CANADA BATTLES THROUGH TOUGH ENVIRONMENT, FALL TO CZECH REPUBLIC
Canada walked into a tough environment and gave the host nation, Czech Republic, all they could handle in the final game of group play. The Cadette Women’s National Team ultimately lost, 71-62.
The Czech Republic jumped out to a 23-14 lead after the first quarter and Canada would spend the rest of the game clawing their way back. Team Canada won the second and third quarters, but the Czech Republic took the important fourth quarter.
“I was a little disappointed with our start in today's game. I think we had a slow start, maybe overwhelmed by the crowd and the environment that was presented to us and the physicality that the Czech team brought from the start, but overall I thought we competed once we figured that out and made it a basketball game,” said head coach Carly Clarke.
“In preparation for our game against Brazil, we have to take better care of the ball and be ready to be physical with them. They are going to be agressive and pressuring and today certainly prepared us for that. It was a fun playing against the home crowd today. The energy gives us energy. Those are the environments you always want to be playing in and that you should want to play in.”
Team Canada relied on two players for offence – Bridget Carleton and Kendra Van Leeuwen. In 38 minutes of play, Carleton scored 21 points on 5-14 shooting (9-10 free throws), and contributed six rebounds, four assists and five steals. Van Leeuwen had 7-9 shooting, including 3-3 from beyond the arc, to finish with 20 points. She was active in other areas, finishing with five rebounds three assists and two steals.
“I thought that we started off a little slow but then as we got into it we found our drive and energy and as a team we really pushed back and we really fought hard to be within one basket,” said Van Leeuwen.
“Playing in front of the Czech home crowds was actually a really exciting experience. I've never experienced that,” Van Leeuwen said of the environment.
The Czech Republic was led by an performance from Julia Reisingerová. With 27 points on 10-20 shooting, seven offensive rebounds, 15 total rebounds, and a steal and a block, Reisingerová was the difference.
A loss means Canada finishes group play with a 1-2 record. They will play Brazil on July 2, with the tip-off time to be determined.