Canada has clinched a spot in the semifinals of the FIBA women’s U19 World Cup.
Laeticia Amihere of Mississauga, Ont., scored 21 points to lift the Canadians to a 68-65 victory over China in Friday’s quarter-finals. Hailey Brown of Hamilton grabbed 13 rebounds.
“I’m glad we pulled through and got the win today. We came in fighting and knew it was going to be a battle to the end. It was more of a redemption game for us because a lot of us played in the quarter-finals last year and fell short. Today’s game was a great show of character and I’m excited to keep on playing and go for that gold medal,” Amihere said.
The Canadians will face Russia on Saturday.
China cut the Canadians’ 10-point lead to just two over the game’s final 30 seconds before Canada sealed the victory.
“Another great team win. We talked a lot about weathering the storm and playing through adversity. I thought we did a great job of keeping our composure when China got off to a hot start. Once we settled down, we were able to execute our game plan on both ends of the floor, said Canadian head coach, Carly Clarke.
“We are thrilled to move on and have the opportunity to play for a medal. We are going to rest up, recover and prepare for our game against Russia tomorrow.”
This will mark just the second tournament semifinal berth for Canada’s under-19 women’s team. In 2009, the squad finished fourth overall.
The win over China comes on the heels of the Canadian men’s team winning gold at its U19 World Cup in Cairo, the country’s first world basketball title in history.
Canada trailed China 21-10 after the first quarter but rallied to cut the deficit to 28-26 at the half.