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Additional Quotes: USA 98, Colombia 42

  • Date:
    Jul 25, 2018

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USA U17 head coach Carla Berube (Tufts University)
On today’s game:
I liked the second half much more than the first half. We were a little flat defensively to start the game. Give credit to Colombia, they were really working for shots, setting a lot of screens. We could have done a better job of helping each other out, sliding our feet and just communicating more. Then, I thought the team really brought it in the second half. Our defense did a much better job, and it led to some easy scoring opportunities. We did a good job of executing what we wanted in the second half.

There were a lot of shooting fouls in the third quarter. Did that worry you?
I wanted us to be more aggressive, and it led to some ill-advised fouls. But, I liked the mentality that we were getting after it on the defensive end more. Then we were a little bit smarter with our aggressiveness in the fourth quarter.

Games will get tougher as you go along. Is there anything you’re going to work on tomorrow?
We’ll get prepared for Spain, they had a big win today over Canada that we watched as a staff. So, we’ll prepare for them, as well as for us just getting better in execution. We’ll work on our defense, and the goal is to be feeling 100 percent ready and confident for Spain. That’s the only game that’s ahead of us right now. If all goes well, we’ll survive and advance.

What kind of team is Spain?
They’ve got some really strong post players. Their post players are really agile, they can take it to the hoop strong. They’re really good offensive rebounders. They’ve got a really good shooter, and they’re disciplined. They run their sets well. They’re smart defenders. So, it’s going to take a great effort from us on Friday.

Aliyah Boston (Worcester Academy/St. Thomas, USVI)
On today’s game:
Colombia was very aggressive. They did well shooting the ball in the first half, and they were a good team.

Their pressure defense seemed to be a little frustrating at times. How were you able to combat it?
We just stayed calm and did what we practiced, and we worked through it.

On sharing the ball:
It’s something that’s going to help us win. We make plays for each other, and we’re going to continue to do that as we move through with these games.

What kind of team is Spain?
They’re aggressive. They’re very disciplined on defense, and they exhibit a lot of greatness. So, we’re just going to have to come ready.

Paige Bueckers (Hopkins H.S./St. Louis Park, Minn.)
On today’s game:
They have a team of really good shooters, so in the first half we were lacking on defense, and they got some good shots and hit them. But, in the second half we made adjustments. We came out stronger, and we won the second half by a lot.

You held Colombia scoreless for the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter. How?
We just know, that in order to get the gold, our defense is going to have to be a lot better than it was in the first three quarters. So, we stepped it up and listened to coach, who was on us. We need to get in the mindset that our defense needs to be better. 

Is defense going to be the key to this team?
Defense is going to be the key. In every game we’ve put up really big numbers, so stopping the other team from putting up numbers as well will be the key.

On Spain:
They’re a really aggressive team. They’re disciplined. They’re deep, they have a lot of good players. So, we’ll watch film, and then we’ll have our scouting report on them, and we’ll focus on that.

Azzi Fudd (St. John’s College H.S., D.C./Arlington, Va.)
On tonight’s game:
We started off pretty well, but I think our energy got low. Not just on the court, but on the bench too. We weren’t cheering. We didn’t give off as much energy as we could have. Energy is what keeps us going, energy from our teammates. So, our energy was low. Once we picked that up, we got it back together.

On the second half surge:
I think it was our depth and intensity. The five started the quarter started off strong. Then the bench went in and kept it going. The energy on the bench kept it alive. We also started playing USA defense.

How important will your defense be moving forward?
Defense is probably one of the major keys to us winning a gold medal. Offense is important too, but we need to stop the other team from scoring.
 

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