(Burlington, Ont.) The Calgary Rollers and the Edmonton Inferno will face off for the gold medal at the 2017 Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League (CWBL) Women’s National Championship. Both clubs emerge as the top contenders after some intense wheelchair basketball action in the semi-finals on Saturday at the Haber Recreation Centre in Burlington, Ont. Quebec will take on the BC Breakers for the bronze medal.
The bronze and gold medal games will unfold on Sunday at 9 a.m. ET and 11 a.m. ET, respectively.
Game 7 – Saskatchewan 53 vs. BC Breakers 59
The BC Royals started the quarter finals off with a 59-53 win against Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan held BC off with a strong defense that allowed them to take a 10 point lead in the first quarter. Determined to erase the deficit BC capitalized on Saskatchewan’s struggle to convert on their shots in the second half and clawed their way back to lead the scoreboard. Kady Dandeneau led all BC players with 25 points, while Katie Miyazaki produced a team-high 17 points.
Game 8 – Ontario 27 vs. Edmonton Inferno 55
The Edmonton Inferno improved to 3-1 with a convincing 55-27 win over the host Ontario. Both teams seemed well matched after tip off, keeping a close score until Edmonton tentatively pulled ahead 28-21 at half. The Inferno maintained the momentum throughout the game and didn’t allow Ontario to catch them. Arinn Young was the top point producer for Edmonton with 16 points, while Tamara Steeves countered with 13 points for Ontario.
Game 9 – Calgary Rollers 65 vs. BC Breakers 47
The Calgary Rollers remain undefeated after a win in the semi-finals against the BC Royals. Calgary breezed their way to an early lead after the first quarter and doubled BC’s score output in the second. BC was unable to match Calgary’s offense as the Rollers dictated the tempo for the remainder of the game. With the win Calgary secured their place in the championship final and will compete for a shot at a sixth national title. Erica Gavel paced the Rollers offense with 21 points. Kady Dandeneau tallied 20 points as the top scorer for BC.
Game 10 – Edmonton Inferno 78 vs. Quebec 74
Edmonton kept the winning momentum going in a rematch of last year’s gold medal game to hand Quebec its first loss. The seesaw battle featured multiple lead changes with Edmonton ahead by two points near the finish line until Cindy Ouellet tied it 66-66 with five seconds left on the clock, pushing the game into overtime. The game remained a stalemate until 12 seconds before the end of overtime when Arinn Young brought it up to 76-74 for Edmonton. Ouellet was unsuccessful in an attempt to sink a three pointer and Jayna Doll secured the Edmonton victory by adding another two points. With the win, the Inferno advanced to the gold medal game and will vie for a ninth national championship title. Ouellet dropped a game-high 35 points for the Quebec side, while Young countered with 29 points for the Inferno.
“We had to think about where the next play would be all the time, Quebec is so fast, they’re up on our chairs, we had to turn them away, expose some backs and then we could pick and roll off that. I think just towards the end of the game they got in a little more foul trouble than we did, that’s all it came down to,” said Edmonton’s head coach Darrell Nordell.
“We see Calgary so much throughout the year. I thought we played against them really well yesterday, we had a much better second half against them, so there are some things we learned from yesterday that we’ll definitely put in to tomorrow.”
Game 11 – Saskatchewan 54 vs. Ontario 37
Saskatchewan rebounded from their previous losses with a solid 54-37 win against Ontario. Saskatchewan fought back from a six point deficit in the first quarter after hitting their stride, ultimately outscoring the host team. Shelby Harrower led the Saskatchewan attack with 27 points. Tamara Steeves and Christina Swett both responded with 13 points each for Ontario. Saskatchewan and Ontario concluded the tournament in fifth and sixth place, respectively.
About the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League
The Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League (CWBL) was founded in 1986 and has two primary divisions: the Open division and the Women’s division. The league features wheelchair basketball club teams from across Canada and culminates each season with a national championship for both the Open and Women’s divisions.
The league is fully integrated as both divisions welcome athletes with a disability as well as able-bodied athletes to play in the spirit of competition. It often features some of the country’s best wheelchair basketball players, including past, present and future members of Team Canada.
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.