(Mississauga ,On) Coming off a win to end 2019 against the Greensboro Storm, the Raptors 905 opened the new year with a home game against the Agua Caliente Clippers at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre.
The Clippers (Agua Caliente) have two prominent Canadian players on the
roster in Mfiondu Kabengele (Burlington,
On.) and Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Scarborough, On.) who scored 18 and 25 points
respectively in the team’s previous win against the Memphis.
The game opened up with a fast pace with Raptors 905 forward Justin
Anderson scoring 5 of the Raptors first 7 points. He would go on to finish the
frame with 12 points and 6 rebounds.
The Clippers stretched the Raptors out with six first quarter three
pointers and showed versatility with a strong inside game from big man Kabengele
and would close out the quarter with a one point lead. The Raptors opened the
second quarter with a scoring drought, not scoring a single field goal for the
first 3 minutes of the quarter and only had four total second quarter points
with 5:40 to go in the half. The defence did improve in the second quarter
however and the 905 held Agua Caliente to one of eleven from the 3 point line
and 39% overall in the quarter. The Raptors were unable to capitalize on their
defence unfortunately only shooting 33% in the second.
Justin Anderson kept the home crowd in the game with a highlight worthy dunk and Paul Watson contributed with 7 second quarter points to keep the Raptors 905 in the game through halftime trailing 49-47 at the break.
Mississauga native Oshae Brissett was in the lineup for the 905 for this game, however he appeared somewhat fatigued as he went o-for-8 from the field (Four points) on the night.
Brissett (two-way player), has been on a whirlwind lately, suiting up for both the Raptors 905 and the Raptors over the last week plus, “Yeah it’s crazy. You never know when you get called up or have to go back down. Like I said, it’s wild. Right now I gotta hop on a flight and meet them in Miami.”
But Brissett isn’t complaining, “This is what I wanted, coming in I
wanted to play so just glad I had the opportunity.”
The Raptors lead the rebounding battle throughout the first half and ended
up with more boards overall in the game (49-42), but were plagued by turnovers
(18) and missed shots (42.9%fg). The Canadian Kabengele, who controlled things
inside the paint, scoring 11 points in the quarter, effortlessly dominated the
third quarter. The Clippers would go onto shoot 55% overall in the quarter
stretching their lead to double digits by the end of the third (78-68).
Kabengele, the nephew of former NBA big man Dikembe Mutombo, was excited
to be back home and it showed, “Yeah I mean I felt a little anxious because I’m
back home. But once I kinda settled in and the game kind of came towards me. I
focused on rebounding and after that everything just connected.”
The fourth quarter was another tough one for the Raptors as the Clippers extended their lead to 20 points and easily swung the momentum of the game in their favour. This game was ultimately lost on turnovers and missed opportunities as mentioned above. There were some sparks from Brampton native Tyler Ennis (14 points eight assists) but it would prove not enough as the Clippers cruised to a 110-93 victory.
Rathan-Mayes, said his team had one thing in mind, “Stops. We were able to get a lot of stops. Get out in transition. That was a big thing for us and if we can get stops we’ll be alright.
Player of the game Kabengele finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds, he currently averages 16 points and 10 rebounds per game. Honourable mentions go out to Clippers’ Terance Mann (25 points, 5 assists) and the 905’s Justin Anderson ( Team-high 25 points 14 rebounds).
The Raptors 905 (currently 7-11 on the season) look to work their way
back to the 500 mark as they go on the road to face the Grand Rapids Drive this
Saturday. (7pm est.)
Reath’s Thunderous Jam Caps off Stunning Championship Comeback for CTA Academy
Canada Topflight Academy was rolling heading into the championship game against Father Henry Carr. Their three point shooting was clicking, led by sharpshooter Ankit Chaudhary. The defence, led by forwards like Enoch Kalambay, Tesloch Luk and Muon Reath, was zipping all over the court in terms of forcing turnovers and missed shots. And the offence was clicking, with balanced scoring.
But with 1:18 to go in the first half, Kalambay crumpled to the floor with a serious knee injury after a Henry Carr player landed on his leg. The crowd at Central Tech High School was hushed as there was a 30 minute delay before the CTA forward was wheeled off the court by paramedics.
“When Enoch went down, I was just shocked because he’s a fighter,” CTA forward Muon Reath said. “So I knew it was something serious.”
A visibly shaken CTA team was forced to complete the championship game without one of its best players and they were down by 14 early on in the third quarter against a hungry FHC team.
According to CTA head coach Tony House, one of two scenarios were going to play out.
“Either we can moan and cry for Enoch or we can play for him,” House said. “Either we’re going to get beat by 30 or we’re gonna actually compete and challenge every minute and have a chance to win.”
