Canada Loses a Squeaker to Japan
Team Canada Women lost to Japan today at the Beijing Paralympics in round robin play 52-55. In a game that was the reverse of Canada’s opening game, everyone had a chance to play but no-one seemed to be able to consistently score.
In the first quarter Canada came out really flat and despite many opportunities to score, the ball seemed to have a mind of it’s own. Sabrina Pettinicchi scored Canada’s first basket after the Japanese had taken a two point lead, and then it was a drought until a foul shot by Misty Thomas and then a nifty basket by Katie Harnock rounded out a horrible start for Canada. The quarter ended with Canada down 5-13 and neither lineup changes or timeouts seemed to be able to spur Canada on.
The second quarter was encouraging to begin with as Canada’s Lori Radke and Kendra Ohama scored around a Japanese basket. But again, quality shot opportunities wouldn’t go in, and despite upping the tempo on defense, Canada just couldn’t score. Thomas and Pettnicchi provided a ray of hope with late baskets but Japan’s horseshoes were never ending and they ended the quarter up 30-17.
Sparked by the insertion of Tara Feser in the third quarter, Canada clawed back on baskets by Harnock, Thomas and Pettinicchi. Jennifer Krempien then drilled a nice 12 footer while being fouled to give Canada another spark. Ohama and Radke then hit nice inside shots toward the end of the quarter to narrow the lead to single digits at 36-43.
In the final quarter, both teams traded baskets until Thomas with two and Pettinicchi with one outside shot drew Canada even closer. A couple of offensive boards and lucky breaks resulted in two Japanese baskets and then the drama started. Lisa Franks went to the foul line late in the game with Canada down by 5 points. She hit the first foul shot to put the team down by 4, then missed the second on purpose and Janet McLaclan outreached the Japanese rebounder for the successful putback. With Canada down 2 and time running down, there was no choice but to foul. Japan made one of the foul shots and then with 7 seconds left and not timeouts remaining, Canada was unable to get a good shot away. The game ended with Japan ahead by 3 at 55-52.
Top scorers for Canada were Misty Thomas with 15, Sabrina Pettinicchi with 10, Katie Harnock with 9, Janet McLachlan with 5, and Lori Radke, Jennifer Krempien and Kendra Ohama with 4 each.
Next up for Canada is the surprising Chinese team Wednesday, followed by Mexico on Thursday. Quarterfinal matchups won’t be set until the end of the round robin.