USA U18 Women Warm Up With 72-42 Scrimmage Win Over Canada
In a friendly scrimmage against Canada on July 30 in Mexico City, the 2018 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team got its first taste of international competition, and the result was an unofficial, 72-42 victory.
Both teams were preparing for their first game of the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, which begins on Aug. 1 in Mexico City. The USA will open against Argentina at 7:30 p.m. EDT, and the game will be available to watch at YouTube.com/user/FIBAWorld.
“I thought it was great – some encouraging things,” said Jeff Walz, USA U18 and University of Louisville head coach. “It was nice to get a chance to compete against another team. I thought we did some really good things, we got better in areas, but we still have some growth to do.
“We got a chance to run some things, and depending on how they guarded us, how our kids would read what the next pass should be,” Walz said. “We will be able to take this and grow from it. It gave us some confidence.”
The USA outscored Canada in every period, and by the third quarter, all 12 U.S. players had put points on the board. By the game’s end, Rhyne Howard (Bradley Central H.S./Cleveland, Tenn.) led the way with 14 points.
“I thought it was really good,” said USA guard Anaya Peoples (Schlarman H.S./Danville, Ill.), who collected four steals. “It was nice to play another team, and I thought we did a lot of good things. I see stuff we have to work on, but our first scrimmage game, it was really good.”
Peoples is one of seven U.S. athletes taking part in their first FIBA competition.
“I think it showed we have a lot to improve on, but we did really well,” said Olivia Nelson-Ododa (Connecticut/Winder, Ga.), who is playing on her second USA Basketball team after having earned a bronze medal at the 2016 FIBA U17 World Cup, alongside 2018 teammates Jenna Brown (Stanford/Smyrna, Ga.), Sedona Prince (Texas/Liberty Hill, Texas) and Christyn Williams (Connecticut/Little Rock, Ark.).
The 2018 USA U18 Women’s National Team will be defending eight-straight FIBA Americas U18 titles, a tournament in which the U.S. women have lost just twice (1992 and 1996), both times to Brazil and both loses resulted in a silver medal. Brazil did not qualify for the 2018 edition, but the USA will play Argentina, Chile and Puerto Rico in the preliminary round.
Serving as USA assistant coaches are Natasha Adair, head coach at the University of Delaware, and Cori Close, head coach at UCLA.
Follow along with the USA U18 Women’s National Team at usab.com.