House sure was glad it was the latter scenario.
A thunderous alley oop slam by Muon Reath off of a pinpoint inbounds pass from Galdo Tutu with 3.3 seconds remaining capped off a remarkable 109-107 comeback win for Canada Top Flight Academy, who took home the first ever Hardwood Classix Invitational Presented by Tangerine title.
House was looking for a baseline triple on that offensive possession initially before having his team set a back screen for Reath to give him a mismatch. However, FHC did not switch defenders, leaving Reath wide open.
“The fact that he dunked it, I thought, was amazing,” House said, awestruck. “You can diagram it but to actually run it to perfection and to win the first Hardwood Classix Invitational like that… pretty crazy.”
“My mind was blank; I was just trying to execute the play right,” Reath said. “When Jo (Mulongo) was on my left, I was trying to sell it like I was going to give him a screen so I kept telling him to wait. Then I jumped towards him to make the defender think I was screening him. I saw Ankit coming to get my man so I started moving then looked at Galdo for the pass.
“When I saw the passing lane open, I knew either I’m dunking it or laying it in.”
Mulongo led CTA with 32 points, 25 coming in the second half. Chaudhry capped off an incredible shooting display over the weekend with 25 points on five made triples.
“These guys (CTA) came down to play,” Henry Carr guard Brendan Ocampo said. “They play hard and didn’t come here to lose so I give them respect for that.”
But it was Reath who took home the Hardwood Classix MVP, finishing with 14 points. He says that getting MVP honours was a shock to him, referring to performances from Chaudhry, Luk, and Mulongo.
“It’s crazy that I was named MVP. There were a handful of players on my team that deserved the title more than me,” Reath said. “We just have a team full of talented guys that do so much when they get on the floor.”
“Muon’s (Reath) the glue; he’s the Swiss Army knife,” House said. “He does it on both ends (and) when you say most valuable, he’s that guy.”
However, it almost never happened when Reath was forced to go to the bench with his fourth foul in the third quarter after receiving a technical foul for taunting after a made triple.
“When I was on the bench, the only thought was how (to) redeem myself because getting that tech was a selfish act on my end,” Reath said. “I could’ve been on the court still fighting but now I was on the bench with my fourth foul and gave the other team two easy free throws.”
Jalen Shirley had a chance to win the game for FHC but his wing triple went off the back rim as time expired. It was a disappointing end to the tournament for Father Henry Carr, who played without leading scorer Josh Morgan due to injury.
“We just grinded. When one person’s down, we don’t let it affect the whole team; we just come out hard with energy and full court pressing,” Henry Carr forward Caleb Johnson said.
“We’re waiting for our full roster to come,” Ocampo said. “We haven’t been playing all together (so) we’ll be alright.”
FHC was led by Johnson’s game high 39 points, who showcased his offensive talents throughout this tournament whether it was with thunderous jams, acrobatic finishes, or timely jump shooting.
“I just wanted to come out and be aggressive and help my team get the win,” Johnson said of his performance.
Meanwhile, for Ocampo, he finished with 21 points as he surprised many of the coaches and fans here in attendance during this tournament with his finishing around the rim, whether it was acrobatic or through tons of contact.
“My coach loves to put us in the weight room every day. He tells me that when you get onto that court, stop playing so soft,” Ocampo said. “He tells me to work and play physical.”
Chaudhry and Luk each had eight points in the opening frame for CTA but Johnson’s 14 in the quarter had FHC up 29-28 after one.
In the second, it was Johnson and Noah Ngamga leading the way for FHC with nine points each in the quarter. CTA, meanwhile, struggled to generate offense in that frame with just 17 points as they trailed 58-45 at the half.
But Canada Top Flight Academy came out of intermission playing inspired, led by guards Mulongo (15) and Chaudhry (11). They outscored FHC, 39-28, in the third quarter and went into the final frame down by just two (86-84).
Offense from both sides slowed down in the fourth quarter as both teams were determined to get stops to pull away for the win. Mulongo had 10 in the quarter for CTA while Johnson had eight and Ocampo as well as Jahmyah Brown-Jeffers each had six for FHC.
Henry Carr was up two with 28 seconds to go before CTA tied it on a layup by WIlson Dubinsky off of a dump off pass. FHC then committed a shot clock violation on their next possession and House then called for time with 3.8 seconds left, leading to Reath’s heroics.
“Going into December, we still have the Sun Youth tournament in Montreal. But this is a game-changer,” House said. “I hope we get Enoch back and that it’s nothing too serious. If we don’t, we’ve got different guys stepping up. These guys are getting experience and god forbid, if injuries or foul trouble arise, they’re ready to play and step up. I’m so proud of them.”
