Image courtesy of FIBA Americas
The Cadette Women’s National Team (CWNT) played a strong defensive game en route to a 64-36 victory over Brazil at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Women. Canada is undefeated through four games in the tournament and will face the winner of Team USA vs. Team Mexico for the gold medal on Sunday.
Canada put together an impressive evening in its own end to limit Brazil’s chances throughout the game. The CWNT held the opposition scoreless for seven straight minutes to take a 15-6 lead after the opening frame. A strong team effort in the second saw the squad distribute the ball well to find the open shot. Bridget Carleton and Eternati Willock each scored five points in the quarter as the Red and White built a 33-11 advantage at halftime.
Team Brazil came out of the break looking re-energized and put forth a more focused effort on both ends of the court. The team pressed Canada up-the-court and came back with strong play on offence, but the CWNT matched Brazil’s intensity through determination and will. Team Canada used good ball movement to score 31 second-half points, while holding Brazil to 18 per cent shooting for the game. The Canadians’ commitment to their own end produced 29 defensive rebounds in the contest.
Montreal, Que. native Maël Gilles led the way for Canada with an efficient shooting display, making all four of her shots – including three from long range – for 15 points in just over 14 minutes on the court. Tamara Farquhar of Cote St-Luc, Que. led all rebounders with nine in the contest. Scarborough, Ont. product Willock played a strong all-around game matching 12 points with six rebounds and a pair of steals. The game’s full set of statistics can be viewed here.
When asked about the team’s overall performance on the night, Willock said, "We came out hard and we competed well. Even though we had some rough spots, we responded with energy and intensity. Personally, I think I could have done better on the defensive end with my rebounding. On offence, I was just trying to help create for my teammates."
Head coach Carly Clarke saw positives in the win and is looking forward to tomorrow night’s contest. "We're excited to get the win and move on to the championship game. Brazil played very hard and challenged us for 40 minutes. We did a good job of moving the ball tonight and we stuck to our game plan defensively for the majority of the match, but we'll need to be better tomorrow."
The championship game is set to tip-off at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday evening. The game can be seen live online at fibaamericas.com.