Canada dominates France, falls to Great Britain at 2016 Women’s wheelchair basketball Continental Clash

 Cindy Ouellet of Team Canada taking on Team USA in the Gold Medal Game at the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Canada’s offensive depth was on full display on day two of the 2016 Women’s wheelchair basketball Continental Clash exhibition tournament in Worchester, Great Britain.

In both a commanding 72-45 win over France and a narrow 56-49 loss to Great Britain on Tuesday, five members of the Canadian national team recorded at least six points.

Legal Alberta’s Arinn Young had the most productive individual performance of any player on team Canada with 17 points, five rebounds and three assists. The 20-year-old — a member of the Canadian team that won gold at the 2014 World Championships — shot a scintillating 8-for-12 from field goal range.

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London Paralympian Tamara Steeves (Mississauga, Ont) chipped in 11 points, Rosalie Lalonde ( St-Clet, Que.) poured in nine, and Tracey Ferguson (Richmond Hill, Ont.) and Amanda Yan  (Richmond B.C.) each added eight points to Canada’s total.

Meanwhile only two players on the French team managed to eclipse five points. Marianne Buso banked 19 points and Kathy Laurent netted 12 points.

The process to attain this victory was in stark contrast to how the Canadian ladies won their opening day match against Germany (63-54). On Monday, team Canada used a strong fourth quarter to rally past the Germans. On Tuesday, the Canadians pulled away from France early and took a 38-16 lead into halftime.

Dominance in the key proved to be a major factor in lifting the Canadian club to victory as they outscored France 46 to 24 in the critical scoring area.

In the evening game against the host nation, Lalonde and Cindy Ouellet (Quebec City, Que.) led the way with 13 and 11 points respectively. Both the sophomore national team member and three-time Paralympian have two 10-point games in the first three games of the tourney so far.

Janet McLachlan (West Vancouver, B.C.) recorded eight points, Steeves tallied seven, and Young chipped in with six.

While Canada did hit back at Great Britain with a 31-20 edge on the scoreboard in the last half of the game, it was not enough to recover from getting blasted 23-6 in the second quarter. This explosion by Britain’s offence turned a close game after the first quarter — Great Britain led 13-12 — into a contest approaching blowout territory at half time as the home team staked themselves to a 36-18 lead.

Starring for the Brits were Helen Freeman with 24 points and Amy Conroy with 19 points.

Team Canada is tied at the top of the standings with Germany after day two of the Continental Clash with identical 2-1 records. Great Britain and the Netherlands are tied for second with a 1-1 record. France occupies last place with no wins in two games.

Round robin play will conclude for Canada on Wednesday with a matchup against the Netherlands at 7 a.m. EST.

Stay connected to Report on Rio for continuing coverage of the Continental Clash.

Photo: Canadian Paralympic Committee

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