UNBC Timberwolves alumnist Kady Dandeneau led the way with 32 points, 20 rebounds and 11 assists in Canada’s 73-54 wheelchair basketball win over Great Britain on Wednesday at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
“It definitely feels good to be a big contributor in games like that,” said Dandeneau of her first Paralympic game. “Honestly, it was just a really good team win. I have my teammates to thank for a lot of that. They’re getting me open. It’s definitely very much a team thing.”
Dandeneau (Pender Island, BC) went 13 of 24 from the field and 5 for 9 at the line in Canada’s (1-0) victory. Rosalie Lalonde (Saint-Clet, QC) added 20 points and three assists, while Arinn Young (Legal, AB) poured in 12 points and six assists.
“I think we did a really good job of adjusting and adapting and really pulled it together,” Dandeneau said. “You could see we were working really well as a unit. Our team chemistry was pretty good. Things were flowing at the end – we were just firing on all cylinders.”
The Canadians finished shooting 47 per cent from the field and were 14 of 22 from the line. Canada scored 16 points off Great Britain turnovers and at one point led by 19.
“That was super fun. Eighteen months without any competition, so break the ice with a game like this; I can’t ask for more,” said coach Marc Antoine Ducharme. “We said at the beginning, before the game, the first quarter, the first half was our first game in a long time for us, so no matter the score, no matter how we played, it was just an introduction for the second half.”
Team Canada trailed 29-26 at halftime but rallied in the third quarter out-scoring Great Britain 19-10.
Canada used a 16-0 run in the third to take a 45-35 lead and never looked back. They scored eight unanswered in the fourth to put the game out of reach for Great Britain (0-1).
“It was really about composure,” said Lalonde. “We were trailing most of the first half, but we stayed composed; we stayed confident. We can’t be afraid and nervous every time we’re trailing. We have to realize that we have control of the game. Regardless of what happens, we have to keep our composure.”
Madeleine Thompson led all Great Britain scorers with 11 points while Laurie Williams had eight and Judith Hamer added seven points.
Great Britain took an early 14-6 lead in the first and at one point in the second led 25-20, but ran out of steam in the second half.
“We didn’t really change the game plan,” Lalonde said. “We knew the first quarter; the first half would be challenging. It was our first international game in a while, so just get the stress out and focus on our game. We were only down by three, so I don’t think anyone was nervous about it.”
Canada will now play Japan on Thursday, August 26 at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Remaining Team Canada Tokyo Preliminary Round Schedule
Thursday, August 26: Canada vs. Japan 8:00 p.m. ET
Saturday, August 28: Germany vs. Canada 4:00 a.m. ET
Sunday, August 29: Canada vs. Australia 7:30 a.m. ET
Wednesday, August 25: Canada vs. Spain 10:15 p.m. ET
Thursday, August 26: Turkey vs. Canada 10:15 p.m. ET
Saturday, August 28: Japan vs. Canada 1:45 a.m. ET
Sunday, August 29: Canada vs. Korea 4:00 a.m. ET
Sunday, August 29: Colombia vs Canada 8:00 p.m. ET