Basketball Youth Tournaments • Torneos Juveniles de Baloncesto
Germany's U17 wins bronze medal after an awesome week
of Albert Schweitzer Tournament action
Between 1973 and 2000 teams donning the red, white and blue never ranked lower than third at the Albert Schweitzer Tournament. During that time span Team USA won the competition an all-time record ten times. Germany's best result came in 1959 and 1983 coming in on the third place. In this year's bronze medal game Germany (U17) beat the United States of America 79:68.
It was the German young guns who struck first as Besnik Bekteshi was wet from downtown. Bekteshi and mates pulled away early (0:7, 3.) before the USA picked up the float of the game (5:7, 5.). The second trey from Ryan Boatright rattled in to give his team the top side of the scoreboard (13:11, 8.). Little later Ehingen (ProB) standout Malik Müller had a hot hand from deep striking twice - from the corner and from the top of the arc - to tie things up (17:17, 10.) shortly before the first quarter was closed (17:19).
Midway through the second stanza Bekteshi passed by his defender, chased down the lane for a layer plus one to give Germany the biggest lead thus far (23:33, 15.). Teams went back and forth until Damian Leonard verified his reputation as a shooter to knock down two long bombs (31:33, 17.). Team USA nearly caught up on the young guns, but Julius Wolf drained another triple to separate things on the scoreboard (31:36, 18.). After he showed off some nice inside moves Paul Albrecht was rejected on another hook shot by Kevin Ware (35:44, 20.).
Things got spicy when Albrecht returned the favor blocking Ware on a drive to the hoop. Although Mike Chandler had a nice throw down, the U.S. was unable to create some momentum out of that (39:50, 25.). Müller drained his third trey of the game to push his colors and grabbed an offensive rebound to put it back in (42:57, 28.). Ware came down the track with a steal breaking away for a monster jam. Once again Team USA was not able to take advantage of this emotional high as Germany kept playing in a well-organized manner (46:61, 30.).
As time ran down in the fourth quarter more and more fans at a packed US Sports Arena stared at the scoreboard, checking if the U.S. would still be in reach for a comeback. Coach Larry Krystowiak set up a trap defense to force turnovers off the overall flawless performing German backcourt (55:63, 34.). Instead Boatright and Co. commited several turnovers on their own. As an effect, Paul Albrecht was able to run down the court off one of the lost ones for a potential three point play (58:70, 38.). A three pointer by Bekteshi put the nail in the coffin with less than two minutes to go (61:75, 38.). Krystowiak called for time, but his players had no answer for what would bring Germany its third overall bronze medal at an Albert Schweitzer Tournament!
Germany will host the FIBA
U17 World Championship from 2nd to 11th July in Hamburg.FIBA
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