U.S. Youth Olympic Games Teams Fall In Semifinals
U.S. Men Lose To Serbia; U.S. Women Ousted By Australia
Colorado Springs, Colo. • August 22, 2010
The U.S. Men’s and Women’s Youth Olympic Games Teams’ runs at history ended early on Sunday in Singapore.
Despite a 13-point performance from Sterling Gibbs (Seton Hall Prep/Scotch Plains, N.J.), the U.S. men (6-0) fell in overtime, 34-29, to Serbia (6-0) in the semifinals. And though Kiah Stokes (Linn-Mar H.S./Marion, Iowa) had 11 points and 12 rebounds, the U.S. Women were stunned by Australia (5-1), losing, 25-23, also in overtime in the semifinals of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games.
The U.S. women will now play Canada (5-1) on Aug. 23 at 3 p.m. (All times are Singapore local, which is +12 hours from Eastern Daylight Time). The U.S. men, meanwhile, will play Greece (4-2), which lost to Croatia in three overtimes in the other men’s semifinal, for the bronze medal on Aug. 23 at 3:30 p.m.
“It was a tough one, but that’s the nature of the game,” said U.S. men’s head coach Eric Flannery (St. Edward H.S., Ohio). “… Our goal was to win the gold, and it’s a hard thing to do to jump right back in and be ready to play. But we got to make sure these guys understand that they’re playing for a medal tomorrow and that they don’t take that lightly.”
“They were just collapsing on our big people, so that made it difficult to score,” said U.S. women’s head coach Kathy Richey-Walton (Southwest DeKalb H.S., Ga.) “…I thought they got their wake up call (when the game went to overtime) and that they were going to step it up, but it just didn’t happen.
“We came for gold, but we got to come out of here with something.”
Angelo Chol (Herbert Hoover H.S./San Diego, Calif.) added six points and nine rebounds for the U.S. men, and Brandan Kearney (Detroit Southeastern/Detroit, Mich.) had nine points and four rebounds. K.C. Caudill (Brea Olinda H.S./Brea, Calif.) added a point, a rebound and an assist.
Serbia’s Sasa Abramovic led all scorers with 15 points, which included the game-clinching free throws in overtime.
The game was tied at 15 at the half, and it was tied again, this time at 27, after Gibbs’ shot attempt wouldn’t fall at the end of regulation. The game then went to a two-minute overtime period, and Abramovic sank his two foul shots with 51 seconds still to go, giving Serbia, the first team to eclipse the 33-point mark, the win.
Australia’s Olivia Bontempelli scored a game-high 15 points against the U.S. women, which led 15-7 at halftime. Andraya Carter (Buford H.S./Flowery Branch, Ga.) had eight points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Amber Henson (Sickles H.S./Tampa, Fla.) had four points, three rebounds and five blocks. Briyona Canty (Trenton Catholic Academy/Willingboro, N.J.) added four rebounds, three assists 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.