(Red Deer, Alberta) Four time defending champion Quebec and top-seeded Alberta secured the top spots in their respective pools and will face Ontario and New Brunswick respectively in the wheelchair basketball semifinals Wednesday at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alberta.
New Brunswick started the day off on a high with a 52-41 win over Manitoba, improving their record 2-1 and securing a spot in the semi-finals. Austin MacLellan of Fredericton and Brandon Gillis of Kensington led Team New Brunswick with 20 points and 19 points, respectively; while Josh Brown of Winnipeg and Thomas Thevenot of Stonewall delivered 18 points and 17 points.
“This game was big for New Brunswick,” said Danielle Duplessis of Fredericton. “We had the opportunity to use our bench. We’re really proud that we’re a medal contender this year.”
British Columbia kept their momentum going with a 49-31 win over Newfoundland.
“This was our second win for BC,” said Ryleigh Bissenden of Victoria. “We played hard and aggressive defence and it paid off.”
Alberta continued its winning streak with a 66-30 win over Nova Scotia, locking up first place in their pool. Calgary native Jalen Shannon was the offensive catalyst for Alberta, finishing with 18 points.
Quebec joined Alberta in the undefeated category after overpowering Saskatchewan 65-58 in a tightly contested match. Despite some foul trouble, Laval’s Ben Palmer still picked up 27 points, 18 rebounds, and 8 assists; while Regina’s Garrett Ostepchuk finished with 21 points. With this win, Quebec finishes first in their pool and moves on to semifinals.
Ontario was victorious in their game against BC with a final score of 63-39. With this win, Ontario finishes second in their pool and advances to semi-finals where they will be facing la Belle Province where they will attempt to end Quebec’s twenty-four games Canada Games winning streak.
With both teams in search of their first win, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland faced off for the last game of the day. Newfoundland claimed the victory in the end with a final score of 41-30.
Gavin Baggs of Paradise is the youngest player competing in the wheelchair basketball competition at Canada Games at the age of 11 for Team Newfoundland. Gavin is already making an impact on the court with a 67% field goal percentage.
The wheelchair basketball semifinals are set for Wednesday. Ontario and Quebec will face off at 3 p.m. MST and New Brunswick and Alberta will battle it out at 5 p.m. MST, while the medal games take place on Thursday at 5 p.m. MST and 7 p.m. MST.
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.
Games are webcast live through the official Canada Games web portal at canadagames.live/wheelchair-basketball.
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.