ball well and get an open three or an inside basket. They're pretty disciplined. We hope we can use some of our athletic ability to take some of that away from them."
The U.S. scored first, led from wire to wire and held a 35-21 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The team continued to pull away and with 2:13 remaining before half, seemed to have the game well in hand, 55-37. However, Canada, which shot 9-of-16 from 3-point in the first half, hit a three with two minutes remaining to spark its offense. That was the first three points in an 11-2 run that was capped with a Canadian bucket right before the buzzer and the USA's lead was cut to nine points, 57-48.
-We had a good talk at halftime," said Thomas. -The coaches got on us about being leaders, coming out and playing aggressive and staying aggressive. We just played team ball, played team defense and stuck together."
The USA returned to the court focused and ready to play a much better second half. It's defense held Canada to a single field goal during all but the final 12 seconds of the third quarter and forced Canada into shooting just 3-of-17 from the field, including 0-of-6 from 3-point. Canada coughed up the ball six times during the period, which saw the USA's neighbors to the north go 4-of-8 from the line. The red, white and blue matched its defensive intensity with an offensive showing that produced five assists and only two turnovers, while shooting 13-of-24 from the floor, 4-of-11 from beyond the arc. Canada managed a pair of baskets to close the final seconds of the period, but by then the game was well in hand, 89-58.
-It seemed like we were all on the same page (in the third quarter)," said McAdoo, who had six points, a steal and an assist during that span. -We went in with the mindset that we needed to buckle down and get stops. That's what we did. In about the first four minutes we went out there and punched it and they never punched back. We just held the pedal to the medal and increased the lead."
The fourth quarter saw the U.S. outscore Canada 37-20 for its 48-point margin of victory.
The USA finished the game shooting 49.1 percent (52-106 FGs) from the field, 31.0 percent (13-42 3pt FGs) from 3-point and winning the battle on the glass for the fourth straight game with a 61-33 margin. The U.S. also dished out 17 assists and had just nine turnovers.
Canada had five players score in double digits and was led by Nicholas Staukas, who came off the bench for 21.
Argentina earned its berth to the '10 U17 Worlds by virtue of a 66-58 victory over Venezuela (2-2). Canada and Venezuela will clash in the bronze medal game for the third and final FIBA Americas berth in the U17 Worlds, which will be held next July (dates TBD) in Hamburg, Germany.
In today's classification games, Puerto Rico (2-2) downed the Bahamas (0-4) 82-74 and Brazil (1-3) clipped Mexico (1-3) 83-80 in overtime. Puerto Rico and Brazil will face each other for fifth place on Sunday, while the Bahamas and Mexico meet up in the seventh place game.
Showalter is being assisted in 2009 and 2010 by Herman Harried, head coach Lake Clifton High School (Md.), and Kevin Sutton, head coach at Montverde Academy (Fla.).
The eight-team tournament in 2009 features U16 national teams from the FIBA Americas Zone, which includes North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. The top three finishing nations at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship will qualify to compete in the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship (July TBD / Hamburg, Germany), against U17 national teams from around the globe.