A mighty team performance from GB Women but Canada take the win in Dubai.
Written by Omer Hagomer
GBR won the first possession and captain Sophie Carrigill got 2 points on the scoreboard. Arrin Young tied the game for Canada, the Canadians were quick in transition and Elodie Tessier scored a layup with a finger-roll. Joy Haizelden forced a turnover that allowed Helen Freeman to score a contested shot from the baseline. Freeman was on form and gave GBR a 2-point lead halfway into the first quarter, CAN 4:6 GBR.
The Canadians used defensive rebounds effectively, but shots were not falling for them. Freeman added another 2 points, as Tessier kept Canada’s hopes alive with 2 of her own. Carrigill was picking and rolling and rewarded herself with 2 points.
Both teams were extra physical on defense as Canada’s captain Cindy Quelett scored 1/2 from the free throw line. GBR called for a timeout as they led by 1 point heading into the second quarter, CAN 9:10 GBR.
J. Atkin was swamped by Canada’s players but found the space to add 2 points. Jude Hamer checked in for J. Atkin with 2 minutes remaining in the quarter. Kady Dandeneau was the difference maker from the free throw line for Canada.
Both nations utilised the man-out play impeccably, Canada scored a swift layup in transition, but Hamer responded with 2 points inside the paint. The first quarter proved how evenly matched the two teams are. Dandeneau gave Canada the lead after a foul, Hamer regained the lead for GBR with an exquisite shot from the baseline, CAN 15:16 GBR.
Canada made a few substitutions. Kayla Bell checked in for Carrigill in the second quarter. The stakes were raised on offense as each successful shot was met with a response at the other end of the floor. Hamer stepped up big time for GBR, Dandeneau felt the pressure and drained a 3-pointer for Canada. GBR were a mighty unit on defense and Haizelden gave GBR a 1-point lead, CAN 20:21 GBR.
Canada were on form at the offensive end as Dandeneau got another 3-pointer. Hamer was collecting points heading into halftime and field goals were traded. Canada were resourceful and kept Hamer out of the defensive end.
Canada were deadly from the mid-range as GBR trailed by 5 points. Haizelden converted from the block to reduce the lead, CAN 30:25 GBR. Hamer came back to dominate and forced Canada to call a timeout.
The response was top level offense from Canada, they drew fouls with 2 minutes to go until half-time. Charlotte Moore maintained the ‘never give up’ attitude to decrease the lead after a skillful curl for Hamer. GBR closed the key and increased their intensity on defense. At half-time, CAN 34:31 GBR.
Haizelden opened the third quarter with a tremendous shot off the backboard, Freeman scored one of her own. Canada retook the lead as Dandeneau was persistent on offense. Carrigill replaced Bell as Haizelden pushed the pace in transition, yet Canada found creative ways to get in on offense.
GBR called for a timeout with five minutes remaining in the quarter, they came close to forcing Canada into shot clock violations. J. Atkin subbed in for Hamer and GBR began to write a comeback story, Freeman banked a trademark shot and Moore scored with a light touch off the backboard.
J. Atkin capitalised on defensive rebounds, she also drew a foul and scored 1/2. Canada extended the lead using offensive rebounds. CAN 51:40 GBR.
Hamer replaced Freeman in the fourth quarter. Haizelden scored through a screen set by J. Atkin. Canada moved the ball on offense and Tamara Steeves added 2 points. The second chapter of the comeback story for GBR saw Haizelden once again maneuvering with passion on offense to score 2. J. Atkin also got 2 after delicately driving down the middle.
Canada called for a timeout with seven minutes remaining in the game. Haizelden was exceptional but Canada forced GBR into an 8 second violation. Both J. Atkin and Hamer found rhythm in the last quarter. While Canada relied on second chances, GBR effectively reduced the gap to 3 points, CAN 57:54 GBR.
GBR refused to surrender. Carrigill was wide open and scored inside the key. Baskets were exchanged, and GBR called for a timeout twice with only a couple of seconds remaining. Canada broke the press of GBR and Dandeneau closed the game with 2/2 from the free throw line, CAN 66:59 GBR.
Moore (2), S. Carrigill (8), K. Bell, H. Freeman (10), J. Hamer (19), L. Robinson, S. Fitzpatrick, J. Haizelden (12), J. Atkin (8), M. Martin, E. Fraser, A. Atkin.