Locking down defensively and on the glass for the second consecutive evening, Canada raced out to an early lead and cruised to an easy 88-53 win over Argentina, leading by more than 30 through 3 quarters as the Auch Tournoi International in Toulouse, France concluded earlier today. Canada finishes at 2-1 with a pair of dominant wins – yesterday Canada handled Australia – after an OT loss to the host French. France had defeated Argentina 90-57 yesterday. Once again, Canada received an excellent performance from 6’7″ Danilo Djuricic who had 18 points (including 3-4 from beyond the arc) and 7 boards in just 19 minutes however the highlight was the depth as 10 guys played at least 17 minutes with Argy being held to just 3 for 23 from beyond the arc. 6’4″ Quincy Guerrier (14 points, 6 boards) and diminutive 5’11” guard Daniel Sackey (10 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists) came off the bench for some quality minutes, moving up the rotation as Canada today played without 6’5″ Emmanuel Akot, who was a DNP for precautionary reasons with the ill effects of a head cold. 6’4″ Noah Kirkwood shook off what has been a bit of slow start to his summer action with a solid game with 6 points, 6 boards. (see full box score below). Canada will now welcome 6’8″ Simi Shittu, one of the top rated players in America in his high school class, to the lineup which should add paint presence and another high quality talent.
The Canadians now turn their focus to their opening match in Group C of the FIBA World U-17’s in Zaragoza, Spain against Australia. The club leaves Toulouse tomorrow, flying into Madrid before making the 300 km. trip north-east along the A-2 to Zaragoza where they will meet Australia on Thursday, June 23rd at Noon ET. While Canada did hammer the Aussies yesterday, the Boomers (Aussie slang term for Kangaroos) have improved steadily and some observers felt they had a reasonable chance to knock off France today, coming from double digits down early to take the lead in the fourth before losing by 3 at 71-68 (see box score below). Australia has already defeated another Group C participant, China, earlier so complacency and motivation should not be an issue even in the face of how well Canada handled the Boomers yesterday. Finland is the fourth member of Group C.
Also here is yesterday’s box score from Canada’s win over Australia and then Australia/France box score today after that (reverse that actually).