Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks 3-0 on Day 1 of NWBA National Championships – Prep and Varsity Headed to Semi-Finals
The Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks had a good first day at the National Wheelchair Basketball Association National Championships. The NIT #1 ranked Hawks Varsity team started the day with a win over #16 ranked Dallas Mavericks. The Hawks got off to a slow start shooting only 17% in the first half and led at the midway point 16 – 6. The Hawks maintained their strong defense in the second half and stepped up their offense to win 44-12. The Hawks were led by Josh Joines (Kennesaw) with 20 points. Treyvon Smith (Athens) had 8 points and Luke Hutchinson (Marietta) scored 6. Brent O’Grady (Kennesaw) and Bryan Powell (Marietta) both scored 4 points. Curran Brown rounded out the Hawks scoring with 2 points.
The Junior Wheelchair Hawks Prep team faced the #9 ranked Katie Komets (PA), the winner of the game with the #8 ranked Nebraska Red Dogs. The #1 ranked Hawks started strong behind Samuel Armas (Villa Rica) and Kalen Reese (Powder Springs) with 14 and 8 first half points respectively. The Hawks led at the half 24-11. Collin Lancaster (Bethlehem), Cameron Elzey (Cumming), Taevan Grant (Atlanta), Zachery Armas (Villa Rica) and Cade Maynor (Lindale) shared the responsibilities in key defensive positions and held the Komets to only 18 points in a 42-18 final. Samuel Armas finished with 18 points while Kalen Reese had 16 points. Collin Lancaster scored 4 points and Chance Boyd and Taevan Grant each scored 2 points. The Hawks Prep Team will play a semi-final game on Friday at 10:30 am against the #5 ranked Chicago Skyhawks who defeated the #4 ranked RHI Mini Pacers (IN).
The Varsity Hawks played a quarter-final game late on Day 1. The 7:30 pm game was against #9 ranked Courage Center Gophers (MN) who beat #8 ranked Kansas City Jr. Pioneers. The Hawks played a great game shooting 41% in the first half and playing outstanding defense. Josh Joines led the Hawks with 10 first half points while Treyvon Grant added 8. The Hawks led at the mid way point 26-12. The second half was more of the same. The Hawks improved their shooting to 47% and more than doubled their half-time score with 6 of 7 players in the offensive column. Josh Joines finished with 27 with Treyvon Smith with 10, Brent O’Grady with 8, Bryan Powell with 6 and Curran Brown and Luke Hutchinson with 2 points each. Led defensively by Brent O’Grady, the Hawks held the Gophers to only 14 second half points to win 55-26 and earned a spot in Friday’s semi-final game. The Hawks will play conference rival Lakeshore Lakers who they defeated a few weeks ago to capture the Southern Conference crown.
BlazeSports America’s wheelchair basketball team travels to Louisville, KY for the 2013 National Wheelchair Basketball Championships. In their first official tournament as the Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks, Blaze’s Prep and Varsity teams are both ranked #1 going into the this year’s tournament.
The Junior Wheelchair Hawks are one of 13 Prep teams in the second largest field of Prep teams in NWBA history. The Junior Wheelchair Hawks are undefeated, 2013 Southeast Regional Champions and defending 2012 National Champions. The team enjoys having 6 of 7 players back from last year with two outstanding rookies. The tournament format is single elimination with a consolation bracket and the Blazer’s first game is Thursday, April 18 at 11:45 against the winner of the game between #8 ranked Nebraska Red Dogs and #9 ranked Katies Komets.
The Junior Wheelchair Hawks Varsity Team is ranked #17 in the country which places them as the #1 ranked team in the NIT bracket. The Varsity Hawks, also 2013 Southeast Regional Champions, are making their second national appearance in three years, missing last year’s tournament. The Hawks’ first game is on Thursday, April 18 at 11:30 against # 16 ranked Dallas Jr. Mavericks.