Golden Showing For USA Men's U16 Team
June 21, 2009 - Mendoza, Argentina
|The well-balanced USA team averaged a tournament-best 33.8 point margin of victory.|
Behind a game-high 26 points from Brad Beal (Chaminade College Prep H.S. / St. Louis, Mo.), the 2009 USA Basketball Men's U16 National Team (5-0) captured the gold medal at the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship after posting a 101-87 victory over host Argentina (4-1) on Sunday night in Mendoza, Argentina. In addition to Beal, who hit 7-of-14 from 3-point, the USA's victory was aided by 22 points from Quinn Cook (DeMatha H.S. / Bowie, Md.), James McAdoo (Norfolk Christian H.S. / Norfolk, Va.) scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, Johnny O'Bryant (Eastside H.S. / Cleveland, Miss.) had 10 boards and eight points and Adonis Thomas (Melrose H.S. / Cordova, Tenn.) nabbed 10 rebounds to go with six points.
Canada (3-2) defeated Venezuela (2-3) 106-81 to earn the bronze medal. With the Bronze, Canada captured FIBA Americas' third and final berth in the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship, which will be held next July (dates TBD) in Hamburg, Germany.
-First of all you have to give a lot of credit to Argentina," said USA head coach Don Showalter, head coach of Mid-Prairie High School (Iowa). -They came in a little undersized, but they've been though some very tough games. I would say you'll have to play 20 points better to beat them here on their own court.
-I've got to thank Kevin Sutton, Herman Harried, my assistant coaches were truly outstanding. We worked together as a team really well. It's a great experience to work with those two and I'm looking forward to working with them again next year. Secondly, I know the kids appreciate what USA Basketball, Jim Tooley, Sean Ford, B.J. Johnson, have done. They've really done a great job of providing these kids with a great experience. A gold medal is something that they'll remember forever."
-It was a great game," said Cook. -We both played hard, fighting hard. The crowd, the atmosphere was great, and we just pulled through. Came together as one, and fortunately we came out with the gold.
In a first quarter that saw five lead changes and four tied scores, the U.S. took the lead for good on Beal's first 3-pointer of the night that put the red, white and blue on top 19-16 at 2:10. That spurred a 9-3 spurt that was bookended with another Beal three and the North Americans closed the first quarter up 25-18.
The U.S., which had not used much zone defense in its first four games, zoned Argentina to start the second quarter and the strategy worked. Argentina hit a three to open the scoring, but after that the U.S. reeled off 11 unanswered points to take a 15-point cushion, 36-21, at 7:04 and closed the first half up 50-36.
-We mixed up our defenses and used a two-three zone or man-to-man, and it worked," said Beal. -They started taking bad shots, and we forced turnovers. That's what coach wanted us to do, was to outrebound them. We were more athletic, so we just had to use our athletic ability and our fundamentals, and we came out on top."
The second half started with an 8-0 U.S. run during the opening three minutes as Argentina was forced into three turnovers during that span. From there the teams traded baskets and with 3:19 Argentina trailed 67-47. In the closing minutes of the third, the U.S. held Argentina to a single field goal, while expanding its lead to 73-52.
Argentina nailed four threes and outscored the USA in the fourth quarter 35-28, but there was not enough time and the gap was too wide as the United States captured the gold medal with the 101-87 victory.
The USA outrebounded Argentina 57-26.
Luciano Massarelli scored a team-high 18 points off the bench for the silver medalists.
In today's classification games, Bahamas finished in seventh place with a 87-83 overtime victory over Mexico, while Brazil took fifth after downing Puerto Rico 82-79.
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.).
-I learned that there is a lot of good competition, everywhere, not just in the USA," added Cook. -It's in Argentina, it's in Brazil, it's in Venezuela. Wherever you go, you just want to represent your country well, and I feel as though we did an excellent job of that this past week."