USA U16 Women Run Away With 86-41 Victory Over Honduras
Desireé Caldwell (Johnson H.S./San Antonio, Texas) dished out a USA Women’s U16 record 10 assists to help the 2015 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team (2-0) earn a 86-41 win over Honduras (0-2) in the 2015 FIBA Americas U16 Championship on Thursday afternoon in Puebla, Mexico.
The USA wraps up preliminary round play against host Mexico (1-0) at 9 p.m. (EDT) on June 26. All of the USA’s games are being streamed live online at FIBAAmericas.com.
Though the USA won by an impressive 45 points and shot 44.3 percent from the field (39-88 FGs) overall, it started the game down 7-0, trailed 13-12 at the end of the first quarter and shot just 21.7 percent in the first 10 minutes.
“Again, we started off slow, and we don’t want to make that become our ordinary pattern,” said USA head coach Dori Oldaker (Mt. Lebanon H.S., Pa.). “But to be down seven points and come back – I believe we had an 18-point lead at halftime – I think that is kind of good for us to fight through that adversity. Nobody panicked on our team.”
The USA opened the second quarter with an 11-2 run and heated up to 50.0 percent from the field in the period to shift the game’s momentum.
“The team just moved the ball very well,” Caldwell said. “We pushed the ball up the floor, and my teammates did a great job of getting open.”
Honesty Scott-Grayson (Blair Academy/Brick, N.J.) led the USA with 18 points, and she tied the USA Women’s U16 record with nine made field goals. With 10 points apiece, Jayda Adams (Mater Dei H.S./Santa Ana, Calif.) and Sedona Prince (Faith Academy/Liberty Hill, Texas) rounded out the USA’s double-digit scorers; and with eight rebounds each, Aquira DeCosta (St. Mary’s H.S./Stockton, Calif.) and Valencia Myers (Solon H.S./Solon, Ohio) were the USA’s leading rebounders.
“I just think as a team we really picked it up and we did what we had to do,” Adams said.
After beginning the game just 2-of-13 from the field in the first 5:45, a new five U.S. players took the court at 4:15, and the USA put together a 7-0 run to take its first lead, 12-11, at 41.8 seconds. Honduras put the last points of the quarter on the board, however, to lead 13-12 at the first break.
“What helped us overcome the slow start was just our intensity,” Scott-Grayson said. “We didn’t come out with enough intensity. But after that time out (at 4:15 in the first quarter), we got up and we played to the best of our ability.”
The USA held Honduras to just seven points in the second period, while it raced to a combined 26 points from six different players to lead 38-20 at halftime.
The USA outscored Honduras by only two points in the third period, 14-12, to lead 52-32 headed into the final 10 minutes, but the fourth quarter was all USA. The North Americans compiled their highest-scoring period thus far with 34 points, while allowing Honduras just nine.
“It was really fun in the fourth quarter,” said Bexley Wallace (Pickerington Central H.S./Pickerington, Ohio). “We really started playing as a team and moving the ball fast.”
The USA recorded 60 points in the paint, 30 points off of fast-break opportunities and 55 points off of the bench. The USA also scored 28 points off of Honduras’ 23 turnovers and won the rebounding battle 63-37.
Nelly Rapalo led Honduras with 21 points, while her teammate, Danna Grenald collected 14 rebounds.
Also today, in the USA’s Group A, Argentina (0-1) will play Mexico (1-0) at 9 p.m. (EDT); while in Group B, Brazil (2-0) topped Cuba (0-2) 82-50, while Canada (1-0) will play Venezuela (0-1) at 7 p.m. (EDT).
The top two finishing teams from each preliminary round group will advance to the semifinals, and the third and fourth-placed teams will compete for fifth-through-eighth places. The semifinals will be played on June 27, and the finals will be on June 28.
The USA’s assistant coaches are Dianne Lewis of Thomas Edison High School in Virginia and Samantha Quigley, who is the head coach at the University of St. Francis (NAIA) in Illinois.
The USA is 17-0 all-time in U16 play and is looking to capture a fourth-straight gold medal at the event.