Image courtesy of FIBA Americas

The Cadette Women’s National Team (CWNT) has opened the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Women with an impressive 94-23 victory over Venezuela. The victory kicks-off the five-day competition which will see the top four teams qualify for next year’s FIBA U17 World Championship for Women.

The CWNT opened the game somewhat tentatively, but quickly eased into a rhythm. Scarborough, Ontario native Eternati Willock opened the game’s scoring, but Venezuela quickly knotted the game at two. Canada then used a 14-0 run to blow the game wide open. The first quarter finished at 23-5 as Canada held Venezuela without a field goal and limited their opponents to five shots in the game’s opening 10 minutes.

Co-captain Bridget Carleton opened the second with a three-pointer as Canada continued to work hard in its own end and hold-off the Venezuelan attack. The CWNT’s blanketing defence shutout Team Venezuela in the second quarter as Canada scored 24 to lead 47-5 at halftime. Both teams would see their most productive quarters in the second half’s opening frame as Venezuela notched 11 points, but Canada countered with 31.

Canada’s balanced-attack was led by Scarborough, Ont. product Danielle Garven, who finished the contest with 16 points on an efficient 70 per cent shooting. Six Canadians finished in double-digits, including Hamilton, Ont. native Hailey Brown, who posted a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Team Canada’s distinct advantage in size showed as the team out-rebounded Venezuela 60-20 while putting up 52 points in the paint. The game’s full set of statistics can be viewed here.

Head coach Carly Clarke liked what she saw in the match. “Overall, it was a great opening game for us. We came out with a little bit of nervousness, but we brought a ton of effort and hard work. They played together and executed fairly well as a team. We got contributions from all 12 players and we saw some great things that will carry us forward throughout the tournament.”

When asked about her performance, Garven said, “I thought I started off playing nervous, but as the night went on, I became more comfortable and started to play my game thanks to the support of my teammates."

The CWNT next faces Puerto Rico on Thursday evening with tip-off scheduled for 5:00 p.m. (ET). The match will be broadcast live online at