Canada women caused the upset of the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games wheelchair basketball competition as they defeated favourites USA in the final to take home gold for the first time since 2003.
The opening exchanges belonged to the USA as they stamped their authority on the game rushing out to a 10-2 lead, but a determined Canadian team brought it back to 16-11 at the end of the first.
Foul trouble for Canada midway through the second meant they had to change their line-up with Rosalie Lalonde on three personal fouls. However, Canada did not decrease their intensity and the two big line-up of Kathleen Dandeneau and Arinn Young that had been introduced, caused USA some problems, as Canada took the quarter 20-16, to cut the USA lead to only one point at the break.
As Canada took the lead, USA’s Head Coach Trooper Johnson changed their line-up to deal with the bigs, with Courtney Ryan coming on and making a huge impact, swishing five from five from the top of key and putting USA ahead again. It was a five-point game going into the final quarter, 52-47.
A huge three pointer by Arinn Young at the beginning of the fourth helped Canada tie up the score, and show the enthusiastic crowd that this game could go right down to the wire. With less than a minute remaining, the USA looked to send Canada to the line as they trailed by two, but despite the shots not falling, Canada got the offensive rebound, and Dandeneau held her nerve to add two more points from the floor to lead by four. The USA brought it back to two with less than twenty seconds on the clock, but one from the line from Dandeneau opened up a three-point advantage, and that was enough to take home the gold, 67-64.
It was a monster game from Kathleen Dandeneau earning herself a triple-double with 25 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds, notching the first triple-double ever for the Canadian Women’s Team at a Parapan Am Games!
Commenting on the victory, Dandeneau, said:
“The United States is a very strong team, but we had a plan on how to play them. Our strategy was to score consistently and, although at the beginning we started a little slow with that, then we focused, and our shots began to be more precise and fall. I think that is what made us win this final. We have a lot of history with the United States, they have beaten us before, so today it felt amazing to be the victors.”
Canada and USA have both secured a spot at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Watch the FINAL
Schedule, Results & Statistics
Photograph Copyright: Enrique Cuneo / Lima 2019. Quotes courtesy of NSLima2019