USA U17 Men Cruise Past Dominican Republic 103-60 and Into Quarterfinals
The USA U17 Men’s World Cup Team (4-0) celebrated the Fourth of July holiday in Santa Fe, Argentina, with a 103-60 win over Dominican Republic (0-3) that advanced the USA into the medal quarterfinals of the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup.
After a tight first quarter in which the USA built just a 24-18 lead, the USA took control of the game with a 30-13 second quarter that saw the USA force nine turnovers while it shot 12-of-18 from the field in the period to lead 54-31 at halftime.
“Dominican Republic came out really aggressive,” said USA U17 head coach Don Showalter (USA Basketball youth division coach director). “Their determination and energy level was really good to start the game. We probably didn’t quite match that the first four or five minutes, but as the game went on, we took control and did a really nice job.
“A couple of things really pleased me. Our team gets along really well together. They like each other off the court and on the court. We had 29 assists tonight, which was outstanding. We shot better from 3-point. So, I think we are shooting the ball a little better. We outrebounded them by 33, so I think there are some things we can really build on.”
The USA will meet Croatia (3-1) in the quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. (all times listed are EDT) on July 6. The other medal quarterfinal matchups include Australia (3-1) versus Canada (4-0) at 12 p.m.; Turkey (3-1) against France (4-0) at 2:30 p.m.; and Puerto Rico (3-1) versus Montenegro (3-1) at 5 p.m.
The semifinals will be played on July 7, and the finals will be contested on July 8.
All of the USA’s games in the FIBA U17 World Cup will be streamed live on the USA Basketball Facebook page at facebook.com/usabasketball.
Overall, the USA scored 66 of its points in the paint, recorded 29 assists, had seven players finish in double-digit scoring and outrebounded Dominican Republic 63-30 for 24 second-chance points.
Jeremy Roach (Paul VI Catholic H.S./Leesburg, Va.) led the USA with 14 points; Scottie Barnes (University School/West Palm Beach, Fla.) finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and three assists; Wendell Moore Jr. (Cox Mill H.S./Charlotte, N.C.) contributed 13 points and seven rebounds; De'Vion Harmon (Guyer H.S./Corinth, Texas) scored 11 points and dished out three assists; and Jalen Green (San Joaquin Memorial H.S./Fresno, Calif.), Evan Mobley (Rancho Christian H.S./Temecula, Calif.) and Jalen Suggs (Minnehaha Academy/Minneapolis, Minn.) each contributed 10 points. Mobley also collected six rebounds and blocked four shots, and Suggs dished out a game-high five assists.
“Every game, we come together more and play better as a team,” Barnes said. “We move the ball more, and we’ve figured some things out. We can always improve on communication and defense.”
The USA continued to increase its lead in the second half – outscoring Dominican Republic 22-12 in the third and 27-17 in the fourth to earn the 103-60 win.
The USA’s largest advantage of the game, 46 points, came in the final seconds as Moore sank a 3-pointer to make it 103-57. Dominican closed with its own 3-pointer to bring the game to its 103-60 final.
“We started off pretty slow, but as the game progressed, we picked up the energy, and we started having fun out there,” said Isaac Okoro (McEachern H.S./Powder Springs, Ga.).
For a fourth straight game, all 11 available U.S. players scored. R.J. Hampton (Little Elm H.S./Little Elm, Texas) did not play due to a right foot injury, and he is listed as day-to-day.
The USA’s assistant coaches are Scott Fitch (Fairport H.S., N.Y.) and Stan Waterman (Sanford School, Del.).
Also today in the round of 16 games: Australia fended off Mali (1-3) 74-65; France easily won against New Zealand (0-4) 88-48; Turkey defeated Serbia (2-2) 87-68; Canada topped Philippines (0-4) 102-62; Croatia beat Egypt (1-3) 68-55; Puerto Rico downed China (0-4) 81-64; and Montenegro beat host Argentina (1-3) 73-60.