ALL FOR ENOCH
Obviously, the storyline after the first half ended for CTA was to win this game for Kalambay, who went down earlier with a serious knee injury.
It hit especially hard for Reath, who had known Kalambay since Grade 7 and has been playing with him for around three years. Muon described what Kalambay has meant to him, calling Enoch his “big bro.”
“He’ll get guys hyped up and get them serious when it’s time too,” Reath said. “I’ve learned a lot from him on and off the court. He’s great, knows how to make people laugh, (and) just a humble guy that takes care of business.”
CTA, after the game, huddled up together around an emotional Reath, who had his thoughts for Kalambay, signalling how united this group was.
“That moment when we came together and decided to fight for Enoch, I knew this was a team I’d love to be a part of. They’re a team full of killers and they’d kill for each other no matter what it takes,” Reath said. “This tourney, we learned to push the gas on the opposing team and fight all the way through. Now we just gotta take this lesson and bring it on to the NPA season and have fun with it.”
Each Team’s Journey (Men’s Bracket)
Canada Top Flight Academy
CTA, in their earlier two games, faced off against two tough and gritty teams in TBA Prep Friday night and TRC Academy Saturday morning. Luk scored 26 to lead all scorers for CTA in a 104-84 win over TBA Prep; six players scored in double figures during that game.
“When you’re playing prep basketball, you want to compete against the very best. And in this tournament, other than Orangeville Prep, all the best teams were here,” House said. “Our road was tough. Every game you play (here) there’s a bullseye on your back and we get everybody’s best shot.”
They were then up by as much as 29 in the second half before TRC Academy made a furious rally to cut the lead down to single digits.
“My guys gotta understand (even though) you’re up 30, that’s (TRC) a very good basketball team,” House said. “They’ve got a lot of pride and they’re gonna come back. But we held them off.”
CTA hung on to win that game by a score of 107-100, led by Chaudhry’s game high 30 points on nine made triples. The sharpshooter hit a total of 19 three pointers during the tournament.
Father Henry Carr
For Father Henry Carr, making it to the championship game almost didn’t happen. In fact, their tournament looked like it was going to end at the hands of Bill Crothers in the quarterfinal as FHC was down by as many as 22 in the second quarter.
“We need to come in more aggressive and be ready to fight,” Caleb Johnson says of the slow starts that his team endures.
However, it was a 41 point turnaround as Brown-Jeffers and Johnson each had 27 to lead Henry Carr to a 105-86 win over Crothers. Johnson had 19 and Brown-Jeffers had 18 in the second half alone.
The next day, in the semifinals against Crestwood Prep, both teams started off on fire offensively as Crestwood was up 30-29 after one quarter. But Henry Carr tightened up defensively after that and eventually pulled away in the fourth quarter, winning by a score of 105-91.
Ocampo led five FHC players in double figures with 23 as his finishing around the rim was something to behold. Brown-Jeffers and Johnson each had 21 as Henry Carr’s work in the paint offensively proved to be the difference.
It was a tale of two games offensively for Crestwood Prep. The quarterfinals saw them go up against Southwest Academy and they absolutely shot the lights out from downtown, hitting 20 triples in a 140-98 blowout victory. A total of six Crestwood players scored in double figures, led by Elijah Fisher’s game high 33 points. Dezayne Mingo was a flamethrower off of the bench, nailing six triples and finishing with 24.
But the script was flipped the next day in the semifinals against Father Henry Carr in which Crestwood missed numerous looks from three, hitting just three triples that game. Crestwood’s tournament ended with a 105-91 loss to Henry Carr.
Kobe Antwi finished with a game-high 36 points and Fisher chipped in with 20 but they were the only two players to score in double figures for Crestwood.
TRC Academy, in this tournament, had their hopes dashed at the hands of Canada Top Flight Academy in the semifinals but not before they made noise throughout their two games.
In the quarterfinal against Thornlea, TRC was in full control from the second quarter onward as they outscored Thornlea, 35-17, and eventually won the game 106-83.
Dawson John led four TRC players in double figures with 26 points as he hit a total of five triples in that game. Bryant Selebangue did the dirty work on the inside as he dropped 22.
Against CTA, it was a struggle defensively for TRC as they allowed 29, 29, and 31 points in three quarters. Meanwhile, TRC struggled to score in the first half, scoring just 28 as they were down by 30 at the half. They did get it going in the third quarter, scoring 38 but were still down 23 heading into the fourth quarter (89-66).
But something clicked in that fourth quarter for TRC Academy on both ends of the floor as they outscored CTA, 35-18, in the frame. However, it became too little too late for TRC Academy as they fell 107-100.
