USA U18 Women Rout Guatemala 117-32
The 2016 USA Women’s U18 National Team (1-0) opened play in the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship with an impressive 117-32 defeat of Guatemala (0-1) on Wednesday night in Valdivia, Chile.
Capitalizing on its 7-inch average height advantage over Guatemala, the USA overpowered Guatemala on the boards 73-24, scored 47 points off of 32 turnovers by Guatemala, tallied 42 fast-break points, 55 points off of the bench and recorded 28 assists.
“This was a great way to start this tournament,” said USA head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio (Pittsburgh). “We got great contributions from each and every player, offensively, defensively, rebounding. We put a lot of points on the board. The execution was great, as was the ball movement. A lot of times we were unselfish and made the extra pass, creating in transition off of our defense. Players stepped up. Coming into this tournament, preparing like we did, we had no idea what to expect. I’m very excited with the way we started, and hopefully we can continue to play like we did tonight.”
Overall, the USA shot 54.2 percent from the field (45-83 FGs) and 44.4 percent from 3-point (8-18 3pt FGs).
The USA jumped out to a 14-0 lead to start the game and never looked back. Megan Walker (Monacan H.S./Chesterfield, Va.) scored nine of her 11 points in the first quarter to help the USA take a 32-9 lead after the first 10 minutes.
In the second quarter, Amber Ramirez (Karen Wagner H.S./San Antonio, Texas) opened with three straight 3-pointers to keep the USA rolling and help increase the halftime lead to 64-19. Ramirez finished 4-of-5 from deep and scored 14 points to go with four steals.
“It felt great,” Ramirez said of her shooting performance. “The team kept getting me the ball, and I kept shooting and making shots. If shooting is what my team needs, I’m going to give that to them.”
Seven different U.S. scorers contributed points in the third quarter as the USA lead improved to 84-27, and in the fourth quarter the USA outscored Guatemala 33-5 to bring the game to its 117-32 final.
The USA’s 100th point came at 5:22 in the final period when Rellah Boothe (IMG Academy/Ocala, Fla.) converted on a three-point play. Boothe finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
“Absolutely our chemistry was there,” Boothe said. “We did a really good job of talking on the court and playing together.”
Additionally, Chennedy Carter (Timberview H.S./Mansfield, Texas) had 17 points; Sidney Cooks (Saint Joseph Catholic Academy/Kenosha, Wis.) added 16 points and eight rebounds; Ruthy Hebard (West Valley H.S./Fairbanks, Alaska) had 12 points, including 4-of-4 from the free throw line; Jeannie Boehm (New Trier H.S./Winnetka, Ill.) accounted for 10 points and nine rebounds; Tyasha Harris (Heritage Christian/Noblesville, Ind.) contributed eight assists; Evina Westbrook (South Salem H.S./Salem, Ore.) grabbed six steals; and Walker also was 4-of-4 from the line.
Lauren Cox (Flower Mound H.S./Flower Mound, Texas) did not play due to a sprained left ankle suffered during the USA’s training camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The USA continues preliminary round play against Brazil (1-0) at 6 p.m. (EDT) on July 14, followed by Venezuela (0-1) at 1:30 (EDT) on July 15.
Also today in the USA’s Group A, Brazil (1-0) easily defeated Venezuela (0-1) 68-50; while in Group B, Canada (1-0) downed Mexico (0-1) 87-56, and Puerto Rico will play Chile at 8:15 p.m. (EDT).
The USA’s assistant coaches are Kamie Ethridge (Northern Colorado) and Charlotte Smith (Elon).