The Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks came off a 4 game Saturday to an 8:30am game on Sunday against the host team Nebraska Red Dawgs (#2). This game was the third consecutive game against a top ten team. The Hawks played well against a quicker and taller team and played 2 identical halves, scoring 20 points and allowing 32 points in both periods. Josh Joines led the Hawks with 14 points, Samuel Armas scored 12 and Brent O’Grady added 8. Treyvon Smith rounded out the Hawks’ scoring with 6 points. Red Dawgs win 64-40.
It did not get any easier for the Hawks who had to finish the tournament against a dominant Salt Lake Rec N’ Crew (#9 at the 2013 Nationals) and undoubtedly, a top 4 national team this year. The Hawks played well in spurts but could hardly buy a basket in the first half going 5 for 13. The Rec N’s Crew led 43-10 at the half. The Hawks regrouped and played a much better second half shooting 13 for 23 and out-played the Crew’s bench players 26-20. Josh Joines led the Hawks with 14 and Samuel Armas added 12. Treyvon Smith scored 6 points and Brent O’Grady and Bryan Powell each added 2 points.
The Hawk’s appreciated the sportsmanship that both the Red Dawgs and Rec N’ Crew showed by pulling their starters and playing their bench players.
In any other tournament a 2-4 record would not be something to be proud of, but for the Jr. Hawks this was not just
any other tournament. Of all the tournaments we could have attended, we chose the Midwest Regional because it had 4 of the top 9 teams from last year’s National Championships. We need to know where we are as a basketball program and what we need to do to play at the next level. We accomplished that goal this weekend. Our seven players competed hard against four of the best wheelchair basketball teams in the country and we will be a better team for it. Congratulations to Joshua Joines and Treyvon Smith for being selected to All-Tournament Team. Josh led the Hawks in scoring with a total of 92 points in six games. Treyvon played well on both ends of the court, scoring 66 points in six games and averaging six steals a game.
Thanks to Assistant Coaches, Paul Hutchinson and Jason Joines, for a job well done on and off the court. A special thanks to our trio of Moms, Julie Armas, Sharon O’Grady and Cherie Boyd, for braving the cold and snow of Nebraska to be our travel fans and filming crew. Hats off to the Timberwolves, Red Dawgs and the Rec N’ Crew for being sportsmen, it was fun to play against talented and classy teams. Finally, thanks to a first rate Nebraska Red Dawg organization that invited us into the Dawg Pound to play with the “big dawgs” and were great hosts of a well-run tournament.
The Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks travel next weekend, February 14-16 to the Southeast Regional Tournament being held at Middle Tennessee University. For more information about BlazeSports America’s wheelchair basketball program contact Jeff Jones at 404-270-2036 or firstname.lastname@example.org.