Majambu Mbikay scored all 27 of his points in the second half to lead TRC while Selebangue had 24.
It looked like it would be Bill Crothers, who would face off against Crestwood in the semifinals as they dominated the better part of the first half against Father Henry Carr, going up by as many as 22 in the second quarter. Crothers, led by Kobe Elvis, were getting to the rim at will and finishing.
But FHC cut the lead down to a manageable 10 at the half and the numerous turnovers leading to scores as well as cold second half shooting led to a 105-86 defeat for Bill Crothers as their tournament came to a disappointing end.
Five players scored in double figures for the team. Tyson Dunn scored 21 of his team-high 25 points in the second half while Elvis finished with 22 and Marcus Barnes had 17.
A subpar first (39-16) and third quarters on both ends of the floor in their 140-98 quarterfinal loss against Crestwood Prep proved to be all she wrote for Southwest Academy, who played without big man Brock Newton.
A bright spot for Southwest was the play of Kuol Kuol, who dropped 21 of his team high 29 points in the second half and made all eight of his free throws.
Jaleel Hilts had 14 of his 17 points in the first half while Tariq Armstrong and Ethan Butler each had 14 and Ziphion Grant dropped 12 to round out Southwest Academy’s double figure scorers.
Thornlea faced off against TRC Academy, without UConn commit Javonte Brown, in what was the first quarterfinal of the day for the men’s bracket.
Although they hung in there during the duration of the first quarter, a 35-17 edge in the second quarter for TRC spelled doom for Thornlea’s chances to win this game as they fell, 106-83.
Ben Li returned to Thornlea with a bang, finishing with a game-high 28 points in the loss while hitting five triples and scoring 11 in the final frame. Dominic Mudihy had 18 while Adrien Husic and Khalid Long each had 10.
TBA Prep, led by first year coach Yusuf Ali, had the final quarterfinal match of the night but were in tough as they were playing a well-rounded CTA team.
CTA nearly ran away with it early on but a timely timeout got TBA Prep settled down and they started chipping away, cutting the CTA lead down to three at the half (45-42).
However, TBA had a poor second half on the defensive end, allowing 58 points on 10 made triples. They were able to pull away in the fourth after extending their lead to a dozen during the third frame.
TBA weren’t able to keep up with CTA offensively and their tournament ended after one game, losing 104-84. CTA hit 15 three pointers during the game; TBA hit just six.
Five players scored in double figures for TBA Prep, led by 25 points from southpaw Jasha’juan Downey while Jesse Okeke had 16.
Written by Kajan Thiruthanikasalam Check out Kajan on Twitter
Photo by Mustapha Youssouf. Check out Capturedbyma on Twitter
The Hardwood Classix team feels it is important to save the environment and to conserve paper use for the event, so we are providing a digital copy of the tournament program for fans, family, coaches, scouts and interested parties which contains an abundant amount of information about this unique basketball experience. ENJOY! Click HERE for the program.
Toronto, ON – The inaugural Hardwood Classix Invitational will elevate the elite prep basketball experience. Hardwood Classix will be a single-game elimination, premier basketball tournament at Central Technical School, located in the heart of downtown Toronto.
A live draw determining team seedings, media launch, and “Celebration of Toronto” basketball panel will all simultaneously occur on Friday, November 29th, 2019.
Eight teams each for the men’s and women’s division will compete on the weekend of December 7-8, 2019. Hardwood Classix will feature some of Canada’s best prep basketball talent, a few notable, committed teams including Crestwood Prep, Thornlea S.S, and Royal Crown Academy. Featured players will include Elijah Fisher, Kobe Elvis, Javonte Brown T’yana Todd & Hennessey Luu-Brown.
Drew Ebanks of On Point Basketball, the official Hardwood Classix media partner, is looking forward to this one-of-a-kind event. “I’m excited to see the teams lay it all on the line to advance. It’s win or go home for every team, and so the stakes will be super-high. If you’re not on your game, your team could be going home early!” Ebanks added, “The panel discussion will be an amazing feature too as we connect the storied Toronto basketball past to the present and also the future.”
Hardwood Classix is a proud partner of COURTSIGHT, a non-profit organization focused on revitalizing and building within the Toronto basketball community.
Join us on the hardwood for a weekend of high-level Canadian hoops – every game will be win-or-go-home. This is NOT a showcase, these are show stakes.
For updates, follow Hardwood Classix on social media.
One more free throw. That’s what stood in the way between the end of this game and an extra five minutes of basketball between the Long Island Nets and the Raptors 905 at Scotiabank Arena packed with kids for the school day game. The 905’s best offensive option for the game, Justin Anderson, was at the charity stripe as well after getting fouled on a three point attempt, having made two just moments prior to that.
