HAMBURG, Germany – Cindy Ouellet of Quebec City scored a game-high 20 points as Canada defeated the United States 68-53 on Saturday to place fifth in women’s competition at the World Wheelchair Basketball Championships.
“I think we are building for the future,” said Ouellet. “We have a young team and a young group here. We have only been working together for a few years, so it’s really promising for Tokyo. Winning today, we have something to build on. We are going to be ready and come out strong.’’
Kady Dandeneau (Pender Island, B.C.) had 16 points, followed closely by Arinn Young (Legal, Alta.) with 14 points.
The Canadian women equal their result from two years ago at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.
“We have a lot of talent on this team and a lot of the correct attitude,’’ added Ouellet. ‘’We cheer on each other, and build off each other. We support each other, the players and the coaches. All 12 players played today which shows we have a deep bench. It’s nice for all of us and nice for Canada that we were able to finish the tournament strong.”
Canada built up a 37-22 lead at halftime, including a three-point dagger from Young to close out the half.
On the men’s side, Canada lost 70-66 to Italy for a final standing of 12th.
“Twelfth is not what we came here to do, so it’s very disappointing,” said Canada’s Patrick Anderson (Fergus, Ont.). “It’s going to take a little bit of time to get past it. I hoped that even if we didn’t win a medal here that we would be close enough that we could see a few things that we could work on to be better to close the gap between us and the best teams.”
Nik Goncin (Regina, Sask.) dropped a game best 30 points for Canada, while Anderson picked up his fifth double-double in five games on the strength of 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Great Britain captured the men's gold medal, defeating the U.S. 79-62, while Australia took home the bronze medal over Iran.
The women's final saw Netherlands take down Great Britain by a score of 56-40, with Germany winning the bronze in an exciting 44-43 triumph over China.
Team Canada information: http://www.wheelchairbasketball.ca/event/2018-world-wheelchair-basketball-championships/
Official website: https://iwbf.org/event/2018-world-championships/