Image courtesy of FIBA Americas
The Cadette Women’s National Team (CWNT) played well, but could not overcome a strong second half effort from Team USA at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Women. Canada will take home the silver medal following an 82-48 loss in the gold medal game. The CWNT finished the tournament with a record of 4-1.
Both teams opened the game with strong defensive efforts. Canada was led by the sharpshooting Bridget Carleton and the strong inside presence of Lauren Yearwood who combined for Canada’s nine points in the frame to equal Team USA’s point total. The match opened up in the second, but neither side could build an advantage. The North American rivals each scored 18 points in the quarter to knot the game 27-27 at halftime.
Team USA put together a strong second half to close-out the contest. Combining suffocating defensive pressure and strong shooting, the United States controlled the third quarter to outscore Canada 31-7. Team Canada found holes in the American defense in the fourth frame, but Team USA maintained their offensive pace.
Yearwood led the way for Canada with team-highs of 15 points and 8 rebounds. The native of Victoria, B.C. was proud of her team’s effort and compete level. "We came out really strong in the first half and we battled really hard. Unfortunately it didn't work out in our favour, but we gave them a tough fight and we're keeping our heads held high.” Hamilton, Ont. native Hailey Brown added 12 points in the match on an efficient 50 per cent shooting for her highest point total in the tournament. The game’s complete set of statistics can be seen here.
When asked about the game, head coach Carly Clarke said, “we’re disappointed we didn't take home the gold medal, but our girls should be very proud of their effort. It was tied at halftime and we battled incredibly hard. The USA went on a run early in the second half and we couldn't recover from it. All in all, it was a successful tournament. We're looking forward to carrying this effort through to the world championship next summer.”
The CWNT had already qualified for the 2014 U17 World Championship for Women by finishing first in Group B of the tournament’s preliminary round. Team Canada will take the successes and lessons learned from this competition and continue to grow its game in preparation for the exciting summer of 2014.