The Georgia Blazers Wheelchair Basketball Teams were a perfect 4-0 to earn a sweep at the 2013 Pioneer Classic. Hosted by the Lakeshore Foundation, the Pioneer Classic has grown over the years and become one of the premier wheelchair basketball tournaments in the country. The tournament began in 1987 when the AT&T Pioneers raised money to fund Lakeshore Foundation’s first wheelchair basketball invitational. Twenty-four years later, the Pioneer Classic has become a long-standing tradition among competitive wheelchair basketball players as well as an opportunity for newcomers to experience the growing sport.
The Blazers’ Varsity Team started the day with a convincing 51-18 win over the Music City Thunder. Treyvon Smith and Josh Joines led the Blazers at half time with 10 points each, while Ben Baxter added 9 points to help the Blazers to a solid 35-3 half time lead. In the second half, the Blazers spread the ball around and had all eight Blazers score including 10 points from Ben Baxter to help the Blazers to a win their fourth game of the season.
The Blazers’ Prep team started their tournament with a 28-2 win over Music City’s Prep team. KJ Reese and Samuel Armas led all scorers with 8 points followed by Cameron Elzey with 6 points, Chance Boyd with 4 and Taevon Grant with 2 points.
The Varsity squad’s second game was against a much tougher Lakeshore Lakers team. This was the third time this season the two teams have played; in November they split a pair of games at the North Carolina Winter Classic. The defensive match up was tied at half time 14-14. Josh Joines and Bryan Powell kept the Blazers in the first half with 4 points each. The second half was not pretty with either team unable to buy a bucket. Ben Baxter and Curran Brown were the only Blazers to score in the second half, but 4 points from each of them was enough to pull out a 22-17 win on the Lakeshore Sharks. With the win the Blazers Varsity squad moved to 5-1 for the season.
The Blazers’ Prep team finished the day with a game against the host team Lakeshore Sharks. Taevon Grant led all scorers with a career high 10 points. Samuel Armas, KJ Reese, Chance Boyd and Cameron Elzey all added one basket to finish with an 18-2 win. Rookies Zachary Armas and Cade Maynor continued to play outstanding defensive. The Prep Blazers win gave the young squad a perfect 7-0 season record as they continue to defend their 2011-2012 NWBA National Championship.
The Blazers return to Birmingham in three weeks for the Southeast Regional tournament and then host the Southeast Championships, March 9 & 10 in Marietta, GA. For more information about the Blazers’ wheelchair basketball program, visit our website at www.blazesports.org or contact Jeff Jones @ firstname.lastname@example.org.