Canada’s U18 women’s national team is heading home from the FIBA U18 Americas Championship with a silver medal after a tough 82-77 loss to America in the finals.
Skylar Forbes struck first to get Canada on the board, and the physical tone of the game began to take shape almost immediately. Cotie McMahon would get the first point for the USA at the line after a foul in transition, and she racked up another seven points in quick succession as America took an early lead.
T’yana Todd, the tournament’s leading scorer, checked in midway through the first and immediately impacted the game with a jumper off a screen and some tough defence on Kira Rice. Still, the tough-nosed Americans found ways to grow the lead off second-chance points and trips to the free-throw line to take a 20-16 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Transition points began to pile up for the Americans at the start of the second quarter, but Canada’s ability to consistently make shots from the midrange kept them in the game. Fatima Diakhaté had eight points and four rebounds, and Mary-Anna Asare had 15 points, five rebounds, two steals, and two assists.
America adjusted to a zone to take away the midrange and dared the Canadian shooters to hit shots from deep. Emma Koabel, who had 11 points, would respond with her third three of the first half, but America would take a 41-31 lead into halftime.
Team Canada (Photos Courtesy FIBA)
Both offenses came out flying after the break, and Canada began slowly working away at the Americans’ lead. Todd would shrink the lead to three off a shot from beyond the arc, while America responded with a quick layup from McMahon. Todd once again drilled a deep three-pointer at the buzzer to make it a 57-53 heading into the final frame of the tournament.
Todd led all scorers for Canada with 19 points and was named to the FIBA U18 Women’s Americas Championship All-Star 5 after the game.
The back-and-forth buckets would continue, but America began to force Canada into tough shots while Grace Van Slooten and Rice sank circus shots of their own on the other end. McMahon went to the line for her 20th point of the night and made it a 10-point lead for the USA, followed by another blow by a layup from Rice.
The depth of the Americans showed in the second half as McMahon finished with 22 points. Rice had 18, Londynn Jones had 15 points, and Van Slooten had 11 points and seven rebounds. Insuneh Brady was relatively quiet with just eight points but dominated on the boards with 15 rebounds.
In the game’s final moments, Canada would cut the lead to 10 with an Asare three and once again with a Marah Dykstra layup with a minute left. Koabel drew a foul while attempting a three-point shot and made it a seven-point game. Dykstra would follow it with another layup, but America would dribble out the next possession leaving Canada just short of their gold medal dreams.
Game 6 (Gold Medal Game): Canada vs. USA BOXSCORE click HERE & video below:
Canada’s T’yana Todd (Boston College commit-IMG Academy) ), was named to the FIBA U18 Women’s Americas All-Star 5 team, scored a team-high 19pts, led the tournament in scoring at 15.2ppg, scoring a tournament-leading 91 total points on 41.2 FG%, 45.7 3PTFG% and 76% from the line.
Click HERE the tournament for scoring stats.