THE Canadian women's wheelchair basketball team fell short of the medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, placing sixth despite some outstanding stats put up by West Vancouver's Janet McLachlan.
The Canadians advanced to the playoffs with a 3-1 record in preliminary play but their march to the podium was halted in the quarterfinals with a 67-55 loss to the United States Tuesday.
The Canadians jumped out to a 21-10 lead in the first quarter of the playoff game but the States kept up intense full-court pressure throughout the game to chip away at the lead. The pressure took its toll in the final two quarters at the Americans outscored the Canadians 38-22 in the second half.
"Their press got to us . . . in the third quarter," Team Canada head coach Bill Johnson said in a release. "That is when you rely on your teammates and by the time we did it was too late."
McLachlan, continuing the stellar play she showed throughout the preliminaries, scored a game-high 31 points and 13 rebounds in the loss.
"I did not get the feeling that we were out of the game," said McLachlan. "I thought we had a chance right until the end. On a different day, it could have gone a different way, and today it was theirs."
The Canadians rebounded against Mexico on Thursday, scoring a 74-53 victory to make it into the fifth/sixth place classification game. McLachlan again led the way with 24 points and 13 rebounds.
In the fifth/sixth game
McLachlan starred again, leading the team with 22 points and 17 rebounds but the Canadians fell 73-70 to China.
The Canadian women's team won three consecutive Paralympic golds from 1992-2000 but have not reached the podium since winning a bronze in 2004.
McLachlan, a former standup basketball player who suffered a serious knee injury while playing rugby, ended up second in the tournament with a 26.0 points per game average. Her 16.7 rebounds per game average was tops in the tournament by a wide margin and she also led the event in blocks per game.