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Additional Quotes: USA 86, Italy 48

  • Date:
    Jul 21, 2018

Game Recap
Box Score
Photo Gallery
• Results & Stats

USA U17 head coach Carla Berube (Tufts University)
On today’s game:
It’s good to get that first one under our belt. It’s like a big stage out on that court, this is the (U17) World Cup.

There were some lapses in the second quarter, but I think it was a great overall effort by everyone. We really shared the ball well. I wish we had taken care of the ball a little bit better and defended a little bit better, but it’s a good first step for us in beating a really good Italian team. That’s a great team, they did well in the U16 European Championship. So, it was a great first win for us.

Do the turnovers and fouls concern you?
Absolutely. We have to take care of the ball better and make better decisions. About half of those were because of Italy, and half were us just not valuing the basketball.

The free throws, we have to focus in, step up and make them. We want to be an attack team. So, we hope that we do get to the line and we can knock them down.

What kind of team is Mali?
They’re a strong team. They really move the ball well. They have good athletes who get up and down the floor, drive and create for each other. It’s going to take a great defensive effort, and we’re going to have to take care of the ball better, because they do get into the passing lanes and create some havoc.

Paige Bueckers (Hopkins H.S./St. Louis Park, Minn.)
On Italy:
Italy was really aggressive. They’re used to the FIBA rules more. So, just the way they played aggressive was different from how we play in the U.S.

Was it good to get that first game under your belt?
Yeah, it’s been a while. We’ve been practicing forever. So, to finally play an actual game, it was fun.

On Mali:
They’re quick. They’re not very tall, but they’re pretty fast. So, we should dominate on the boards. If we play our best game, we should be fine.

Haley Jones (Archbishop Mitty H.S./Santa Cruz, Calif.)
On today’s game:
We had a lot of energy, because it’s our first real game. And, it’s been a while. We’ve been practicing for so long. So, we came out with a lot of energy. I think that we might have been a little excited and had a hard time catching the ball. We dropped a few passes, but it’s all from being so excited because it was our first game here.

What were some positives from the game?
We shared the ball really well tonight and did well on transition offense. We still have a lot to work on defensively, and that all comes through communication. We have great team chemistry already, and it’s just going to keep getting better throughout the tournament. So, that helps us pull away in any game.

On the 21 turnovers:
We’ll pick it up. It was our first game, and there were some jitters and things like that. We can only keep getting better from here.

Hailey Van Lith (Cashmere H.S./Wenatchee, Wash.)
On today’s game:
It was great. We started off pretty solid, then they went on a run, but we answered right back and shut them down. That’s when we just took off. It was really fun, it was a great atmosphere. I had a lot of fun with my teammates.

Do the turnovers and fouls concern you?
It’s definitely something we need to work on moving forward. But, we still played a great game together. There’s always something we can get better at, and I’m just glad we can go to practice and work on it tomorrow.

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