LIMA, PERU- The USA Women begin the 2019 ParaPan American Games with a convincing win (92-10) over Chile. Lindsey Zurbrugg (Portland, OR) led Team USA in scoring with 28 points.
The Americans’ defense forced 29 turnovers upon the young team from Chile and had 11 steals. Team USA pushed the tempo at every chance, which led to consistent fast break opportunities. When Chile was able to transition back on defense, it was Zurbrugg who was often the beneficiary of crisp ball movement. She had great efficiency, most often from mid-range, in her first ParaPan American games, shooting 14 for 18 (78%) from the field.
When asked about having the green light from Head Coach, Trooper Johnson, Zurbrugg stated: “It’s amazing; having the green light, it gives you a bunch of confidence. Because, if he gives me the green light, I know I can do it.” Zurbrugg has been growing her confidence all year. She was a member of the 2019 U25 World Championship Team that won Gold in Suphanburi, Thailand, in which she was the second leading scorer in the final with 16 points.
Rose Hollermann (Elysian, MN) was the second leading scorer for Team USA with 27 points on 12 of 16 (75%) from the field. Much of Hollermann’s damage was inflicted inside the paint. Her ability to maneuver her chair was superior to that of the Chilean defense. Lima 2019 marks Hollermann’s third ParaPan American Games, having been part of the prior two gold medal teams (Guadalajara 2011 and Toronto 2015). In her ten years with the U.S. National Team, Hollermann has evolved into a natural leader for the program.
“Something I try to do is be positive with the team, while also holding people accountable, that includes holding myself accountable,” she said. “One of our goals was to push and get our momentum going… establish ourselves to prepare for later rounds of competition. 2020 is the goal, so we are not looking to take a break. If we win a gold medal here, we want to keep it rolling.”
The Women’s National Team will need to finish top in the top two teams to qualify for Tokyo 2020.
Head Coach, Trooper Johnson (San Lorenzo, CA) is satisfied with their first game. “I’m happy with the team’s performance today, but there are still things we need to improve. We had a great overall team effort and everyone is contributing in different ways,” he said.
Team USA Women will face off against host country, Peru on Monday afternoon 5:15PM (Eastern). Peru opens against Brazil in the late game of day one of the 2019 Lima ParaPan American Games.