Women defeat Japan; men fall to Germany in classification round on Day 10 at the Paralympics
Wheelchair Basketball Canada – Lalonde paces women past Japan
(September 3, 2021 – TORONTO, Ont.) Rosalie Lalonde scored a team-high 20 points as Canada defeated Japan 68-49 in women’s wheelchair basketball on Friday at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
The win gives the Canadians a fifth-place finish at the Games.
“I think we finished the tournament really strong, that was the most important thing – to show to everyone we are a good team, and we can beat anyone,” said head coach Marc Antoine Ducharme. It was important to get the win and finish on a great note.”
The Canadians scored the game’s first eight points and led 22-4 after one on 61 per cent shooting from the field.
Team Canada held a 38-17 lead at the half, with Lalonde scoring a game-high 14 points. Arinn Young added eight points, nine rebounds and six assists as the Canadians out-rebounded Japan 23-14 after two quarters.
After the loss to the Americans in the quarterfinals, Ducharme said it was essential to conclude the tournament on a winning note.
“It is really important because it showed the resiliency this team has,” he said. “It’s just the beginning for our team. We wanted to make sure we set the tone for the future and for the coming year. We wanted to show we can learn from a loss and bounce back from it.”
All 11 members of Canada’s roster saw game action in Friday’s win, including Danielle DuPlessis, who scored her first Paralympic points.
“Everyone was involved in that victory; that was important too,” said Ducharme. “Everyone trains so hard, and all the talents of the team showed up on the court today. Rosalie’s 20 points, it’s awesome to see the way that she bounced back from the loss. She came back and played a really strong game. I’m really proud of them for the way they played today and how they were able to bounce back.”
Canada out-scored Japan in three of four quarters and finished shooting 55 per cent from the field while holding the Japanese to just 31 per cent shooting.
Full stats: https://bit.ly/38D6AXa
Men’s team finishes eighth in Tokyo
Germany defeated Canada 68-56 on Friday in men’s wheelchair basketball at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. The loss means Canada finishes eighth at the Games.
Despite the loss, the team has made significant progress since the 2018 World Championship, according to Nik Goncin.
“We didn’t want to finish that way, but comparing us to Worlds in 2018 in Hamburg, Germany, we made a huge gain, and we weren’t getting blown out by any team,” he said. “We were really close to even getting a win in that quarterfinal. So, things are going in the right direction, so it’s very positive.”
Bo Hedges had a team-high 16 points while Colin Higgins added 12 points off the bench. Goncin finished with eight points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists in the loss.
Goncin’s made free throw pulled the Canadians to within three with two minutes remaining in the fourth, but Germany closed out the game on a 9-0 run for the win.
“The game could’ve gone better, but we got a bunch of guys in, got them some experience,” said Goncin. “It’s more about the journey right now than a single game.”
Team Canada led 21-19 after one quarter, with Lee Melymick pacing the Canadians with six points on 3 of 4 shooting.
Germany opened the second quarter on a 13-6 run to take a 32-27 lead and led 37-31 at the break. The Germans scored four unanswered to open a 10-point lead 2:19 into the third quarter and took a 50-41 lead into the fourth.
“They’re a good team so they played us tough,” said Hedges. “They’ve got some guys that can really shoot the ball, so it was good for us to keep building on things we’re working on: our rotations defensively and our offence. It was good that way.”
The eighth-place finish by the men’s team is an improvement on the 11th place performance at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
“In the rankings, obviously we’re better than where we were in the past, so that’s the easy measure,” said Hedges. “But just with the way we’re playing and coming together and playing as a unit – that’s an improvement as well. It wasn’t just one guy going off and carrying us. It was a team effort, and that’s great to see.”
Complete stats: bit.ly/38CoUzx
About Wheelchair Basketball Canada
Wheelchair Basketball Canada is the national sports governing body responsible for the organization of the sport in Canada. It is a non-profit, charitable organization that is committed to excellence in the development, support and promotion of wheelchair basketball programs and services for all Canadians from grassroots to high performance. Wheelchair basketball is a fast-paced, hard-hitting, competitive sport in which Canada is held in high esteem around the world for winning a combined six gold, one silver, and one bronze medal in the last seven Paralympic Games. For more information, please visit wheelchairbasketball.ca.
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Wheelchair Basketball Canada