BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (June 19, 2022) - The Canadian U18 Women’s National Team dropped a hard-fought 82-77 decision to the United States in the gold medal game of the FIBA U18 Women’s Americas Championship 2022 in Argentina on Sunday.
Though Canada lost on Sunday, the team will leave Argentina with silver medals after going 5-1 in the tournament. This is in addition to the team already qualifying for the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2023, which they did following group play in Argentina last week.
“We felt the team really competed, continued to bounce back from a couple of deficits, and kept themselves in the game right until the end,” Team Canada head coach Steve Baur said.
Canada was led by a 19-point performance from T’yana Todd, as well as 15 points from Mary-Anna Asare and 11 points apiece from Marah Dykstra and Emma Koabel in the loss. Todd was named to the Championship All-Star 5 after the game for her performance in the tournament.
“T’yana made a few huge shots for us, both in timing and a few that she had to bail us out of some tougher situations to keep us alive,” Baur said. “In the end, the USA’s effort on the offensive glass was just too much to overcome. This sets the tone for us heading into World’s next year, building some confidence and a good foundation moving forward.”
Canada shot 42 percent in the game compared to 39 percent for the United States. The U.S. made up the difference on the glass, outrebounding Canada 45-40, including 16-8 on the offensive glass.
Sunday’s game started with a back-and-forth first quarter before two separate 5-0 runs from the United States allowed them to move in front until a three-pointer from Koabel brought Canada back within two points with 3:19 remaining. Canada trailed after the opening 10 minutes 20-16.
In the second quarter, the U.S. put together another series of mini-runs to slowly pull away and extend the lead to eight before Koabel again came up with a three to get Canada back within five with two minutes remaining in the half. After a layup from Grace Van Slooten for the U.S. at the buzzer, Canada went into halftime trailing 41-31.
Canada kept pace in the third, going bucket for bucket with the U.S., but they were unable to cut into the halftime deficit until a layup from Marah Dykstra got Canada within single digits with 4:53 remaining in the third. After a solid defensive stand from Canada, Hylton was fouled while shooting a three-pointer, going on to make all three free throws to get Canada within five. Todd hit a step-back three-pointer, and then with the third quarter clock running down, Todd also drilled a long three at the buzzer to get Canada within four, 57-53, after three.
“We really fought back at the end, but we just came up short,” Todd said. “I’m proud of the whole team. We all fought until the very end and I'm proud of the team we became in a very short time.”
The United States opened the fourth with a three-point play for Cotie McMahon, to go ahead by seven, but Canada responded with a three-point play of its own from Mary-Anna Asare. After a 7-0 run from the United States, Canada called a timeout with 5:35 remaining in the game as they trailed by 14, matching the largest deficit of the game. Despite the clock ticking down, Canada didn’t stop pushing.
A three-pointer from Asare trimmed the deficit to 10 with 1:45 remaining and Canada kept shooting. Free throws from Koabel brought Canada within seven. After an eight-second violation from the United States, Dykstra scored on a layup to get within five with 30 seconds remaining. Though they would be unable to complete the comeback, Canada pushed right until the final buzzer sounded, just as they had throughout the tournament.