USA 3x3 Girls Finish Day One With Perfect 4-0 Record
Sept. 9, 2011 ē Rimini, Italy
The USA Basketball Girls 3x3 Team finished a perfect 4-0 on day one of the inaugural FIBA 3x3 Youth World Championship today in Rimini, Italy, while the USA Boys 3x3 Team finished 4-1, rebounding for three wins after falling to Bulgaria in its second game of the day.
"I thought the kids played really hard," said Jamie Carey, USA Basketball Assistant Women's National Team Director and USA girls 3x3 team leader. "Our last game in particular, against Italy, was quite a gut-check. Playing in your fourth game of the day and having Taya (Reimer) out with an ankle injury, I think they really stepped up. We were down by three points late with about 1:20 to go, and we held them scoreless and scored six straight points. So, Iím happy with how they responded, and it was good first day for us."
"We started off a little shaky in terms of intensity this morning," said B.J. Johnson, USA Basketball Assistant Men's National Team Director and USA boys 3x3 team leader. "We lost to Bulgaria by one point, and that woke us up for good. From that point on we played better and better and got tougher and tougher. We improved a lot today. I was really proud of our guys for keeping their composure. The last three games were very physical. So, to bounce back from a disappointing loss the way they did really shows a lot about their character. They know what it takes to win now, and I look forward to wrapping up pool play tomorrow."
Pool play for the girls team wraps up Saturday against Sweden at 1 p.m. (times listed are CEST, which is +6 hours from EDT) on Sept. 10. The top four finishing teams from each of the four preliminary round pools will advance to a playoff Round of 16 that will be held at 2 p.m. on Sept. 10, with the medal quarterfinals at 4:30 p.m. The medal semifinals will be played at 1:30 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, with the bronze medal game at 6 p.m. and the gold medal game at 6:30 p.m.
The USA boys team continues preliminary round action Saturday against South Africa at 12 p.m.; the Czech Republic at 1:20 p.m.; and then wraps up pool play against Denmark at 3:50 p.m. The top four teams from each of the four preliminary round pools will advance to the Round of 16 that will be played on Saturday at 5:30 and 6 p.m. On Sunday, the medal quarterfinals will be played at 12:30 p.m., the semifinals will take place at 4 and 4:30 p.m., the bronze medal game will be played at 6 p.m. and the gold medal game will tip off at 7 p.m.
The U.S. girls recorded a convincing 21-7 win versus India in their opening game. Kaela Davis (Buford H.S./Suwanee, GA) led the U.S. offense with seven points, Rebecca Greenwell (Owensboro Catholic H.S. /Owensboro, Ky.) tossed in six, while Linnae Harper (Whitney M. Young H.S./Chicago, Ill.) and Taya Reimer (Hamilton Southeastern H.S. /Fishers, Ind.) each accounted for four points. The U.S. girls improved to 2-0 after disposing of Sri Lanka 21-6. Reimer scored seven points, Davis added six, Greenwell tossed in five and Linnae Harper was credited with three points. The U.S. earned its third straight win with a 21-3 pounding of Guam. Greenwell led the charge with eight points, Harper added six points, Reimer scored four and Kaela Davis added three points. In its last game of opening day, the USA 3x3 Girls Team downed Italy 16-13. Davis led the USA with 10 points, and Harper and Greenwell each added 3 points. After suffering an injury to her right ankle against Guam, Reimer did not play against Italy. She will be evaluated and is listed as day-to-day.
"I thought today went really well," Greenwell said. "Our first three games we finished pretty quickly, but the last game against Italy was a hard-fought win, especially since we didnít have Taya. I think after our first game we all got our jitters out, and we started playing together and running our sets. That really paid off against Italy, which was a really tough opponent."
The U.S. boys opened with a 21-17 defeat of Guam as Malik Price-Martin (Monsignor Edward Pace H.S./ Miami, Fla.) had eight points, and Rondať Jefferson (Chester H.S./Chester, Pa.) added seven. Bulgaria edged the U.S. team in game two 11-10. Jordan Swopshire (SportsQuest Academy, Va./Ofallon, Mo.) led the Americans with six points as Jefferson sat out much of the game against Bulgaria after tweaking a leg muscle.
The USA boys got back on the winning track and improved to 2-1 with a 19-11 win over Netherlands. Jefferson scored six points, Price-Martin added five and Shaqquan Aaron (Taft H.S./Apple Valley, Calif.) and Swopshire each tossed in four points. In game four, the USA earned an impressive 19-16 victory over Russia behind eight points from Jefferson, six from Aaron, three points from Swopshire and two from Price-Martin. The USA boys wrapped up the day with a 17-13 victory over Croatia. Jefferson scored eight points, while Swopshire and Price-Martin added five and four points, respectively.
"We did pretty good today," Jefferson said. "We knew that we could be a good team, but we played better than we expected. We stayed together and worked hard. Bulgaria wanted it more than we did, and they out-hustled us, but it felt great to come back and get three wins after that loss. We had our heads down for a bit, but we got together and picked each other up and responded."
Under FIBA's 3x3 rules, each game consists of two 5:00 periods, with one 1:00 overtime period if needed. If the game is tied after the first overtime, a second and final overtime is played, and the first team to score two points wins. The team leading after completion of regular playing time, or the first team to score 21 points, will be declared the winner. Shots made outside the 3-point line are awarded two points, shots made inside the 3-point line are awarded one points, and each made free throw is worth one point. Additionally, a 12-second shot clock will be utilized.