With their first exhibition win of the summer in sight for Canada’s Cadette Women’s National Team, Team Canada played lock-down basketball in the game’s final minutes to log a 54-46 victory over Team China.

Chatham, Ontario native Bridget Carleton, who recorded a game-high 15 points in thirty minutes of action, led Canada on the floor. The pivot left her mark all over the game, adding four rebounds, two assists and five steals.

Mikaela Brewer added 10 points of her own for Canada, including two long three-pointers. Wang Haimei would lead Team China with 10 points.

The eight-point margin of victory betrays how close this game really was: China had maintained a dead-even tie with Canada at the end of the third quarter, each team tallying 37 points apiece. Then, with five minutes remaining in the game, each team was again stuck in a stalemate at 46 points each.

With the game reaching its final minutes, Team Canada would stay faithful to their preparation by executing their game plan when it mattered most; Canada would hold China scoreless in the game’s final five minutes while adding eight points of their own to seal the victory.

“This was a good battle today because we faced some adversity as a team,” said head coach Carly Clarke. “We asked some of the athletes to do some different things throughout the game and each player was adaptable and rose to the occasion. In the second half, we played with defensive urgency and overall, we executed down the stretch.”

The team’s first win of their young exhibition tour was an emotional boost that shows everyone that this team is on the right track.

“We had a good start and played hard the entire game,” said Chelayne Bailey. “Team China was aggressive and we had to match their aggression. As a team, I think we gained some confidence.”

With the win over China, Team Canada finishes their exhibition season and looks ahead to the U17 FIBA World Championships for Women in the Czech Republic. Their first game is on June 28, against Hungary. Tip-off is set for 2:15 p.m. EST. 

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