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Blazers Shine in Day 1 of Conference Championships
BlazeSports and All Players Tournament Park played host to the 2013 Southeast Regional Junior Wheelchair Basketball Championships this weekend. Ten teams from five regional programs gathered in Marietta, GA for the last major tournament prior to the 2013 National Wheelchair Basketball Championships.
The Georgia Blazers led the day with wins in all 5 games they played. The Blazers Varsity squad started the day with a close 43-40 win over the Lakeshore Lakers (AL). The Blazers led at half time 18-16 led by Bryan Powell (6 points) and Josh Joines and Ben Baxter who had 4 points each. The see-saw battle continued in the second half with both teams playing a fast pace defensive game. The Blazers were able to pull out the win behind a strong offensive second half from Josh Joines and Treyvon Smith who score 10 and 7 second half points respectively.
In their second game, the Blazers easily handled last year’s conference champions, Music City Thunder (TN). The Blazers were up 24-9 at half time and finished strong with a final score of 50 -13. Treyvon Smith led all scorers with 14 points, while Ben Baxter, Bryan Powell and Josh Joines each contributed 10 points.
On the Prep side of the tournament, the #1 ranked Blazers continued their undefeated season with a first game win over the Lakeshore Sharks (AL) 32-6. Collin Lancaster and Cameron Elzey led all scorers with 8 points each, while four Blazers, Kalen Reese, Samuel Armas, Chance Boyd and Taevon Grant scoring 4 points.
In their second game, the Blazers’ Prep squad beat the Music City Thunder (TN) 37 – 4. The Blazers spread out the scoring with 6 of 8 players in the offensive column. Kalen Resse, Chance Boyd and Samuel Armas led all scorers with 8 points each. Collin Lancaster scored 6, while Taevan Grant score 4 and Cameron Elzey scored 3 points. Zachery Armas and Cade Maynor provide 3 periods of outstanding defensive play.
The Prep’s third and final game of the day was against the Charlotte Bobcats. The Blazers defense continued and they rolled to a strong win 26-4 win over the Charlotte Bobcats. Their third win of the day guaranteed the Blazers a spot in Sunday’s Championship game.
Blazers Win, Twice!
The Georgia Blazers made history today at the 2013 Southeast Conference Championships when both the Varsity and Prep teams won the Conference Championship in their division. This was the first time in Blazer history that has happened.
The Blazers Varsity squad started Day 2 with wins over the two North Carolina teams; the Jr. Thunder (65-10) and the Charlotte Bobcats (49-32). All eight Blazers scored in both morning games, setting a season record for two game total at 114. Josh Joines led the Blazers with a two game total of 28, Ben Baxter had 22, Brent O’Grady 19 and Luke Hutchinson 18. Bryan Powell score a total of 10 in the two games, while Treyvon Smith had 9 and Curran Brown and Collin Lafon each had 4.
For the third consecutive tournament this season, the Blazers were matched against the Lakeshore Lakers (AL) for the Varsity Championship game. This game would be the rubber match, with each team having won one of the previous final games, although the Blazers 3-1 edge in overall wins. The Blazers worked well on both ends of the court behind first half scoring form Treyvon Smith and Josh Joines(8 first half points each) and tenacious defensive led by Ben Baxter. The Blazers held the Lakers to only 2 first half buckets and led 22-4 at the intermission.
The second half was more of the same. Treyvon Smith exploded for another 10 points and finished with 18. Josh Joines had 12 and Ben Baxter finished with 10 points. Brent O’Grady had 4 points and Bryan Powell and Collin Lafon had 2. Treyvon Smith and Josh Joines were named to the Varsity All-tournament Team.
The Blazers Prep team started Day 2 with a hard fought win over the Jr. Thunder (NC). Blazers defense was stellar the first half, holding the Thunder to 4 points and scoring 14 behind Samuel Armas’ 8 first half points. The Blazers picked up the offense a little in the second half while the Jr. Thunder found their range on a few long shots. The Blazers win their 4th consecutive game 30-14. Samuel Armas finished with 16, Kalen Reece had 8 point and Chance Boyd and Cameron Elzey had 4 and 2 points respectively. The trio of Cade Maynor, Zachary Armas and Taevan Grant played a big part of the Blazers tough defense.
The Blazers headed into the Championship Game still undefeated for the season and faced the Jr. Thunder in back to back games as the Thunder finished the preliminary rounds with 3 wins and 1 loss.
The Championship Game was more of the same, great Blazer defense and a fast paced offense. Blazers led at half time 16-6 behind Kalen Reese’s 8 points and Samuel Armas’ 6 points. The second half was a little better on both ends of the court and the Blazers win their second consecutive Southeast Conference Championship 36-11. Kalen Reese double’s his firs half points and finished with 16. Samuel Armas and Chance Boyd rounded out the Blazers’ scoring with 10 points each. The dynamic trio of Cade Maynor, Zachary Armas and Taevan Grant filled in for starting guard Collin Lancaster who missed Sunday’s games due to the flu. The trio player great defense and help limit the Thunder to only 11 points
Cameron Elzey and Collin Lancaster were named to the All-Tournament Team and Samuel Armas was named MVP for the tournament.
The tournament brings to a close the long and storied history of the Georgia Blazers Wheelchair Basketball program. The Blazers will live on in our track & field and swimming programs as our basketball program is excited to announce our new affiliation with the Atlanta Hawks as the Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks!
BlazeSports would like thank to thank the staff and management of All Players Tournament Park for their great facility and for being a wonderful host. Thanks to our sponsors: Domino’s Pizza, Chick-Fil-A, Pepsi, Eagle Sportschairs, Medical Direct Club and our Gold sponsor, BP Oil – Georgia Oil Holdings and Clipper Petroleum. Without your support our tournament would not be possible.
Special thanks to Andrew Hinze, our photographer, all our officials, volunteers, parents, the hundreds of fans that attended and to the players of the Southeast Wheelchair Basketball Conference for a great tournament. It was a pleasure hosting you for this year’s Championships.