Quebec Wheelchair Basketball Team Wins Gold and Three-Peats at 2011 Canada Games

(Halifax, NS) – The Quebec wheelchair basketball team won their third consecutive championship on Thursday at the 2011 Canada Games by defeating Ontario 77-63 in the gold medal final.

Quebec was easily the tournament’s most dominant team with a record of 6-0.  In total they amassed 442 points – 97 more then Ontario (their closest opponent).  Quebec’s opponents only scored a total of 222 points, which was 45 less than the points scored by Ontario’s opponents.

Maxime Poulin and Carl Pelletier (photo attached), who combined for almost half ofQuebec’s total points, led the team to victory. Poulin scored a team-high 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists, while Pelletier scored 28 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists.

Overall, Pelletier and Poulin finished first and second in shooting percentage at 62.2% and 58.3% respectively.

Ontario’s Dayton Sopha was the game’s top scorer with 35 points, 18 rebounds, and 5 assists. Sopha finished the tournament averaging 29.6 points per game, 16.8rebounds per game, and 7.4 assists per game (1st overall in all three categories).

Poulin and Pelletier were amongst 10 returning players who participated in the 2007 championship game when Quebec narrowly defeated Ontario 63-62. Quebec athletes Maude Jacques, Nicolas Palmer, France Vallée, Gabrielle Côté, and Jonathan Vermette all participated, as well as three athletes from Ontario (Jesse McNalley, Dayton Sopha, and Shayne Smith).

“Winning the first medal was special but the second time around is definitely better. This year I took on more of a leadership role and I really enjoyed helping my teammates be the best that they can be,” said Quebec athlete Carl Pelletier.

The two teams also met in the 1999 final, which was won by Ontario.

BRONZE MEDAL GAME:

Saskatchewan defeated Manitoba 58-56 Thursday to win bronze.

Nikola Goncin paced the floor with 35 points and was instrumental in the final 30 seconds of the game when he stole the ball twice, preventing Manitoba from getting the opportunity to score the tying basket that would have sent the game into overtime. He also had team-high 12 rebounds and 5 assists.

In total Goncin scored a tournament-high 167 points through six games. He also accumulated 26 steals (1st overall).

Manitoba got into foul trouble late in the game, which sent Saskatchewan’s Adam Bryant to the free throw line four times in the final two minutes. He successfully hit 8-for-13 on the game to finish with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

Aaron Moseley-Williams was Manitoba’s high scorer with 19 points and a game-high 22 rebounds.

OTHER RESULTS

Earlier in the day, Nova Scotia clinched 5th place with a 65-52 win overBritish Columbia, their best-ever finish at the Canada Games. Nova Scotia came into the tournament seeded 6th.

“This is a huge deal for us and I am extremely proud of the way we played. We notonly improved on our previous Canada Games record, but also on our record at the seeding tournament coming in, which is fantastic. It is a testament to how hard the players worked to build this team and compete at this level,” said Nova Scotia Assistant Coach Christina Swett.

Nine of the athletes that participated in the tournament were recently named to Canada’s first-ever Women’s U25 National Team (Helaina Cyr-AB, Alarissa Haak-AB, Stephanie Park-BC, Jamey Jewells-NS, Abby Stubbert-NS, Tamara Steeves-ON, Maude Jacques-QC, Ashley Baerg-SK, and Gabrielle Roberts-Winter-SK).

The inaugural Women’s U25 World Wheelchair Basketball Championships will be held July 15-23, 201 at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.

2011 CANADA GAMES – FINAL STANDINGS:

1 – Quebec
2 – Ontario
3 – Saskatchewan
4 – Manitoba
5 – Nova Scotia
6 – PEI
7 – British Columbia
8 – Alberta
9 – New Brunswick

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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