Basketball: Betts, U.S. U19 team into FIBA World Cup quarterfinals

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Grandview High School senior-to-be Lauren Betts (15) has played in four games for the U.S. U19 team that has steamrolled through four games at the FIBA U19 World Cup tournament in Debrecen, Hungary. The Americans take on Spain on Friday with a spot in the semifinals on the line. (Photo by USA Basketball)

Grandview High School senior-to-be Lauren Betts and the U.S. U-19 women’s basketball team steamrolled through three games of pool play and the opening round of elimination play at the U19 FIBA World Cup Championship tournament in Debrecen, Hungary.

The American team finished pool play 3-0 and started play in the round of 16 with a 129-45 victory over Chinese Taipei Aug. 11, which put it into an Aug. 13 quarterfinal against 3-1 Spain.

In a game against Chinese Taipei in which the U.S. team tied its all-time high for points scored and set a program record with 38 assists, the 6-foot-7 Betts contributed 14 points and six rebounds.

Betts has played regularly in all four games for the American team, which topped Egypt 97-36, Australia 99-59 and Italy 96-37 in pool play.

Betts’ best effort of the tournament came Aug. 10 against Australia, when she came off the bench to pour in 17 points and pull down 12 rebounds.

“Today was honestly just a team win, and I think everyone contributed in some way,” Betts told USA Basketball after the game. “I’m just really proud of our effort on defense and rebounding. We were super aggressive with them, and we didn’t back down at all to their aggressiveness, so it was honestly just about energy today.”

Betts grabbed 13 rebounds to go with six points and three blocked shots in a start against Egypt, while she had 12 points and two rebounds against Italy.

Quarterfinals take place Aug. 13, semifinals Aug. 14 and placing games — including the gold medal contest — are scheduled for Aug. 15. The U.S. women have won seven of the past eight gold medals in the FIBA U19 tournament.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

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