Amsterdam – With a bronze medal on the line, both Canada and Japan knew what was at stake. Canada was able to keep up with the high-scoring Japan team as Canada scored a team-high 84 points to down Japan, 84-77.
With the win, this marks the first time Canada has medaled in the women world championship age-group event.
“Unbelievable effort… we got down but did not quit. This group has been resilient the entire time we’ve been together and today was another great example of that,” said head coach, Carly Clarke. “As we have all tournament, we got meaningful contributions from all twelve players on the team. This was a great group of people and players to work with and I look forward to watching them continue to develop over the years.”
Once again, Canada had contribution from many players. Canada had two players finish with double-doubles, Emily Potter recorded a team-high 17 points and 11 rebounds while Emma Wolfram scored 15 points and grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds. Hamilton’s Kia Nurse also scored 14 points in the victory over Japan.
“I am so excited; we won because of teamwork, defensive transition adjustments and overall resiliency,” said Canadian forward, Emma Wolfram. “This whole experience has allowed me to see so many great players from around the world and has motivated me to go back home and get to work.”
Japan had a great performance from Yunika Nakamura who recorded a double-double by scoring a game-high 27 points and adding 12 rebounds in the game.
At the tip, Canada was able to jump to an early lead 9-2 lead 2:30 into the game. The rest of the quarter went back and forth with the game never getting out of reach for either team. By the end of the opening ten minutes, Canada held the 23-20 advantage.
Under two minutes into the second quarter, Japan was able to hold their first lead in the game from a basket by Nakamura, Japan held the 27-25 lead at that point. Japan was able to push the pace in the quarter by scoring 31 points compared to Canada’s 17. Japan took the 51-40 lead to the locker room.
After a lack lustre second quarter for Canada, the team was able to bounce back in the third frame. Canada was able to tighten up defensively and the offence was ignited. Canada was able to go on an 8-0 run to tie up the game 56-56 with 4:12 left in the quarter. Not long after that, Canada was able to regain the lead after Wolfram was able to score in the paint to give Canada the 62-60 lead. Canada finished the quarter with a 68-63 lead.
With the game still up for grabs in the fourth, Japan made a push to regain the lead. With 5:59 left in the quarter, Japan was able to make it a one point game 72-71. This was as close as Japan would get to the lead, as Canada was able to hold on and win 84-77 and capture the bronze medal.
The tourney concludes the cadette women’s national team season. The team will compete next year at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship and looks to qualify for the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship.