Ankara, Turkey – Canada’s Senior Women National Team (SWNT) behind a complete team effort knocked-off fifth ranked Czech Republic 91-71 to advance to the quarter-finals of the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Woman behind held in Turkey.
Paced by the leadership of National team veteran and team captain Kim Gaucher (Mission, B.C) as well as the fresh and energetic legs and skill-set of Nirra Fields (Montreal, Quebec) the Canadians took control of the game in the late stages of the first-quarter and never looked back, cruising to a 20-point victory and setting up a quarter-final tilt against tough undefeated Australia (3-0) team.
Both teams opened the game focused and shooting a high percentage, with Canada leading 15-13 the Czech’s Republic Petra Kulichova was whistled for a foul on Katherine Plouffe and was assessed a technical foul in the process for arguing with the referee. Plouffe knocked 3-of-4 free-throws and scooped-up an offensive rebound for a layup and Gaucher drilled a jumper with 37 seconds left to finish the quarter on 7-0 run and 22-13 lead after the first-quarter.
The Czech Republic trimmed the lead to 24-21 by taking advantage of their superior height with 8-2 a run to open the second-quarter, from there it was All-Canada as the crisp ball movement and unselfish play led to a 44-32 lead at half-time. Canada maintained a comfortable 10-point cushion for most of the second-half to reach the Final 8 of the World Championships.
Gaucher found her shooting touch after a touch outing against France and finished with a game-high 17 points and seven rebounds on 6-0f-10 shooting. Fields came off the bench and contributed with 15 points and six rebounds. Katherine Plouffe continued here outstanding tournament with another solid effort with 13 points and four rebounds and Kia Nurse wrapped the double-digit scores for the Canadians with 12 points and 2 assists.
Canada shot the ball extremely well finishing a healthy 34/63 (54%) from the floor, the Czech Republic connected on 36/57 (45.6%) of their shots. Canada shot a tournament best 22 free-throws, knocking down 19 of them, further emphasizing head coach Lisa Thomaidis committed to attack the rim rather than settle for long jump shots like they did in the group phase of the tournament.
Canada (2-3) will now take Australia (3-0) in the quarter-finals for chance to reach their first-ever semi-finals of a FIBA World Championship. Australia has won the past three-meetings against Canada dating back to 1994, 72-47 (2010), 97-65 (2006) and 90-72 in 1994.
Canada earns silver at 2019 FIBA U16 Americas Championships
Canada’s U16 Men’s national team captured a third straight silver medal at the 2019 FIBA Americas championships falling 94-77 to the United States of America in the Gold medal game in Belem, Brazil.
The highly anticipated bout featuring the two top U16 FIBA-ranked teams in the world didn’t disappoint — showcasing upwards of a combined 10 potential NBA draftees.
Team Canada kept the game tight for the first 10 minutes and took their only lead of the game at 17-15 with 2:02 in to play, before a late triple gave the USA a 18-17 lead to close the quarter.
The USA took the game to the Canadians in the second-quarter, outscoring Canada 27-15 for a 45-32 half-time lead.
Caleb Houstan (Mississauga, Ont.) scored 25 points and three rebounds and finished as the championship’s second leading scorer with 22.8 points per game. Houstan, a silky smooth forward had a tournament high 29 points to become Canada’s top scorer in U16 FIBA Americas competition — breaking Kevin Pangos 28 point record from 2009.
Canada showed some bark in the third-quarter with solid defensive stretches and back-to-back dunks, cutting the lead to single digits on multiple occasions and closing in at 57-51 of the Americans with 4:34 to play.
The Americans rallied with a 13-6 run to end third-quarter for a comfortable 72-57 lead and put it in cruise control in the fourth-quarter — stretching the lead to a game-high 21 points.
Despite the loss, the final 17-point deficit ties the lowest spread between the two squads in five championship or semi-finals games at the FIBA Americas tournament.
Team Canada has now lost all five games against the USA at the FIBA U16 Americas championships — dropping three-straight gold medal games — 111-60 in 2017 and 77-60 in 2015 and two semi-finals encounters, 113-70 in 2011 and 126-78 in 2009.
Ryan Nembhard (Aurora, Ont) wrapped the tournament with another outstanding effort with 21 points, 9 assists and 2 rebounds. Nembhard led the tournament with a total of 54 assists, good for 9 per game, and was Canada’s second leading scorer at 14.3 points per game.
Enoch Boakye (Brampton, Ont) 12 points and 13 rebounds concluded the tournament with his third straight game in double-figures rebounding and was the third top rebounder in the competition at 10.8 per game. Boakye had of two of the tournaments top 10 rebounding performances with 17 against Mexico and 16 against Dominican Republic.
Both Houstan and Ryan Nembhard were named to the tournaments all-star team alongside Dominican Republic’s Jean Montero — including the USA’s Jalen Durne and tournament MVP Christopher Livingston.
Canada finished the tournament 5-1 with group B victories over Uruguay 101-63, Brazil 90-67, Puerto Rico 96-76 and wins over Mexico 95-78 and 97-81 over the Dominican Republic in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.
The U16 Canadian squad has reached the podium five times since the inaugural, bi-annual American zone tournament kicked-off 10 years ago in 2009 — earning three silver and two bronze medals. Canada lost a heart-breaking 65-64 semi-finals loss to Argentina in 2013.
Canada has qualified for the 2020 U17 FIBA World Championships where they will look to improve from their 2018 4th-place finish.
Shaedon Sharpe posterizes Dominican defender at U16 FIBA Americas
Canadian 16-year old high-flyer Shaedon Sharpe took off and posterized a Dominican Republic defender at the 2019 FIBA U16 Americas championship in Brazil.
With 35 seconds to play the first-half Sharpe shook off a defender with a sweet pump fake and then took-off baseline and dropped a Jordanesque poster all-over the Dominican defender.
Canada broken a tightly contested semi-finals contest to beat the Dominican Republic 97-81 to reach the finals of the 2016 FIBA U16 Americas championships.
Sharpe finished with 17 points , four rebounds and three assists, shooting 8-for-10 from the field.
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