Quebec Takes Home Bronze Medal in Nail Biter vs New Brunswick
(Red Deer, Alberta) Top seed and hosts Alberta seized a gold medal on home soil for the first time since 1995 in wheelchair basketball with a 51-48 win over Ontario on Thursday at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alberta.
Wheelchair basketball made its debut at the Canada Games in 1995 in Grand Prairie, Alberta, where the host team won a gold medal. The current crop representing Alberta repeated history tonight after compiling an undefeated 6-0 record en route to the milestone victory in the championship game. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Team Alberta won the gold medal in front of a packed crowd of Alberta supporters.
The gold medal match was one of the most intense and hard-hitting games that Canada Games has ever seen in front of the biggest crowd that the Gary W Harris Canada Games Centre has ever had. The entire game was a seesaw battle, each team exchanging leads throughout the game, but Alberta pulled ahead for the win in the end.
“The home soil and support of the fans really helped us pull through,” said Team Captain Bradon Doll of Camrose. “All the hard work and effort the team has put in has paid off and it feels great to share this moment with the team and the home crowd.”
Bradon Doll of Camrose finished as the top scorer of the tournament with 120 points in total.
“To win this gold medal back in our home province makes it so special, so special!” Exclaimed Head Coach of Team Alberta, Darrell Nordell.
Ontario settled for a silver medal finish in what can only be called a Cinderella story. After coming into Canada Games as fourth seed with eight Canada Games rookies and four returning players, Ontario was the team that no one saw coming.
Quebec took home the bronze medal with a 56-55 win over New Brunswick. The bronze medal game was a physical, heated affair with both teams playing at their best. Quebec led 31-19 at the half but in the second half of the game, New Brunswick slowly chipped away and closed the gap. The entire crowd was holding their breath in the last minute of play, but Quebec ultimately came out on top.
“It’s not the colour we hoped for, but I’m really proud of the bronze medal,” said Ben Palmer of Laval. “We played as a team throughout the tournament. It was a tough game until the end, but we came away with the win. I’m really proud of my team.” Palmer scored a team high of 18 points.
“The bronze medal was really an amazing game,” said Nicolas Palmer, Head Coach of Team Quebec. “It was a tight game, Quebec had the lead at the half and New Brunwick came back. They should be proud of how they fought back. It gave us a nail biter until the end. We are happy to win a bronze. It shows our program is developing but we can still get a result. Yesterday was a tough loss but we came together to win the bronze today. Our veterans, Ben and Élodie showed great leadership to our younger players.”
Saskatchewan (4-2) secured fifth place after picking up its third straight win in consolation play with a 45-25 win over Newfoundland. British Columbia (3-3) placed sixth and finished on a winning note after defeating Manitoba 56-38. Manitoba (2-4) rebounded in their final game with a 49-17 win over Nova Scotia. Newfoundland (1-5) placed eighth in their return to Canada Games after a 12-year absence. Nova Scotia (0-6) placed ninth.
1) Alberta (6-0)
2) Ontario (4-2)
3) Quebec (4-1)
4) New Brunswick (2-3)
5) Saskatchewan (4-2)
6) British Columbia (3-3)
7) Manitoba (2-4)
8) Newfoundland (1-5)
9) Nova Scotia (0-6)
Wheelchair basketball is one of the top draws on the program in Red Deer, as the elite skill and athleticism on display makes for a highly competitive and captivating spectator sport. The competition also showcases the inclusivity of wheelchair basketball, as both able-bodied athletes and athletes with a disability compete together on a level playing field.
The Canada Games are a milestone in the continued development of the next generation of Canadian national, world and Paralympic champions in wheelchair basketball. The competition features current and future members of the Canadian national team program, including hopefuls to represent Canada at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and beyond.
Schedule and Results
The complete tournament schedule and results are available here.
About the 2019 Canada Winter Games
From February 15 until March 3, 2019, the eyes of the nation are on Red Deer, Alberta at the 2019 Canada Winter Games – the largest multi-sport and cultural event for youth in Canada and the largest event to be hosted in Red Deer’s history. Featuring over 150 events in 19 sports and a major arts and cultural festival, the 2019 Canada Winter Games welcomes up to 3,600 athletes, managers and coaches and more than 100,000 spectators, with a significant forecasted economic impact. The 27th edition of the Canada Games, the 2019 Games is set to provide a stage for Canada’s next generation of national, international, Olympic and Paralympic champions to compete and leave a legacy for athletic and leadership greatness in Red Deer and central Alberta. For more information on the 2019 Games, please visit canadagames.ca/2019.
About Wheelchair Basketball Canada
Wheelchair Basketball Canada is the national sport 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.