TORONTO — Canada’s women’s wheelchair basketball team is golden once again.
Janet McLachlan and Cindy Ouellet scored 15 points apiece as Canada pulled away with an 8-0 run in the fourth quarter to beat Germany 54-50 in Saturday’s final of the world championships.
The Canadians’ podium finish was their seventh in a row, but first gold since 2006. They finished third at the 2010 world tournament after winning gold in 2006, 2002, 1998 and 1994.
“We kept talking the whole time, you know we only got to beat them once, we only got to beat them once and I guess we saved it for when it counted,” said Canadian coach Bill Johnson. “We just stayed committed to the process throughout. We had specific things we wanted to do on defence and we had some specific things we wanted to do in transition. We stuck to them throughout.
“Eventually it paid off. That 8-0 run was just a result of hard work throughout.”
Katie Harnock added 12 for Canada at Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Marina Mohnen led the way for Germany with a game-high 20 points and six rebounds while Mareike Adermann had 10 points in the loss.
McLachlan and Tracey Ferguson sparked an 8-0 fourth-quarter run that put the Canadians up 50-42, their largest lead of the afternoon. Germany battled back before McLachlan hit a shot to end a 4-0 German surge and Canada never looked back.
“This is unbelievable, I mean especially on home soil, the fan support and the friends and family. Just everything,” said McLachlan. “We haven’t come out on the winning end too often so this one is pretty sweet.”
The world championship is a test event for the 2015 Parapan American Games, which will be held at Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Johnson knows the target will be on the hosts next summer.
“Playing at home is just an incredible experience for us and the fact that we can come into that now as the favourites is a whole new experience for us,” Johnson said. “We’ll embrace that challenge like everything else here and we’ll move forward as we work towards Rio.
“This is a whole new challenge for us now, we’re not flying under the radar.”
With the win, Canada improves to 9-1 all-time against Germany in world championship and Paralympic play.
Canada defeated Britain in the quarter-finals before dispatching previously undefeated Netherlands in Thursday’s semifinals.
Germany, the reigning Paralympic gold medallist, entered the tournament the heavy favourite and cruised through the round-robin portion with a perfect 5-0 record to sit atop the Pool B standings. The Germans then got past France in the quarter-finals before defeating the U.S. in the semifinals on Thursday.
Canada never trailed by more than a point Saturday, leading 25-22 at halftime and taking a 39-36 lead into the fourth quarter.
With a 74-58 win over the U.S. in the bronze medal game, Netherlands captured its first medal at a world championship on Saturday afternoon.
The tournament marked the first time the women’s competition is being held separately from the men’s.