Hawks Prep Team Win Junior Holiday Tournament
BlazeSports’ Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks Prep Team continued their 2014-15 season winning streak with four straight wins at the Rockford NWBA Junior Holiday Tournament. After wins against the Grand Rapid Jr Pacers and the RHI Mini Pacer on Saturday, the Hawks faced the Milwaukee Heat, the 4th place team from pool B.
The Hawks used the first of three games on Sunday to try to get all 9 players on the offensive stat sheet. The Hawks started strong on offense and decided to relax their defense to allow the younger and smaller Milwaukee squad the opportunity to test their shooting skills. The Hawks led 18-12 at the half with 5 of 9 players scoring. The Hawks tightened up their defense just a bit in the second half and only allowed the Heat 4 points in the final 16 minutes. On offensive, the Hawks met their pre-game goal and had all 9 players scoring at least once. Collin Lancaster led the Hawks with 8 points, with Bailey Moody and Eric Francis each scoring 6 points. The remaining 6 players: Taevan Grant, Michael Kitchens, Cade Maynor, Tanner Loop, Jeremiah Million and John Joiner each scored 2 points.
The win placed the Hawks in a semi-final game against the Grand Rapids (MI) Junior Pacers. The Hawks beat the Pacers 35-16 on Saturday and did not expect a challenge on Sunday. The Hawks starters played great defense in the first half limiting the Jr. Pacers to 2 points. Hawks led at the half 20-2. The half time margin provided the Hawks the opportunity to try for a second consecutive game to get all 9 players on the offensive stat sheet. The Hawks almost scored the double with 7 of the 9 players scoring. Baily Moody led the Hawks with 11 points followed by Eric Francis with 10. Both John Joiner and Taevan Grant scored 3 points while Collin Lancaster, Tanner Loop and Jeremiah Million each scored 2 points. Hawks win 33-14.
The semi-final win placed the Hawks in their 12th consecutive tournament championship game dating back to the 2012 season. This time they would face the Chicago Skyhawks, the team that broke the Hawks’ 30 game consecutive winning streak at last year’s National Championship with a 1 point win in the preliminaries. The Hawks rebounded in the championship game to win their third consecutive National Championships. BlazeSports coaching staff selected the Rockford tournament in hopes we would end up with a rematch against Chicago.
The Hawks started strong with 8 unanswered points to force Chicago to take an early time out. From that point on the Hawks never looked back. Jeremiah Million assisted the Hawks defensive duo of Collin Lancaster and Taevan Grant to hold Chicago to 10 first half points. Chicago made a run in the second half, but were outscored by the Hawks 23-18. Bailey Moody and Eric Francis, co-MVP’s of the tournament each scored 14. Collin Lancaster earned All-Tournament Team honors by adding 10 more points to his 5 game total of 34 points. Taevan Grant rounded out the Hawks scoring with 2 points. Hawks win 41-28.
Collin Lancaster – All Tournament Team, 5 game point total: 35
Bailey Moody – Female MVP, 5 game point total: 47
Eric Francis – Male MVP, 5 game point total: 64
Cade Maynor – AMA Award – Ability, Motivation, Attitude
On behalf of the Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks, BlazeSports would like to thank the Rockford Park District for being a great host and running a first rate tournament. Special thanks for all our parents and grandparents that made the trip to provide our team with the best cheering section in the country!