Warren Ward & Owen Klassen’s Big Games Not enough for Canada Against Experienced Mexicans

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GUADALAJARA, Mexico – On the heels of defeating Argentina, Canada was unable to capture a victory over Mexico on Thursday night, losing 65-79. It was the second game for Canada at the 2011 Pan-American Games and evens their record at 1-1. 

“Today was just a case of playing older professionals,” said head coach Dave Smart. “We fought and did some things yesterday that we weren’t able to do today at the same level because of their size and their experience as a national team. 

“We’ve got kids who are doing their best and really stuck it out and battled to the end. Mexico’s experience showed, we were really run around defensively and that’s where we need to get it done on the defensive end and rebounding. We’re going to struggle offensively just because of lack of preparation with the timing of the event but defensively we’ve got to get it done every possession.”

The game started slowly for Canada as early turnovers allowed Mexico to take control. Warren Ward (Ottawa, ON) was aggressive on the offensive end, leading the team with five points in the first quarter. 

In the second frame, Canada’s shooting struggles continued but their ability to rebound the basketball kept the game within reach. Owen Klassen (Kingston, ON) patrolled the paint for eight rebounds in the first half, including four on the offensive end. 

Ward continued to attack the basket and led the team with nine points in the half. Canada entered halftime trailing 39-21.

In the third quarter, Tyson Hinz (Ottawa, ON) and Jordan Baker (Edmonton, AB) combined for 11 points, while Klassen continued his strong play by adding eight points in the quarter. Turnovers continued to plague Canada and the frame ended with Mexico leading 60-40.

The final quarter began with two more baskets from Klassen and a three-pointer from Ward. Canada had their best offensive quarter of the game, scoring 25 points but it wouldn’t prove to be enough as Mexico came away with the victory.

Canada will now face Puerto Rico on Friday morning at 10:30 a.m. local time (11:30 a.m. ET) to conclude their preliminary play.  

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