Wheelchair Basketball Canada: Canadian men top Australia; Women fall to Dutch at Worlds

Patrick Anderson had a game-high 26 points leading Canada to a 62-57 victory over Australia on Saturday at the IWBF World Championships.With the win, Canada will play Italy for fifth on Monday at 11 a.m. ET.“Some of the boys were calling it a vintage, throwback performance and bringing up numbers like 2000 and 2012 – that made me feel good and old at the same time,” said Anderson, who added 12 rebounds and nine assists in the victory. “At this point in the tournament, it felt good to have a great win and see the bench come alive.”Canada trailed 35-27 at halftime but outscored Australia 22-12 in the third and closed out the quarter on an 8-0 run to take a 49-47 lead into the fourth. Canada then scored four unanswered 1:36 into the fourth to pull away for good.Bo Hedges and Garrett Ostepchuk each finished with eight points in the win. Colin Higgins and Vincent Dallaire added seven points each.“It’s always tough after you lose in the quarters, but for us to regroup, come back and get a big win against Australia is really big,” Higgins said. “We haven’t beaten Australia in several years. This solidifies our spot in the Top 6 here at the Worlds.”The Senior Men’s National Team finished 12th at the 2018 World Championships in Hamburg, Germany and was eighth at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. With Saturday’s win, Canada is guaranteed to finish in the Top 6, which would be its best finish since 2010 when they placed seventh at the Worlds in Birmingham.“It’s been a long road from finishing 12th in Hamburg and eighth in Tokyo, slowly, like turning a ship, it’s slowly turning in the right direction,” Anderson said. “We have a chance to end on a winning note on Monday, which is nice. We’ll be up for our final game for sure.”Added Higgins: “It hasn’t always been pretty, but hopefully, the grind that we’ve gone through over the last little while is slowly starting to pay off, and hopefully that continues on Monday.”Full stats from Saturday’s win over Australia can be found here.On the women’s side, Team Canada lost 66-47 to the Netherlands in the quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon.Team Canada will play Spain on Sunday at 4:00 a.m. ET in the 5-8 crossover game.The Dutch led by just seven at halftime but went on a 14-4 run to open the third quarter, stretching the lead to 49-34, and never looked back. The Netherlands shot 44. 3 per cent from the field and held Canada to 19 of 52 shooting. Canada also committed 13 turnovers compared to just five from the Dutch.“We had more turnovers today than we’ve had all tournament long, so that cost us a little bit,” said head coach Marni Abbott-Peter. “Our decision-making was excellent. We had those opportunities and those looks, but we didn’t finish those passes, so that was pretty tough on us.“The Netherlands is the No. 1 team in the world, and they showed that today. They played great defence, and they made it tough for us. They also shot very well, and they’re a very disciplined team, and that’s the reason they’ve been on top for so long.”Arinn Young and Kady Dandeneau each scored 15 points in the loss. Dandeneau added a team-high nine rebounds and four assists, while Young added four rebounds and two assists. Cindy Ouellet chipped in 11 points and three assists.“We’ve still got two more games here and can finish fifth, and we’d be proud of that result,” Abbott-Peter added. “We’re feeling positive. We’re definitely disappointed, but we’re not beating ourselves up about it. We know we can do better, and we’ll regroup and be better next game.”The Senior Women’s National Team finished fifth at the Tokyo Paralympic Games and were fifth at the 2018 Worlds.Full stats from Saturday’s quarterfinals game can be found here.

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