U.S. Women's Youth Olympic Games Team Brings Home Bronze; Men Finish Fourth
Women Rebound To Beat Canada; Greece Grounds Men
Colorado Springs, Colo. • August 23, 2010
The U.S. Women’s Youth Olympic Games Team, a day after being upset by Australia in the semifinals, channeled the residual disappointment to earn a bronze medal in the first-ever Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.
Briyona Canty (Trenton Catholic Academy/Willingboro, N.J.) scored a game-high 15 points and Kiah Stokes (Linn-Mar H.S./Marion, Iowa) added 10 to lead the U.S. women (6-1) to a 34-16 victory over Canada (4-3) for the inaugural tournament’s bronze medal on Monday.
And despite 15 points from Sterling Gibbs (Seton Hall Prep/Scotch Plains, N.J.) and 10 points from Brandan Kearney (Detroit Southeastern H.S./Detroit, Mich.), the U.S. men fell to Greece (5-2), 34-25, in their bronze-medal game on Monday to finish fourth.
“We let one slip away, but we wanted to show that we were in control of what was going to happen,” said U.S. women’s head coach Kathy Richey-Walton (Southwest DeKalb H.S., Ga.). “So we wanted to be confident, regroup and get it done.
“We talked about how they wanted to show their character. Obviously, (bronze) is not what we wanted, but to be able to refocus and get something out of it shows a lot of character. They could have easily folded and let this slip away. But they didn’t, and I’m proud of them.”
“Well, first of all, it was a great experience for me as a coach, and I think overall a great experience for the kids,” said U.S. men’s head coach Eric Flannery (St. Edward H.S., Ohio). “Obviously, it didn’t work out the way we wanted it to, but I’ve been saying all along that this is the nature of this game. If you don’t come ready to play and if you’re not into it for the full amount of time, it’s tough to win.
“Tonight, Greece made some shots. I thought we got lax on a couple possessions, and all of a sudden we’re down a few baskets, and that’s all it takes in this game. Overall, I’m proud of our guys for the way they acted and handled themselves on and off the floor. That’s what his is really about.”
After dropping a 25-23 decision to Australia, which lost to China in the gold medal game, in the semifinals on Sunday, the U.S. women responded to hold Canada to just 4-of-23 shooting while forcing 11 turnovers.
Andraya Carter (Buford H.S./Flowery Branch, Ga.) added seven points, five rebounds and two assists for the U.S., while Amber Henson (Sickles H.S./Tampa, Fla.) had two points, five rebounds and two assists.
Despite the loss, the U.S. women averaged a 20-point margin of victory over their seven games. Stokes led the U.S. in scoring with 12.3 points per game, while Henson averaged 8.7 points per game. Carter averaged 5.4 points and 2.4 assists per game, and Canty averaged 5.1 points and a team-leading 3.7 assists per game.
2010 Youth Olympic Games
Scheduled to take place every four years, the inaugural Youth Olympic Games men's and women's 3-on-3 basketball competition will feature a total of 40 teams from 38 different countries.
The basketball competition will be played on a half-court in two, five-minute periods. The first team to score 33 points, or the team with the most points at the end of regulation, wins. Each team operates with a 10-second shot clock, and the ball must be brought out behind the 3-point line to score. The player who first gets the ball over the 3-point line, though, has to make one additional pass before a basket can count.
The Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games are expected to include as many as 5,000 athletes and officials participating from 205 National Olympic Committees (NOCs), along with an estimated 1,200 media representatives, 20,000 local and international volunteers and more than 500,000 spectators. Athletes 14 to 18 years old are eligible to compete in 26 sports and take part in cultural and educational programs.