July 30, 2017

Canada wins first-ever U19 World Cup medal

After yesterday's crushing loss to Russia in the semifinals, Team Canada's captain Alyssa Jerome said, "We are still competing for a medal which was our goal coming into the tournament and we are hoping to finish with a bronze."

And the U19s did just that today as they defeated Japan 60-67 in the finals and took the podium for the first time ever in international competition.

Japan controlled most of the first quarter with their quick hands. They average nine steals per game and forced Canada to turn the ball over eight times. But Canada rallied at the end of the quarter with back-to-back threes and took the lead 14-10.

Canada was more aggressive in the second quarter and held on to the lead. Alyssa Jerome sank a buzzer-beater three-pointer that gave Canada a 33-27 lead at the end of the half.

Japan began the third quarter with a 9-2 run and took the lead. Then Canada took it back and ended the quarter with another buzzer-beater. Canada up 50-45.

Canada held on to the lead in the final quarter in spite of a strong effort by Japan. They led by nine points with a minute left to play and Japan began fouling. Canada was the worst free-throw shooter in the tournament, making only 55% of their attempts. They did a bit better than that (5-8) in the last minute and it was enough for the 60-67 victory.

Alyssa did a little bit of everything: Six points, eight rebounds, one assist, two steals, and three blocks.

Laeticia Amihere led Team Canada with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. She was named one of the Tournament AllStar-5.


Although Alyssa did not post impressive statistics in the tournament, she was a vital member of the team — a "glue" player, a mature dependable leader. She is highly regarded by Canada Basketball and although the second-youngest member of the team was chosen as the team captain.

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