The U19 Canada Women’s National Team remains perfect and wins Group C by defeating Latvia 74-70 at the FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup.
Aislinn Konig exploded for a career high performance scoring 32 points including ten made threes. The NC State sniper’s tenth three-pointer served as the game winner.
Shaina Pellington and Laeticia Amihere both made huge impacts chipping in with 15 and 14 points respectively.
Latvia came out of the gate very strong and set the tone early going up 8-2. They let Canada know this was going to be a battle by locking down defensively for a big part of the first quarter.
Canada finally was able to produce some offence and it was Pellington that got things going. Her fearless nature allows her to attack the basket while inviting contact. She made a lay-up plus the foul to get things rolling for Canada.
Konig started finding her range and it was completely lights out from there. She hit two from long range in the first but Latvia continued to hit back.
Amihere came off the bench and made an immediate impact. The young Canadian provided a spark to tie the game up with a strong And-1 play in the paint. Latvia held strong and finished with a two point lead to end the quarter.
Pellington remained aggressive, attacking the basket and scoring while Alyssa Jerome established a strong paint presence on the defensive end. The incoming Stanford forward had two blocks in the quarter.
Konig stayed hot and added another three to give her 11 points at the end of the first half.
Canada kept pulling close in the second quarter but Latvia held a 33-29 lead at the half.
One of Canada’s standouts in the first two games was Hailey Brown. Her offensive game finally started to come together in the third quarter when she stole the ball and ran the floor to finish a tough shot. Brown also grabbed a game high 14 rebounds.
Once again, whenever Canada made a little run, Latvia always had an answer. The girls needed to find a second and third gear to take the lead.
16-year-old Laeticia Amihere was the answer. On back to back possessions the young forward made tough baskets through contact. Her strong and quick post moves allow her to get a step on the defender. Amihere used a nice spin move on the Latvian defender and tied the game up at the free throw line.
From the inbound bass, Amihere stole the ball and found Jerome who got fouled. Jerome made one and gave Canada a 42-41 lead and then Konib took over.
Konib made back to back three pointers and didn’t miss a three-point attempt in the third quarter, making all three of her shots.
To end the quarter, Pellington followed up her free throw miss with another And-1 finish to cap off a massive third quarter.
Canada outscored Latvia 26-15 in the quarter and took a 55-48 lead heading into the fourth.
The fourth quarter turned into a shootout with both teams going back and forth.
Konig dialled up her career-best seventh three pointer and then immediately made her eighth.
With 1:30 remaining in the game, it started raining threes in Cividale del Friuli. Konib sank another one to put Canada up 69-67 but Latvia came back down and knocked down a three of their own.
Pellington got fouled but could only convert one from the charity stripe to tie the game at 70. On the other end, Latvia failed to connect on their jumper.
With just over 20 seconds left, Hanna Hall carried the ball up the court and passed it to the hot hand demanding the rock. Konib called and got a screen from Amihere, dribbled to her left, stepped back and drained a big time three with 15 seconds to go. That would end up being the winning bucket for Canada.
Konib went 10/15 from deep while only attempting one shot inside the arc. No other player made a three-pointer for Canada.
As a team Canada shot 43% from the field but only converted 44% of their free throws. The free throw percentage has to be improved quickly moving further into the tournament.
Aislinn Konib: 32 points | 3 rebounds | 2 assists
Shaina Pellington: 15 points | 5 rebounds | 2 assists
Laeticia Amihere: 14 points | 5 rebounds | 3 assists | 1 steal
Alyssa Jerome: 7 points | 6 rebounds | 6 assists | 3 blocks | 1 steal
Hailey Brown: 14 rebounds | 3 points | 2 assists | 1 block | 1 steal
With Canada topping Group C they play the last place team in Group D, which is Mexico in the Round of 16. The game is set to tip off Wednesday, July 26 at 8 AM. Mexico lost all their games in Group D.
North Pole Hoops is proud to host the girls showcase in Brampton, ON. This is the first-ever girls showcase in Ontario and NPH’s continued effort to shine light on Canadian Girl’s basketball. The showcase is set for Thursday, July 28 and Friday, July 29 at Sheridan College. Sign up here.