BUENOS AIRES (Argentina) (6-27-22) – The USA won the 2022 FIBA U18 Women’s Americas Championship with the help of two Ohio players, Cotie McMahon and Grace Van Slooten.
The 2022 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team won the gold medal at the 2022 FIBA U18 Women’s Americas Championship after an 82-77 win over Canada on June 20th at Estadio Obras Sanitarias in Buenos Aires. The U.S. is now 65-2 all-time in FIBA WU18 play and has won 10 straight championships (11 overall) dating back to 2000.
Centerville’s Cotie McMahon was named to the Tournament’s All-Star Five team after her impressive tournament.
McMahon was one of the biggest deciding factors in USA’s path to gold as she averaged 12.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game in the tournament including a personal tournament-high 22 points in the gold medal game.
McMahon was a key part in USA’s rotation as she was able to control both sides of the ball, tallying a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds in a Quarter-Final match against Mexico and grabbed 7 rebounds or more in five out of six games of the tournament.
McMahon, who decided to not play basketball her senior yearand enrolled early at Ohio State and will play this season.
Ottawa Hills native Grace Van Slooten, who transferred to IMG Academy (Fla) for her Senior year, after playing for Toledo Notre Dame Academy her first three seasons. Like McMahon she was a big contributor for the USA team, including a double-double vs. El Salvador 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Van Slooten is a two-time 1st team Ohio player and a McDonald’s All-American. She is headed out west in the fall to play for Oregon.
Championship Game Summary – FIBA U18 Women’s Americas Championship
(6-20-22) The FIBA U18 Women’s Americas Championship title was earned by USA for a 10th straight competition as they battled fellow North American powerhouse Canada for the gold medal and came out on top 82-77.
From the start Cotie McMahon continued her dominance all tournament scoring 8 points in the first quarter that helped put USA ahead narrowly 20-16 after the first 10 minutes of play, but Emma Koabel’s performance from beyond the arc kept Canada withing striking distance heading into the second quarter.
USA however did not want to let their opponent that close to impeding on their victory and as they held Koabel to just one three-pointer and kept T’yana Todd to just 6 points while Kira Rice tipped in 5 points and Chloe Kitts added 4 in the quarter USA was able to widen the gap to 10 points heading into the half, though their lead was not comfortable enough with a tough Canadian team ready to bounce back.
A defensive effort on the board from Isuneh Brady also kept USA ahead as she dominated the board from all sides not only leading her team but of all players in the game at halftime with 9 boards.
While Canada was down, they made sure to prove they were not out, and a 22-point third quarter while holding USA to 16 points cut the lead to just 4 points heading into the final 10 minutes of play as Canada played switch help defense in order to try and give USA as little room to shoot as possible and force them into the paint.
Canada dominated on the defensive boards that allowed them to get chances on offense, but they were set back by turnovers that allowed USA to score easy baskets and keep the lead just far enough away that Canada could not catch up, even when Canada was the better shooting team – shooting 47 percent from the floor when they actually got the chance.
Able to hold three-point shooters like Koabel to just two points in the second half, USA kept the pressure on around the perimeter and forced Canada to play physically in the paint.
In the end, a true back and forth fourth quarter saw USA score only one point more than Canada, though that would extend their lead to 5 points that would decide the game, despite Canada being able to rely on a multitude of scorers to try and find the basket in the last 10 minutes of play.
McMahon commanded the game for USA from start to finish, ending the game with 22 points on 60 percent shooting, though four different USA players finished the game in double digit scoring as Rice finished with 18 points and Londynn Jones tipped in 15.
Brady finished the game with 15 rebounds on top of her 8 points including 14 defensive boards.
For Canada, while they also had a well-rounded effort from their entire roster, four players also finished the game in double-digits as Todd led Canada with 19 points and Mary-Anna Asare finished with 15 points.