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Additional Quotes: USA 103, Puerto Rico 30

  • Date:
    Jun 21, 2019

Game Story

USA head coach Mark Campbell (Union University)
On the game:
I didn’t think we were very focused in pregame warm up or focused today in general.

We felt like as a staff that Puerto Rico was the hardest team to guard off the bounce in the tournament. They are just really tough, and they have three guards that are really good, and they are physical, too.

We guarded ball screens a little differently tonight early, and we changed that in the second half, and I think that made a difference.

We just seemed more poised defensively in the second half and more poised offensively in the second half. We handled the ball a little bit better, we obviously shot the ball a little bit better. We got the ball inside a little bit more in the second half.

What things did the USA do well tonight?
We are going to be good, because we are really good in the half court on defense. We dominated the glass, and we shared the basketball. Olivia made some unbelievable passes tonight that are really just outside of things that people normally see. We just have a group of people that are really unselfish, and they play really hard. That’s one of things that a coach – when you enjoy coaching it is because people give great effort, they are eager to learn, they are unselfish and they really like each other. So as a coach, no matter what your talent level it – people might say I’m enjoying this just because they are unbelievable talented, and that’s not true. The reason I’m enjoying it is because of all the things I just said. They are just a good group to be around. They are hungry for team, they are hungry for teaching and they are hungry to accomplish something as a group and not as an individual. As a coach, that is really fun.

On reaching the gold medal game tomorrow:
I’m looking forward to it. I think it will be a challenge.

Janiah Barker (Tampa Bay Tech H.S., Fla./Marietta, Ga.)
On the game:
We had a bad first half. We came out kind of slow on defense. They were getting a lot of good shots. But, in the second half we started playing more together and playing great defense.

On her crashing the boards:
I just go out there and play my role. Whatever coach needs me to do, I go out there and do it.  

On reaching the gold medal game tomorrow:
It’s crazy. I didn’t think I would even be here in this position. So, to be playing for a gold medal, it’s amazing.

KK Bransford (Mount Notre Dame H.S./Cincinnati, Ohio)
On the game:
We started a little slow. We weren’t very focused. But after halftime, we got it together and we came together.

We had more organization on the offensive end in the second half. Puerto Rico did come out in a one-two-two defense in the first half, and we weren’t expected that. So, we just got organized and on the same page.

On reaching the gold medal game tomorrow:
It means a lot. It is so exciting. I never thought in my life that I would have the chance to do this, but here I am.

Timea Gardiner (Fremont H.S./Ogden, Utah)
On the game:
We started off kind of rocky, but we came together at halftime, and we played better after that. We changed our intensity, and our energy and our defense. Our defense fires our offense in transition, and that is what we are good at. So, we try to do our best on defense to get stops.

On reaching the gold medal game tomorrow:
It is insane. It is crazy to be able to represent our country and be able to compete for gold. It is just an amazing feeling. It is truly an honor.

Olivia Miles (Blair Academy/Phillipsburg, N.J.)
On her assists record:
I actually didn’t know until just in the locker room now. It’s just crazy to me. There have been so many years of this going on, and it’s just insane to know I set the assists record.

Saylor Poffenbarger (Middletown H.S./Middletown, Md.)
On the game:
We definitely started slow. We didn’t start very intense on defense. And kudos to them. I think they were really prepared.

Coach always tells us to be the best defensive team in tournament. So, we always trust the importance of defense and making sure we are in the right position and work together as one. I think that is really important in any game we play, and it can turn games around.

On reaching the gold medal game tomorrow:
I’m super excited. It has always been a dream to be a gold medalist. I think if we can keep doing what we are doing, we will be good. It feels like such a family, and I’m excited to play in the gold medal game with all of these girls.




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