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USA

Additional Quotes: USA 109, Chile 44

  • Date:
    Jun 18, 2019

Game Story

USA head coach Mark Campbell (Union University)
Can you start with your thoughts on the game?
I have coached in a lot of games, a little over 700, and the atmosphere tonight is in the top two or three that I’ve ever coached in. I told Chile’s coach after the game, they do a really good job of being prepared. Their girls understand spacing, they are unselfish, they make extra passes. They play together in a way that is like a veteran team. They take a lot of pride in it. And likewise, their crowd celebrates good basketball. They went through a stretch in the third quarter when they didn’t score until there was maybe 1:30 left, and the crowd went crazy. What they are appreciating is the most important thing, and that’s effort.

And then secondly, I thought we really handled it well. We came out, they shot the ball really well the first five minutes, and we kind of played through it. We handled the ball a lot better in the second half.

I thought Lauren played really well tonight, and I thought we were really unselfish for the most part. It was a team effort.

It was fun as a coach to watch that. I thought Janiah had her best game, whether it was a scrimmage or a game, so it was good to have her have a game like that, because we are going to need her athleticism.

Lauren Betts (Grandview H.S./Centennial, Colo.)
What do you think of setting the USA U16 women’s rebounding record?
I’m just really thankful. I think it is an honor to represent like that and do that after all those amazing players who have played in this competition.

The USA’s posts were very active scoring today. Was that the game plan?
They were fronting, and that is what we want, because it gives us easy lobs.

Sonia Citron (The Ursuline School/Scarsdale, N.Y.)
Can you start with your thoughts on the game?
We played great as a team. We had our ups and downs, because the atmosphere was crazy. Chile is a great team, but collectively, we just pulled through, worked together and played well.

What was it like to play in that atmosphere?
It was the most fun. I love playing in this kind of atmosphere, just the crowd and the energy. It’s crazy. It was unbelievable really.

Timea Gardiner (Fremont H.S./Ogden, Utah)
Can you start with your thoughts on the game?
We played really well. We played well as a team, and we finished the game strong and had fun in the process.

What did the team do well tonight?
We rebounded well. We did a good job of getting defensive boards and running in transition.

How has this experience in Chile been overall?
It’s been amazing, especially this last game seeing Chile and how passionate their country is about the sport. It’s been really amazing to see.

What was it like to play in that atmosphere?
It was a little shocking at first, but once we got settled in, it was really cool to see.

Aaliyah Moore (Moore H.S./Moore, Okla.)
Can you start with your thoughts on the game?
It was unbelievable, just the atmosphere. Chile, they were down, but it seemed like their whole country was here still cheering them on. I’ve never experienced anything like that before in my life, so that was awesome.

And, just how we played, I love my teammates and my coaches.

What did the team do well tonight?
Offensive rebounds, because they only had two. So, keeping them off the boards was really good. And transition, we got a lot of wide-open layups running the floor.

Payton Verhulst (Bishop Meige H.S./De Soto, Kan.)
What was it like to play in that atmosphere?
It was crazy. I feel like our team really feeds off of energy from either the crowd or our bench, and having all of these people here, whether or not they were for us or not. I think the people here just really enjoy the game of basketball. It wasn’t like anyone really rooting against us. They just love to see people going out there and playing their best and playing together.

What helped you pull away from Chile do you think?
We definitely were nervous, because of the crowd. But when we started communicating and talking and just having fun and not being nervous about making mistakes, that is when we do our best and succeed.

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