Everything was set for the 905 to steal this game after trailing by as many as 18 points in the third quarter. And then the free throw went, according to Anderson, “left.”
“I felt like every shot was the same but for whatever reason, that one went left,” Anderson said. “The game went left, the shot went left, and it was with my left hand.”
Anderson’s missed free throw sent a packed arena full of kids home unhappy as the 905 (3-6) fell to the Nets (2-8), 117-116, despite his game-high 40 point night (13/23 FG, 6/13 3FG, 8/13 FT).
“It feels good and I’m having fun. My teammates are giving me an unbelievable opportunity to go out there and display what I could do,” Anderson said. “The Raptors (905) gave me an opportunity and I want to take advantage of it. I just want to make sure I keep locking in and shoot the ball at a high clip… and make my free throws.”
Along with Anderson, four other players scored in double figures for the 905. They were Tyler Ennis (17), Dewan Hernandez and Jawun Evans (12 apiece), as well as Shamorie Ponds (10).
Ennis had a game-high 14 assists while Evans finished with a triple double, dishing out 10 dimes and grabbing a game high 10 rebounds. Both players headlined a 905 attack that dished out 33 assists on 44 made field goals.
“We (Me and Jawun) can both kind of exploit the matchups and it’s hard to put two people (defenders) out there to guard us,” Ennis said of the facilitating shown from him and Evans. “They didn’t really have a premier shot blocker out there so we were able to get in (the paint) and a bunch of guys were making shots as well.”
The 905 also had the edge in rebounding (49-47), points in the paint (60-40), second chance points (13-11), fast break points (20-12), and steals (15-8).
The Nets also had five players score in double figures, led by Henry Ellenson’s 20 points. Ellenson was joined by Rodions Kurucs (18), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Devin Cannady (16 apiece), and Jahmal McMurray (13).
CJ Massinburg had a team-high 10 assists for Long Island, who made 18 triples on 43.1% shooting despite committing 23 turnovers. The visitors, overall, shot 50%.
“The defensive end is something we have to be consistent at,” Ennis pointed out. “It’s not the first time a team’s come out and hit a bunch of threes on us.”
Anderson started off red hot in the first quarter, scoring 14 in the frame on the strength of four made triples for the 905. But McMurray (13) and Kurucs (10) scored in double figures in the quarter for Long Island, who hit eight triples to take a 39-28 lead after one.
Cannady and Hernandez each had six in the second quarter for the Nets and 905, respectively, as the frame provided a slower pace compared to the first quarter. A triple from C.J. Williams pushed Long Island’s lead to 18 but the 905 used a 6-0 run to cut the lead to a dozen (63-51) heading into intermission.
Both teams played even in the third quarter at 27 apiece as Ellenson led Long Island with nine with his inside presence while Matt Morgan was a spark plug for the 905, pacing them with seven. However, Morgan left the game early in the fourth quarter after a hard fall and did not return.
“He (Morgan) had a really nice sequence there that turned the momentum in our favour,” 905 head coach Jama Mahlalela said of a sequence out of the timeout in which Morgan had a pair of layups along with a steal. “His ability to shoot the ball is tremendous for us. When he’s playing well, we’re obviously a much better team.”
After a fadeaway from Ellenson extended the Nets’ lead to 99-88, the 905 responded with 11 straight points to tie the game on a pair of Anderson free throws with 5:35 left. The defense had life during that run in which the 905 went small with Oshae Brissett at the five.
“I think (it was) our energy,” Ennis said of the defense in the fourth. “We seem to lock in at the end of games, flying around and switching.
“We’ve played small a couple of times before… in this case because they shoot the three so well.”
Long Island, however, responded and were up 10 after a pair of free throws from Cannady with 1:08 to go.
The 905 wouldn’t go away quietly, though, as Anderson followed with a steal and slam followed by a deep triple to cut the lead to five. After a layup from Kurucs, Ennis followed with a three point play and Evans knocked down a triple to cut the lead to one.
Cannady then was fouled with 0.9 left and nailed both free throws as the 905 advanced the ball with one last chance to tie the game. The ball went to Anderson, who fired up a three point attempt that was well short… but incredibly got fouled by Ellenson in the process, firing up the kids in the arena.
However, Anderson couldn’t make all three as he fell to the floor in disbelief, leaving himself, the team, and the fans at Scotiabank Arena forlorn. The 905 now head out onto the road for three games, starting with Saturday’s matchup against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
“It’s a testament (to our team) that we kept on fighting. The ball wasn’t falling and it felt like it was going their way all the time. Loose balls were going their way and the whole momentum was theirs all game,” Mahlalela said of how the game transpired. “But we kept on keeping it close. We made a few shots and got some stops eventually.”
