Image courtesy of FIBA

On the final day of competition at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women, the Junior Women’s National Team (JWNT) defeated Japan by a score of 75-64. The victory gives Team Canada a 4-5 record in the tournament and a seventh-place finish overall.

Canada played a strong opening 10 minutes and used its size to capitalize on second-chance opportunities to build a 23-14 lead after the first frame. The second quarter saw Jamie Weisner of Clarkston, Washington continue to propel her team on the offensive end; she would finish the half with 15 points to give Team Canada a 45-33 advantage going into the locker room.

A resilient Japanese side battled back in the third, winning the frame 21-13 and pulling within four points of the JWNT at 58-54. Canada finished the game with solid shooting, and even better rebounding, to hold off Team Japan and close-out the Red and White’s time at the competition with a victory.

Rebounding was a significant advantage for the Canadian side as they won the battle for the boards 68-33, resulting in 22 second-chance points and 44 points in the paint. Weisner finished with a double-double of game-highs with 20 points and 16 rebounds, seven of which came on the offensive end. Quinn Dornstauder of Regina, Saskatchewan notched 14 points and eight rebounds, while Kamloops, B.C. native Emma Wolfram collected 12 points and eight rebounds on the day. The match’s full set of statistics can be viewed here

With her string of strong performances at the World Championship, Weisner was selected to the all-tournament team. She was the only player in the competition to reach the 30-point plateau, a feat she accomplished twice: in her international debut with 33 points versus the Netherlands and again with a 30-point performance against Brazil. When asked about the team’s final game, Weisner commented, “We wanted to come out and finish this trip with a win. Japan is a small and quick team, so it was hard to contain them off the dribble, but we played well offensively which kept us in the game. Overall, this has been a good tournament and a great experience.”

“We are very proud of how our girls battled until the end of the tournament,” said head coach Scott Edwards. “Japan is a good team and a difficult match-up for us, but in the end, our size and rebounding effort won us the ball game. We are proud how our girls competed through 8 tough matches; our athletes have gained incredible experience here throughout this championship.”

The victory concludes a hard-fought tournament for the Junior Women. The team’s successes in Lithuania are a credit to the work and dedication put forth by the staff and players. The growth and experience gained at this World Championship will continue to inspire and drive these athletes in their futures representing Team Canada.