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Behind a game-high 22 points from Quinn Cook, the 2009 USA Basketball Men's U16 National Team (2-0) posted its second triple-digit scoring output in as many games as it surged past Venezuela (1-1) 102-76 at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship on Thursday a

USA Men's U16 National Vanquishes Venezuela 102-76

June 18, 2009 - Mendoza, Argentina

PhotoDescription   
James McAdoo drives to the hoop against Venezuela.

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Behind a game-high 22 points from Quinn Cook (DeMatha H.S. / Bowie, Md.), the 2009 USA Basketball Men's U16 National Team (2-0) posted its second triple-digit scoring output in as many games as it surged past Venezuela (1-1) 102-76 at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship on Thursday afternoon in Mendoza, Argentina.

Also registering double-digit scoring efforts for the well-balanced U.S. team were James McAdoo (Norfolk Christian H.S. / Norfolk, Va.) with 15 points, Brad Beal (Chaminade College Prep H.S. / St. Louis, Mo.) notched 14 and Sterling Gibbs (Seton Hall Prep / Scotch Plains, N.J.) pitched in 13 points. Johnny O'Bryant's (Eastside H.S. / Cleveland, Miss.) 14 boards led the USA on the glass.

-I thought this was an overall team effort," said USA head coach Don Showalter, head coach of Mid-Prairie High School (Iowa). -Brad (Beal) didn't have as good of a shooting game tonight, but he does so many other things really well. I told him after the game ‘if you're only judging your performance by your points, then you have to reevaluate how you're playing,' because he does a lot of things really well for us. Tony Parker came off the bench strong, Andre Drummond had a good game for us. Quinn Cook had an outstanding game. He controls the game so well from the point guard position. Then you have Chass (Randle) and Sterling Gibbs coming off the bench, that really gives you some added depth. And I thought Brandan (Kearney) came off the bench and played really well, he was very active. We got a lot of good contributions from everybody."

In today's other games, Canada (2-0) earned an 88-69 win over the Bahamas (0-2), Brazil (1-0) meets up with Puerto Rico (0-1) at 5:00 p.m. (all times EDT) and host Argentina (1-0) takes on Mexico at 7:00 p.m.

The U.S. will close preliminary play against Puerto Rico on July 19 at 5:00 p.m. Semifinals will be played on July 20 and the gold medal will be contested on July 21.

Owning the lead from beginning to end, the U.S. opened with 11 unanswered points, including an 8-0 opening run by Cook. By the 3:09 mark the United States was up 19-9. Lapsing on the defensive end, the Americans allowed Venezuela to mount a run of its own to pull to within two points, 19-17, with 1:21 to go in the first stanza. However, thanks in part to seven points from Beal, the U.S. closed the first quarter up 26-21.

-I just wanted to come out aggressive," remarked Cook about his opening run. -I wanted to throw the first punch. I was lucky enough to get a couple baskets to get some momentum. I just wanted to be aggressive."

Cook nailed a three to open the second quarter and after a Venezuela bucket, Beal hit a shot to put the U.S. ahead 31-23. Again Venezuela fought back and was within a point, 31-30, with 6:06 remaining in the half. Picking up the defensive effort, which fueled the offense, the United States outscored Venezuela 18-4 and went into the locker room with a 48-34 advantage.

Venezuela turned the tide in the first three minutes of the third quarter and cut the gap to single digits, 55-46. The USA's depth, however, was too much for the South Americans. Coach Showalter took advantage of his bench to continue pressing and running, which put a halt to any upset hopes Venezuela may have been harbouring.

With the score 58-48, Gibbs drove to the hoop for a 3-point play at 2:40, kicking off a run16-4 run that put the game virtually out of reach. Chasson Randle (Rock Island H.S. / Rock Island, Ill.) followed Gibbs with a dunk, a layup and a 3-point play in his own 7-2 run. Also contributing to the third-quarter barrage were O'Bryant, who fouled out at 9:20 in the fourth quarter, with a rim-rattling dunk and Gibbs closed out the quarter with a steal and made one of two free throws to give the U.S. a 74-52 lead at the third-quarter break.

-We're so deep on the bench," commented Randle. -Anybody can come in and play great. That's what happened today and we came out with the victory."

Venezuela never threatened in the fourth quarter as the U.S. earned its second victory in as many days.

Randle finished the game with nine points, while Tony Parker (Miller Grove H.S. / Lithonia, Ga.) contributed eight and six rebounds.

Venezuela was led by 21 points and 17 rebounds from Michael Carrera, and 14 points and 13 rebounds from Israel Blanco.

The U.S. edged its opponents on the glass, 54-52, and forced Venezuela into shooting just 33.7 percent (29-86 FGs) from the field, including 17.6 percent (3-17 3pt FGs) from 3-point, while the USA connected on 42.9 percent (36-84 FGs) of its field goals overall and 23.8 percent (5-21 3pt FGs) from beyond the arc. In all, 52 fouls were called and the U.S. went to the line 37 times (25-37 FTs, 67.6 percent) and Venezuela had 28 shots from the line (15-28 FTs, 53.6 percent).

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.).

The eight-team tournament in 2009 features U16 national teams from the FIBA Americas Zone, which includes North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. Preliminary round-robin play runs through June 19, with the top two teams from each preliminary group advancing to the June 20 semifinals. The gold and bronze medal games will b,e contested June 21.

The top three finishing nations at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship will qualify to compete in the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship (July TBD / Hamburg, Germany), against U17 national teams from around the globe.