“It was a heck of a fourth quarter. That was fun for the kids, that’s for sure.”
Written by Kajan Thiruthanikasalam. Check out Kajan on Twitter
Photos by Justin Jasmins. Here’s Justin on Instagram
TANGERINE HOOPS, REDMILES & ON POINT PRESENTS…HARDWOOD CLASSIX PANEL DISCUSSION.
Tangerine Hoops presents – Transition Basketball “Finding Your Spot In The Game” featuring esteemed guests Crestwood Prep Head Boys Basketball Coach Ro Russell, NBA & WNBA Agent Leisa Washington & Former Pro & NCAA player Oliver Prince.
Friday November 29th, 2019 Central Technical School Lecture Hall, 6pm-9pm.
Toronto, ON – The inaugural Hardwood Classix Invitational presented by Tangerine will elevate the elite prep basketball experience. Hardwood Classix will be a single-game elimination, premier basketball tournament at Central Technical School, located in the heart of downtown Toronto.
A live draw determining team seedings, media launch, and “Celebration of
Toronto” basketball panel will all simultaneously occur on Friday, November
Eight teams each for the men’s and women’s division will compete on the
weekend of December 7-8, 2019. Hardwood Classix will feature some of Canada’s
best prep basketball talent, a few notable, committed teams including Crestwood
Prep, Bill Crothers S.S, Thornlea S.S, and Royal Crown Academy. Featured
players will include Elijah Fisher, Kobe Elvis, Javonte Brown, Callie Wright
and T’yana Todd.
Drew Ebanks of On Point Basketball, the official Hardwood Classix media
partner, is looking forward to this one-of-a-kind event. “I’m excited to see
the teams lay it all on the line to advance. It’s win or go home for every
team, and so the stakes will be super-high. If you’re not on your game, your
team could be going home early!” Ebanks added, “The panel discussion will be an
amazing feature too as we connect the storied Toronto basketball past to the present
and also the future.”
Hardwood Classix is a proud partner of COURTSIGHT, a non-profit
organization focused on revitalizing and building within the Toronto basketball
Join us on the hardwood for a weekend of high-level Canadian hoops –
every game will be win-or-go-home. This is NOT a showcase, these are show
For updates, follow Hardwood Classix on social media.
Jamie Scott led Canada with a team-high 12 points and seven rebounds, while Aaliyah Edwards and Miranda Ayim both contributed nine points. USA was led by Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles who scored each scored 12 points in the victory.
A defensive opening to the game saw Canada hanging with USA for much of the first quarter. A two-point jump shot from Ayim cut the deficit to just one point with 3:51 to go in the frame. But USA answered, increasing their advantage by four and held a 14-9 lead after the opening 10 minutes.
Sami Hill made a pair of free throws early in the second which allowed Canada to trim USA’s lead by two to open the second quarter. Shortly after, both Bridget Carleton and Jamie Scott found success, scoring a layup and a three, respectively, to give Canada their first lead of the night, 16-14. The two teams continued to trade shots before a three-point play from Edwards left Canada down by just one with 3:25 to go in the quarter. However, USA closed the quarter on a 9-0 run to take a 34-24 lead into the break.
USA clamped down on defence in the third as they forced Canada to take some difficult shots. A big block from Ayim showcased Canada’s defence, but with under six minutes to play in the quarter, Canada trailed 46-30. By the end of the quarter, USA led Canada by 19, 57-38.
Canada scored eight points in the fourth quarter, just two less than USA, but were unable to decrease the American advantage as they went on to re-capture the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup.
With the silver medal, Canada has now found a spot on the podium in eight of the last nine competitions dating back to the 2003 FIBA Americas Championship for Women in Culiacan, Mexico. The loss ended Canada’s streak of two consecutive championships and 17 wins at the event. The silver was Canada’s second in team history and first since a second place finish at the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship for Women.
Following the game, Canada’s Kayla Alexander was recognized for her strong showing at the tournament and was selected to the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup All-Star 5.
Canada will now host one of two FIBA Women’s Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournaments 2019 for the Americas region. The Edmonton EXPO Centre’s Hall D Arena in Edmonton, Alberta will host the tournament in mid-November. Click here for additional information.
Earlier this evening the groups for the FIBA Women’s Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournaments 2019 were announced and Canada will be in Group A along with Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Group B will feature Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and USA.
The FIBA Women’s Pre-Qualifying Tournaments in Americas will qualify four teams (top two teams per group) for the four global FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2020, taking place in February 2020. Canada will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with a top three finish in their group in the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2020.
