The Junior Women’s National Team (JWNT) opened its summer competitive season with a tough 69-54 exhibition loss to France. The exhibition series is in preparation for the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women in Lithuania.

Team Canada opened with a fairly even first quarter, but fell behind by a score of 14-11. France seemed to be just a single step ahead of the Canadian side all night as the team slowly built on its lead as the game progressed. The JWNT’s deficit had doubled to six by the halftime mark.

An even third quarter left Team Canada within striking distance. The team had opportunities to close-in on France, but could not capitalize. France erupted for a 23-point burst in the final ten minutes of the game to blow open what had been a tight contest through the opening 30 minutes of the match.

Canada was led by Clarkston, Wash. native Jamie Weisner who finished with a game-high of 22 points. The JWNT’s next highest scorers were Daneesha Provo and Emma Wolfram with five points each. One area in which the Red and White excelled was offensive rebounding. Canada finished with a slim 39-34 edge in total rebounds, but controlled the offensive side with 23. Quinn Dornstauder led all rebounders with eight in the game. The game’s statistics can be viewed here.

Head coach Rich Chambers reflected on the positives of the match as a learning experience. "For our first game we did a lot of good things. I was pleased with our third quarter and the first part of the fourth. We had twelve players in the game contributing. We learned something tonight and we need to come out tougher on defense tomorrow night."

The two teams will match-up once again to complete the two-game exhibition series tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. (ET). The JWNT will then make its way to Lanzarote, Spain for an exhibition tournament from July 12-15 against the host-nation, Australia and the United States.