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Belarus take down Lithuania, book Division A tickets; Czech Republic leave the hosts out of Final
ORADEA (FIBA U20 Women's European Championship 2018, Division B) - Belarus and Czech Republic will face off in the Final, with both teams booking Division A tickets for next summer.
Belarus and Lithuania played out a thriller with 18 lead changes in the Semi-Finals, and it seemed to be going Lithuania's way as they owned a 58-49 lead early in the fourth quarter. But Belarus came from behind and made it 63-all with five minutes to go.
The teams traded buckets the rest of the way, Katsiaryna Rybalka, Maryia Vasileuka and Maryia Adashchyk all went 1-of-2 from the free throw line, giving Belarus a 73-70 lead with 13 seconds to go. Lithuania tried to force overtime on the last possession, but Gabija Meskonyte misfired, sending her team to the Third-Place Game. Meskonyte had 21 points for Lithuania, but to no avail.
Belarus got 14 points from Aryna Masko, and they can now relax ahead of the Final against Czech Republic, knowing they are moving up a division next summer.
The Czechs had a tough task of taking on the hosts in Oradea. It was another one-possession game, in which Czech Republic held on for a 65-62 win. The crucial part came with six seconds remaining in the game. Barbora Tomancova kept her calm, hitting both shots from the line to keep it a 3-point advantage.
The Czechs did not allow Romania to take the potential game-tying three-pointer, protecting their win. Lucie Hoskova scored a team-high 16 points, closely followed by Barbora Tomancova's 14. Irina Parau had 19 for Romania, who will take on Lithuania in the battle for third place and the last remaining spot in Division A next season.
There was drama elsewhere on Saturday. Shauna Harrison's free-throw with five seconds to go handed Great Britain a 62-61 win over Denmark. Greece defeated Iceland 76-72 in the other Classification Game 9-12, while Israel routed Bulgaria 92-63, and Turkey secured a 73-65 triumph against Ukraine in the battle for 5th to 8th spot.