The United States’ Under-16 women’s basketball team is headed to the semifinals of the FIBA Americas championships.
The Americans advanced with an 85-44 victory against host Mexico in which the U.S. team had a 70-23 rebounding advantage, scored 50 points in the paint and limited the opponent to 25.9 percent shooting.
The U.S. team will play Brazil on Saturday on 7 p.m. ET.
“We knew it was going to be a tough environment tonight,” said USA head coach Dori Oldaker (Mt. Lebanon H.S., Pa.). “What a fun environment. You have to be proud of the Mexican fans for the energy they brought, but I’m also proud of how we fought through that and played through that adversity.”
Destiny Littleton (The Bishop’s School/San Diego) had 17 points to lead four players in double figures. She also had seven rebounds. Alexis Morris (Legacy Christian Academy; Beaumont, Texas) added 15 points and four assists; Aquira DeCosta (St. Mary’s; Stockton, Calif.) had 10 points and 12 rebounds; and Valencia Myers (Solon, Ohio) scored 10 points.
Sedona Prince (Faith Academy; Liberty Hill, Texas) pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds.
“The crowd hyped us up,” Littleton said. “Our team as a whole did good with the crowd, sticking together and not getting frustrated when it became loud. We made sure everyone was on the same page, first and foremost.”
Morris scored seven of her points in the first 10 minutes, to fuel a 9-0 run in the first quarter and the Americans then went on a 10-0 run in the second quarter to take a 33-19 lead at halftime. The U.S. team pulled away with a big third quarter.
“I think as a team, we came together and blocked out the crowd and just played together,” Myers said. “The atmosphere was really crazy, and you couldn’t hear, but we just knew each other and how to run our plays to succeed.”