The Canadian women’s wheelchair basketball team had their gold medal hopes dashed at the London 2012 Paralympic Games on Wednesday, losing their quarter-final game against the United States.
The tournament has not been easy for the women, as they were defeated by the Netherlands in their first preliminary round game played on Aug. 31.
The Dutch took an early lead with 18 points, but Canada fought back cutting the lead to seven before halftime. Unfortunately Canada was unable contain the Netherlands in the second half, ultimately dropping a 70-59 decision.
The Canadian women then faced Australia in game two and capitalized on the strength of their defence to defeat the Aussies 57-50. In that game, Janet McLachlan of Vancouver sealed the victory for her team as she finished with a game-high 28 points and 21 rebounds.With a solid performance against Brazil the next day Canada secured a berth in the quarter-finals by winning 65-51 over the South American country. Canada showcased its depth during the game as all 12 players saw game action, including Elmira’s own Katie Harnock who chipped in with six points during the match.
Canada then went head-to-head against the host nation, with Harnock taking her game to another level and helping her team to a 67-50 win over Great Britain.
Harnock was on fire as she shot 10-for-17 from the paint en route to a game high and personal best 20 points and six rebounds. She was a leader on the Canadian team that played with confidence and displayed their sound defence keeping Team GB’s shooters to a meager 38 per cent.
With the win, Canada moved on to the quarter-finals with a 3-1 record, facing their U.S. rivals.
During the quarter-final game Canada stormed out to an 11-point lead in the first quarter, but the Americans kept the pressure on throughout the game and Canada was unable hang on to the lead. The U.S. took control of the game in the third quarter when the Canucks got into foul trouble. Canada was outscored in the final two frames, losing 67-55.
“Their press got to us,” said Team Canada head coach Bill Johnson in a release. “…that happened tonight in the third quarter. That is when you rely on your teammates and by the time we did it was too late,” he added.
Canada played Mexico on Thursday for a chance at fifth place. Results were not available before press time.
Four years ago Canada had to settle for fifth at the Beijing 2008Paralympics Games.