(Toronto, Ont.) The Netherlands and the USA both improved to 2-0 at the Toronto Challenge on Thursday, while the hometown Canadians and the Brits are still in search of their first wins in women’s wheelchair basketball competition at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Canada and the USA added another chapter to the rivalry as both clubs battled in a close opening half. The Americans had the edge at halftime, up 36-29. After pulling to within three points, the Canadians hit a wall on both sides of the ball and the Americans widened the gap by outscoring Canada 37-25 to close out the game. The final score was 73-54 in favour of Team USA. American Rose Hollermann led all players with 36 points, while Cindy Ouellet was the top point producer for the Canadian side with 13 points.
The Netherlands cruised to a 74-54 win against Great Britain in the late game on Thursday. The Dutch attacked proved to be too much to contain, as the reigning Paralympic bronze medalists secured their second win of the tournament. Mariska Beijer produced 31 points for the Netherlands, while Helen Freeman scored a team-high 21 points for Great Britain.
Canada and Great Britain will attempt to regroup when they meet at 6:15 p.m. ET on Friday, while Team USA and the Netherlands will put their flawless records on the line when they tip off at 8:30 p.m. ET. Action continues through to Sunday at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. All games are open to the public.
The Toronto Challenge marks the first major test for the Canadian women as they proceed with team selections and preparations on the road to Rio 2016. Canada is the reigning world champion and the top-ranked team heading into the Paralympic Games.
About Team Canada
The Senior Women’s National Team is amongst the most successful and dominant teams in Canadian amateur sport history. The team captured three consecutive Paralympic gold medals in 1992, 1996, and 2000, and bronze in 2004. They have also reached the podium at seven consecutive world championships.
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 six Paralympic Games.