Wheelchair Basketball: Saskatchewan 52 – British Columbia 40

(Halifax, NS) – The Saskatchewan wheelchair basketball team defeated British Columbia 52-40 on Tuesday earning a berth into the semi-final and their chance to compete for a medal at the 2011 Canada Games.

The two semi-finals game will be:

1A Ontario (record 3-0) vs. 2B Saskatchewan (record 3-1) Wednesday February 16, at 3:00P.M. (semi-final)

1B Quebec (record 4-0) vs. 2A Manitoba (record 1-2) Wednesday February 16, at 5:00P.M. (semi-final)

After trailing by 5 points at the end of the first quarter, Saskatchewan exploded in the second frame to outscore BC 21-7 and head into halftime with a 29-20 lead.

“Good defense allowed us to win this game,” said Saskatchewan player Nikola Goncin. “Once we got up we didn’t allow them to come back and that’s because of our ability to shut things down in our own end.”

Goncin scored a game high 36 points and 20 rebounds. He finishes the preliminary round with 107 points (1st overall).  He also added 4 steals to his tournament leading 18 through four games.

“He [Goncin] took advantage of us. We played hard and matched up with him well, but Nik got the better of us tonight. It’s tough. I think we did a good job of the things that we do, but we came up short tonight,” said BC head coach Cheryl Corrigan.

Adam Bryan was the only other player on Saskatchewan to hit double-digits. He came off the bench to score 10 points and claim 8 rebounds in 36:39 of court time.

BC’s Deion Green and Avril Harris both had outstanding games as well. Green led his team with 15 points and added 12 rebounds, while Harris potted 14 points. Erik Vliegenthart pulled down a team high 15 rebounds in the loss.

“We’ve played BC a few times this year already and we always have a good rivalry. We’ve been a little nervous this tournament and I think it showed when the game started out and we went down 0-9, but as the game progressed we got a little more comfortable and it was a great game overall and a great game by BC as well,” said Saskatchewan head coach Stewart McKeon.

After falling to #1 seeded Quebec in their first game  (74-34), Saskatchewan is currently riding a three game winning streak.

For more information, please visit www.canadagames2011.ca or  www.wheelchairbasketball.ca, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WCBballCanada or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wheelchairbasketball.

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