(Toronto, Ont.) The Canadian Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team is off to the semifinals after defeating Australia 63-47 on Thursday evening at the 2014 Women’s World Championship at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Ont.
Team Canada, the reigning world championship bronze medallist, will face defending Paralympic bronze medallist the Netherlands in the semifinal contest at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 27 with a berth to the gold medal game on the line.
It was a tightly contested game against the Aussies through the opening 20 minutes, with Canada entering halftime with a narrow 33-29 lead. The Canadians delivered a monstrous third quarter, outscoring the Aussies 20-8 to take command of the game. That propelled Canada to victory, as both teams matched each other point for point to close out the game.
“We were able to force them to take some outside shots tonight,” said Team Canada Head Coach Bill Johnson, of Winnipeg, Man., in reference to the Canadian defence. “We’re fortunate to have a few players who can score. In the past, we’ve had one or two, so that depth will be important moving forward.”
On the whole, Canada shot a sizzling 54 per cent compared to 37 per cent for Australia. The Canucks also dominated in the key, with 48 points in the paint compared to Australia’s 14 points.
Cindy Ouellet, of Quebec City, Que., dropped a game-high 20 points for Team Canada. Teammates Janet McLachlan, of Vancouver, B.C., and Katie Harnock, of Elmira, Ont., followed suit with 17 points apiece. Sydney native Sarah Stewart countered for Australia with a team-high 12 points.
Germany will face the United States in the other semifinal on Friday.
The Canadian women are in pursuit of an unprecedented seventh consecutive podium finish at the world championship, and the tournament is Canada’s first major test on the road to the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games and the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
The tournament runs June 20-28 and is the largest women’s world championship in history, featuring teams from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru and the United States.
All games of the competition are being webcast live online through CBC Sports’ free desktop video player and SportsCanada.TV’s digital platforms, as well as through the official tournament website. Tickets are also on sale online and at the Mattamy Athletic Centre box office.
For complete results and more information please visit www.2014wheelchairbasketball.com / #2014wcbasketball.