Canada finishes 6th at men's U23 wheelchair basketball worlds
Moronchuk, Hickey each score 24 points in loss to Germany
Canada had to settle for sixth place at the men's under-23 world wheelchair basketball championship after a 76-68 loss to Germany on Thursday in Toronto.
Ben Moronchuk and Liam Hickey each produced 24 points for Canada while Germany's Leon Schoneberg scored a game-high 29 points. Nico Dreimuller contributed a double-double for the German side with 15 points and 11 assists.
"I'm pretty sure we exceeded everyone's expectations in how hard we compete and not giving up, and that was our biggest goal. Our big thing was no regrets at the end of it and I think we achieved that," said Canadian captain Alex Hayward, who chipped in with five points.
A 6th place finish at the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/2017u23wwbc?src=hash">#2017u23wwbc</a> for our Canadian boys! We've enjoyed cheering you on throughout the tournament! Here's to 2021! 🏀🌎 <a href="https://t.co/Krpfi98Yrt">pic.twitter.com/Krpfi98Yrt</a>—@WSA_Ontario
Germany grabbed a nine-point lead after the first quarter that the Canadian side could never make up for. Canada shot 53 per cent from the field — 67 per cent if you subtracted its 2-for-14 production from three-point range — while Germany connected at 59 per cent.
The Canadians won back-to-back gold medals in 1997 and 2001, but haven't reached the podium since. Germany captured gold at the last U23 world championship in 2013 while Canada finished sixth there as well.
The medal games go Friday at Toronto's Mattamy Athletic Centre. Japan faces Australia for bronze before Turkey goes up against Britain for gold. Neither Turkey nor Britain have ever reached the podium at the 12-nation event.