USA U17 Women Defeat Brazil 80-38 In Exhibition
Orlando, Fla. • May 31, 2012
Jumping out to an early lead, the 2012 USA Women’s U17 World Championship Team (1-0) cruised past Brazil (0-1) 80-38 in its first exhibition contest on Thursday afternoon at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resorts in Orlando, Fla. The game wrapped up a week of training camp in Florida for the USA.
“I see so many ways we can get better, so the sky is the limit on how good this team can be,” said USA head coach Jill Rankin Schneider (Monterey H.S., Texas). “We've got so much depth and athleticism at every position. I was really pleased with how strong we came out. Tonight we played a strong, strong first half. I thought we were pretty flat after halftime. But when we put three guards in at the end, we really picked things up defensively and the tempo picked up again. That was interesting for me to see because at times we may be able to use three guards. This is an exciting team to coach, and I'm really looking forward to getting back together in August.”
After dispersing back to their respective states on June 1, the USA will reconvene for training camp Aug. 1-7 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., before departing for Europe.
The USA was led by 15 points, four steals and three assists from Diamond DeShields (Norcross H.S./Norcross, Ga.); Kaela Davis (Buford H.S./Suwanee, Ga.) added 11 points; and Rebecca Greenwell (Owensboro Catholic H.S./Owesnboro, Ky.) and Taya Reimer (Hamilton Southeastern H.S./Fishers, Ind.) scored 10 points apiece.
“I think we did wonderful today, fantastic actually when you consider we have only been together for a week and we've only practiced five times,” DeShields said. “Coming out and playing against this Brazil team that has been together for months, I think we came together very well as a unit. We did a lot of things collectively that led up to the win.”
The USA started red hot, and by the time Brazil called a timeout at 5:01, the North Americans led 20-4.
“Everybody seemed to be on it,” Reimer said. “We were hitting shots and getting steals and getting out in transition. It was an awesome start.”
Opening the second quarter with a 28-11 advantage, the USA held Brazil to five points in the period and took a 48-16 lead into the halftime locker room.
Brazil never quit and nearly kept pace with the USA in the second half. The USA scored 17 points to Brazil’s 12 in the third and 15 to Brazil’s 10 in the fourth to bring the game to its 80-38 final.
“There are lots of things we can improve upon, particularly in our defense,” Schneider said. “Playing a team like Brazil is a great experience to see things like that this early in the process. Now we can break down a bunch of game film and work on our defense. And on the boards, I felt like we gave up too many rebounds that we should have come up with. As many good things as I saw, I know that there are so many things we can improve to make us much, much better.”
Lindsay Allen (St. John’s College H.S., D.C./Bowie, Md.), who grabbed six rebounds, and Linnae Harper (Whitney Young H.S./Chicago, Ill.), who collected seven boards, each dished out four assists for the USA. Mercedes Russell (Springfield H.S./Springfield, Ore.) led the U.S. with nine rebounds.
Brazil was led by11 points from Isabela Macedo.
The USA will look to defend its 2010 inaugural U17 title at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship on Aug. 17-26 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The USA will compete in an exhibition round-robin tournament in Italy against U17 national teams before arriving in Amsterdam. Traveling to Caorle, Italy, on Aug. 8, the team will practice on Aug. 9 before taking on Brazil at 6:30 p.m. (Caorle is +6 hours from EDT) on Aug. 10. The USA will play Australia at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 11 and then face host Italy at 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 12. The team will practice in Italy on Aug. 13 before departing for Amsterdam on Aug. 14 for two days of training in Amsterdam before the start of the FIBA U17 World Championship.
The USA has been placed in preliminary round Group A and will open against South Korea at 9:15 p.m. (Amsterdam is +6 hours from EDT) on Aug. 17, followed by Canada at 9:15 p.m. on Aug. 18 and Italy at 4:45 p.m. on Aug. 19. After a rest day for all teams on Aug. 20, the USA will take on Belgium at 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 21 and wrap up preliminary round play against Mali at 10 a.m. on Aug. 22.
The top four finishing teams from each preliminary round group will advance to the medal quarterfinals on Aug. 24. Winners of the quarterfinals will compete in the medal semifinals on Aug. 25, and the gold medal game will be played on Aug. 26.
Schneider is assisted by Gail Hook (Monarch H.S., Colo.) and Letitia Hughley (Mott C.C., Mich.). The trio helped qualify the USA for the U17 Worlds by virtue of their gold-medal finish at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.