“We were happy to be playing in this game and competing for a gold medal but I don’t think we’re really happy with our performance in the gold medal game. USA’s length and athleticism has a lot to do with that. I thought our team did well throughout the tournament and we saw some good things. Unfortunately, we had some injures at the wrong time. We would have liked to have had a chance when we were fully healthy, but I thought we improved and we saw some good things from our younger players.” – Lisa Thomaidis
MIES, Switzerland (September 28, 2019) – FIBA announced today that Canada and Argentina will host the two FIBA Women’s Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournaments 2019 for the Americas region.
The Edmonton EXPO Centre’s Hall D Arena in Edmonton, Alberta will host Canada’s FIBA Women’s Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament. Ticket information and schedule for FIBA Women’s Pre-Qualifying Tournament will be announced soon.
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The newly developed Olympic pre-qualification tournaments will tip-off in November 2019 to qualify teams to the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2020, and ultimately the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Africa will host one tournament, with the Americas and Asia-Oceania hosting two tournaments each.
The teams competing in the two Americas pre-qualifying tournaments will be Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and USA. These teams advanced to the FIBA Women’s Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournaments as a result of a top eight finish at the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2019.
22 national teams will take part in the upcoming FIBA Women’s Pre-Qualifying Tournaments to qualify for one of the four global FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2020, taking place in February 2020.
For the Americas and Asia-Oceania regions, eights teams per region will compete for four spots (top two teams per group), at the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2020 in February next year. For Africa, six teams will fight it out for two qualifying spots. Meanwhile in Europe the top six teams from the FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2019 will qualify directly to the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2020.
These 16 top teams will compete in the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2020, taking place in February 2020, which will be split into four groups in a draw held later in the year.
The top three teams from each tournament will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Women’s Basketball Tournament. Both the USA (FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2018 champions), and Japan (hosts), will play in the qualification tournaments and regardless of their results advance through to Tokyo 2020.
This is the start of an exciting new women’s competition system for FIBA, with more than 100 teams taking part in the new system, that will also include a new qualification system for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022.
As the home of the Senior Women’s National Team, the City of Edmonton regularly hosts the team for training camp and competition, including the 2015 FIBA Americas Women’s Championship where Team Canada won gold and qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Hall D Arena at the Edmonton EXPO Centre is the home of Edmonton Stingers in the CEBL and has hosted sporting events of all types including basketball, international volleyball, cheerleading and dance competitions, rodeos and boxing matches. The arena is equipped with 3,485 stadium seats, LED video wall and sound system, and a state-of-the art LED sports lighting is being incorporated into the venue to ensure the highest quality experience for fans.
For more information about the Women’s National Team Competition System, click here.
“Canada Basketball is thrilled to be able to bring the FIBA Women’s Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournamentto the City of Edmonton, the home of Canada’s Senior Women’s National Team. This will be a tremendous opportunity for the people of Edmonton to not only see some of the best women’s basketball players in the world but give Team Canada a true home court advantage as they look to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.” – Glen Grunwald, President & CEO, Canada Basketball
“We are extremely honoured to be chosen to host the FIBA Women’s Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament. Edmontonians continue to embrace basketball in a big way, both in the stands and on the court. Building on our city’s long history of women’s basketball, this tournament is an exciting opportunity for Edmontonians to see some of the world’s best women’s basketball players right here in our own community.” – Don Iveson, Mayor, City of Edmonton
“The Alberta Basketball Association is very excited about the announcement of Edmonton being awarded the FIBA Women’s Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament. We look forward to supporting the event in every way possible. We are proud of our city’s commitment to supporting the women’s Olympic hopes and how it works in tandem with the Live Active Strategy to benefit our community.” – Paul Sir, Executive Director, Alberta Basketball Association
“The Edmonton EXPO Centre is excited to welcome the FIBA Women’s Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament to our venue. We are proud to have been selected as the host city and our venue team looks forward to providing an exceptional experience for basketball fans across the country.” – Arlindo Gomes, Vice President, Venue Management, Edmonton Economic Development
Shay Colley led Canada in the win with a game-high 23 points and four rebounds. Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe was just shy of a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds, while Bridget Carleton also scored nine points and finished with eight rebounds. Damiris Dantas of Brazil finished with a team-high 16 points.
From early on in the first quarter, it was evident that the matchup was not going to be an easy one for the Canadians against an experienced Brazilian team. While Canada led for much of the first quarter, Brazil remained close behind, not letting the deficit extend past four points. At the end of the first quarter, Canada led Brazil by a slim 15-11 margin.
After Brazil’s Erika De Souza split a pair of free throws, Carleton opened the scoring for Canada as her step-back jumper early in the second quarter gave the red and white a five-point advantage, 17-12. With 4:21 to play in the half and Canada leading by three, Brazil clamped down defensively, holding the Canadians scoreless for the remainder of the quarter and entered halftime with a two-point advantage, 28-26.
