| 2011 Nike IJT finalists Zalgiris Kaunas began its quest for a repeat appearance in the 2012 latter stage with a comprehensive win over Vaerlose BBK. Playing at their home court, the Lithuanian junior team swept aside their Danish opponents 100-65 on Friday morning. Top scorers for Zalgiris were Thomas Dimsa with 19 points and Marius Grigonis, who posted 18, whilst David Knudsen provided the best reply for Vaerlose with 18 points.
A Marius Grigonis turnover played in Emil Henningsen for a lay up that opened the scoring for IJT Vaerlose BBK, drawing an immediate and identical response from Zalgiris Rokas Gustys. After David Knudsen hit two free throws from the line to pull the game back level at 6-6, Zalgiris took over with an unanswered 12-point scoring run inspired by Grigonis steals, free throws and defensive rebounding prowess. This spree was finally interrupted midway through the first quarter by a Peter Moller basket from the perimeter. Vaerlose cut the deficit to 5 points before the end of the opening period.
Zalgiris Kaunas more than tripled its advantage in the second quarter to make it a 17-point game at the halftime buzzer. Grigonis and Tomas Dimsa's successful 3-pointers and some clinical lay ups put the game beyond almost any doubt midway through the third, which ended with Zalgiris 39 points clear. The fourth quarter saw more of the same and the favorites went 1-0 in the Kaunas Tournament.
Friday, February 10, 2012