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Greece and Sweden win promotion, host to fight Iceland for final ticket
SARAJEVO (FIBA U18 Women's European Championship 2016 Division B) - Greece ensured a dramatic win over Iceland to advance to the Final and win promotion to Division A, along with Sweden.
Iceland put up a brilliant fight against Greece. Thelma Dis Agustsdottir tied the game at 58 heading into the final minute, but Greece gave the decisive ball to their hero of the tournament so far, Elena Tsineke, who connected on a clutch three-point play with 17 seconds remaining, scoring the additional free throw as well, to give Greece a 61-58 lead.
When it mattered most, Iceland failed to inbound the ball, and Elena's twin sister Aikatrini Tsineke sealed the deal with a pair of free throws to make it a five-point game. Bjork Gunnarsdottir hit a triple with 0:09 left on the clock, but Stavriani Vintsilaiou also kept her calm from the line to set the final score at 65-61.
Vintsilaiou finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds and 4 steals, but the top scorer was Elena Tsineke. She finished with 20 points, which is exactly what she averages across her time in Sarajevo. Sylvia Run Halfdanardottir had 20 points and 14 rebounds for Iceland.
Greece will next play Sweden in the Final, but the Third-Place game between Iceland and Bosnia and Herzegovina will also feature a big reward for the winner, with the final promotion ticket to Division A for 2017 up for grabs.
Sweden won their ticket to the elite company with an 81-68 win over the hosts. A 23-10 second quarter was enough to keep Bosnia and Herzegovina chasing the gap the rest of the way, but even with another big game from Melisa Brcaninovic, the hosts have to settle for a Third-Place Game on Sunday.
Klara Lundquist had 23 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, Cajsa Uhrstrom added 15 points and Emilia Stocklassa gathered a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards. Linnea Nilsson hit three triples on her way to a 13-point performance.
Brcaninovic struggled from the field, but finished with 29 points on 17-of-20 from the free throw line, while also grabbing 15 rebounds, dishing out 2 assists, stealing the ball twice and blocking 1 Swedish shot. Gabrijela Viskovic was the only other Bosnia and Herzegovina player in double figures with 13 points.
Belarus defeated Germany 75-63 and will play Poland, who edged out Ireland 75-71, in the 5th-place game. Portugal beat Estonia 60-41 to enter the 9th-place match-up with Finland, who handed England a 59-50 loss. Denmark and Ukraine will play for 13th, after their respective wins over Bulgaria and Scotland. Romania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia battle for 17th spot, as Albania finished the tournament in the last place.