U.S. Youth Olympic Games Teams Both Advance To Medal Quarterfinals
U.S. Men Edge Central African Republic, 32-28; U.S. Women Beat Belarus, 33-5
Colorado Springs, Colo. • August 19, 2010
The results for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Youth Olympic Games Teams were the same in Singapore on Thursday, even if the details were different.
Each team won, finished 4-0 in its preliminary round pool and advanced to the tournament’s medal quarterfinals. While the U.S. women, led by 17 points from Kiah Stokes (Linn-Mar H.S./Marion, Iowa), dominated Belarus in a 33-5 victory to claim the top spot in Group B, the U.S. men rallied from down as many as eight points to edge the Central African Republic (2-2), 32-28, and finish first in Group C.
Angelo Chol (Herbert Hoover H.S./San Diego, Calif.) had 14 points and 15 rebounds to lead the U.S., which outscored the Central African Republic, 19-11, in the second half. The Central African Republic’s Neil Wilfried Londoumon was the leading scorer with 16 points in a game that saw two players foul out on each side.
“They have four athletes on their team that can all get to the hole, and they did a very good job of getting to the basket,” said U.S. men’s head coach Eric Flannery (St. Edward H.S., Ohio). “Our guys had a hard time keeping their man in front of them, and we were allowing some easy baskets and also faced some foul trouble.
“Now, I’m proud of our guys for understanding that they were in a tough position and turning it around,” Flannery added. “We ended up getting more aggressive in the second half and attacking on offense and on defense. What we can take away is that that’s the way we need to play the entire game – for 10 minutes – being the aggressor on both ends of the floor.”
The U.S. women, meanwhile, were the aggressors from the start.
“We don’t want to let the other team stick around too long,” said U.S. women’s head coach Kathy Richey-Walton (Southwest DeKalb H.S., Ga.). “We just want to go ahead, get it done and make an early day of it. We don’t want it to get in their head that they can hang around with us. That’s one of our emphases right now.
“The girls have worked hard,” Richey-Walton added. “And we’ll see what our matchup is and just prepare for them. More importantly, they’re going to have to prepare for us. We’ll do what we do, and we’ll keep trying to do it a little bit better.”
As the winners of their preliminary round pools, the U.S. men and women advance to the medal quarterfinal round on Sat., Aug. 21. The men will play Spain (3-1) at 3 p.m. (All times are Singapore local, which is +12 hours from Eastern Daylight Time). The women will play South Korea (3-1) at 2:30 p.m. The semifinals follow on Aug. 22, and the finals are on Aug. 23.
On Thursday, The U.S. women shot a combined 15-of-25 (60 percent) from the field against Belarus, and Stokes, who’s led the team with 13.8 points per game through the preliminary round, shot 7-of-11 and grabbed four rebounds. Amber Henson (Sickles H.S./Tampa, Fla.) scored 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting with three rebounds. Briyona Canty (Trenton Catholic Academy/Willingboro, N.J.) had four points, six assists and four steals and Andraya Carter (Buford H.S./Flowery Branch, Ga.) added two points, three assists and two rebounds.
Before Sterling Gibbs (Seton Hall Prep/Scotch Plains, N.J.) fouled out for the U.S. men, he scored 12 points, making 7-of-9 from the free-throw line, and had four rebounds. Brandan Kearney (Detroit Southeastern/Detroit, Mich.) and K.C. Caudill (Brea Olinda H.S./Brea, Calif.) each scored three points, while Kearney added five rebounds and two steals.
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.