Consider these stats from the game Monday night in St. Catharines, Ontario…
• Team USA had a 6-inch average height advantage over Panama
• Team USA led at one point 45-0
• Panama didn’t score until there was 7:57 to play in the first half
• Team USA led Panama 70-8 at the half
• After three quarters, Team USA was up 99-17
• The final score was Team USA 118, Panama 26
• Team USA outscored Panama 70-10 in the paint
• They also outscored Panama 22-4 on second-chance points, 49-2 in points in transition and 69-15 in points off the bench
• All 12 U.S. team members scored at least four points
That’s how much of a mismatch the game was.
“We just wanted to keep our foot on the gas and just play hard, not so much worry about our opponent as much as worry about getting better as a team,” said Armando Bacot (Trinity Episcopal School/Richmond, Va.), who shot 6-of-9 from the field and finished as the game’s top scorer with 17 points. “We’re still learning the things we need to know to keep going on in this championship.”
Keeping your foot on the gas is one way of putting it.
“Don’t play the score, try play to win each possession. A lot of coach-speak,” said USA U18 and University of Kansas head coach Bill Self on what he stressed to his team once the game was in hand. “I thought our guys actually did a pretty decent job. I’ve never seen a score like that after one quarter. After that, they still tried to play the right way.”
Pretty sure that Team USA won most of the possessions.
“A game like this allows us to work on executing plays,” said Quentin Grimes (College Park H.S./The Woodlands, Texas), who scored nine points in the victory. “We have to really focus on going out there and executing, because when we play a really good team, we want to be able to go out there and execute.”
Execute… seems like an appropriate choice of words for this game because they killed Panama. Something about which the internet had many, many thoughts.
USA! USA! USA!