Early in the third quarter, back-to-back three pointers from Carleton kickstarted the Canadian offence and tied game at 32 apiece. Canada and Brazil continued to go back and forth, keeping the score between two points of each other much of the quarter. A late Brazilian turnover with time winding down in the third gave Canada a chance to take the lead, but Carleton’s layup attempt was blocked by De Souza and the quarter ended with Brazil leading 45-43.
In the fourth, it was Canada’s defensive intensity that translated into offence at the other end. Tied 53-53 midway through the fourth, Canada outscored Brazil 13-5 over the final 4:26, including a 8-0 run last in the game, to seal the victory.
Entering the tournament as two-time defending FIBA Women’s AmeriCup champions, and guaranteed a medal on Sunday, Canada has now found a spot on the podium in eight of the last nine competitions dating back to the 2003 FIBA Americas Championship for Women in Culiacan, Mexico.
Canada has also qualified and will host one of two FIBA Women’s Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournaments 2019 for the Americas region. The Edmonton EXPO Centre’s Hall D Arena in Edmonton, Alberta will host the tournament in mid-November. Click here for additional information.
Team Canada will now face USA in the finals on Sunday, September 29 at 8:00 P.M. ET. Fans in Canada can catch the game streaming live on DAZN.
“The key for us to get the win was coming together on the defensive end. Brazil had great spurts so we just had to play defence and come in to help each other out. My coach and my teammates have a lot of confidence in me so it made me feel very confident out on the floor.” – Shay Colley
“I thought we were able to get some defensive stops in the second half which enabled us to get out and run a little bit. We were so much better when we were able to push the pace and get out in transition. I thought we were much better offensively when we could do that. In the first half, we played much slower and too methodical. Brazil did enough to disrupt us. We had some open looks but just couldn’t knock them down. It was a real tough start to the game and I thought we were able get things going a little bit better in the second half.” – Lisa Thomaidis
Jamie Scott led the Canadians with a game-high 21 points, while Kayla Alexander recorded a double-double, 18 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe and Bridget Carleton both finished with 15 points each for Canada. Jacqueline Luna-Castro scored 12 points for Mexico in the loss.
Canada led Mexico out the gate going on a 9-0 run to start the game. By the halfway mark, Mexico had only scored three points when Scott’s back-to-back threes extended the lead to 25-3. By the end of the quarter, eight Canadians had contributed to the 31-18 advantage.
Alexander began to heat up to start the second quarter, scoring eight straight points for Canada. With Canada leading 39-18, Mexico was forced to take a timeout to regroup. After the short break, Canada remained on top, holding Mexico to 18 for the majority of the second quarter. With less than a minute to go in the half, Mexico’s Jazmin Valenzuela drew a foul and hit both free throw bringing the Mexicans up to 20. With less than 10 seconds to go, Canada’s Bridget Carleton’s three-point attempt was no good and Canada entered the half up 51-20.
Canada continued to remain dominant throughout the third quarter. Although Mexico scored their most points in a quarter, Canada still outscored them 27-21. By the end of the quarter, Canada led Mexico 78-41 and Alexander had shot a perfect 7-for-7.
In the fourth quarter, Canada finished just as they started, dropping 31 points and defeating Mexico 109-53. Every Canadian who played contributed to Canada’s final score, including the team’s youngest player, Aaliyah Edwards, who scored 10 points in her FIBA AmeriCup debut.
Entering the tournament as two-time defending FIBA AmeriCup champions, Canada has found a spot on the podium in seven of the last eight competitions dating back to the 2003 FIBA Americas Championship for Women in Culiacan, Mexico.
The FIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2019 begins with a Group Phase, where teams play round-robin format for four days. The top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals of the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2019, where the top team of Group A will play the second team of Group B and the top team of Group B will play the second team of Group A. The winners of the semifinals will go-on to play for the continental title on September 29. Click here for the competition schedule.
The FIBA Women’s Pre-Qualifying Tournaments in Americas will qualify the top four teams for the four global FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2020, taking place in February 2020. Canada will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with a top three finish in their group in the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2020.
The Canadians will face Cuba on Monday, September 23 at 5:30 PM ET. Fans in Canada can catch the game streaming live on DAZN.
“Good first game and we have plenty to build on from today. It was great to be back on the court with contributions from everyone against Mexico. Looking forward to building on the momentum together moving forward at the tournament.” – Jamie Scott
“It was great to finally get out and play an opponent. We had solid contributions from everyone on the team and impressive debuts by both Aaliyah and Kayla.” – Lisa Thomaidis