BlazeSports Varsity Team Record Best Ever Season Finish
Teams had their sights set on taking down the BlazeSports Jr. Hawks coming into the 2015 National Wheelchair Basketball Championships, but our athletes rose to the occasion and brought their A Game.
The Varsity team entered into the tournament ranked 6th nationally, the highest ranking the BlazeSports Varsity program has seen. With the top ten teams being highly competitive BlazeSports was going to have to up the intensity to gain the wins.
BlazeSports showed that team work and determination could produce a win and advanced to the next round in the bracket after winning game 1. Even though Game 2 was a tough loss against Nebraska, the game had some shining stars including freshman, BlazeSports Hawks’ KJ Reese who provided a solid offense scoring his first 3-pointer of the season.
In Game 3, BlazeSports managed to pull out a win against #7 Seattle. Senior, Brent O’Grady went on an 8-0 run in the 2nd half finding his sweet spot and getting open every play! Samuel Armas grabbed a rebound in the final seconds beating out the buzzer showing the true heart and determination of the team. The final game of the tournament was against #4 Milwaukee Heat, a rematch of the BlazeSports buzzer beater in Whitewater, WI back in January. The Heat came out with vengeance and started to shut down the BlazeSports offense. Leading scorer, sophomore Josh Joines, contributed 18 points including a stellar 3 point shot and Brent O’Grady also hit a 3 pointer. Junior, Luke Hutchinson kicked off the game with a beautiful basket letting the Heat know BlazeSports was there to compete.
Our Varsity team ended the season with a 6th place finish going 2-2 at the tournament.
Fourth National Championship for the BlazeSports Prep Team
Our Prep team came into the national tournament as the defending 3-time National Champions. Our opponents were seen scouting the games, trying to figure out how to stop our mighty BlazeSports Prep team. The athletes calmed their nerves and played fantastic basketball throughout all three games of the tournament.
#33 Jeremiah Million made his first appearance at Nationals as part of the BlazeSports team and had a breakout tournament providing outstanding defense! Offensive powerhouses #4 Eric Francis, #10 Collin Lancaster and #30 Bailey Moody capitalized on scoring opportunities and created a major lead in the Championship game against the Chicago Skyhawks, a repeat of the 2014 Championship game, allowing Coach Marc Lancaster to put in each one of the 13 players making up the BlazeSports roster. Zachary Armas, one of the team’s most vocal and enthusiastic players entered into the game with 2 minutes left, bound and determined to make a basket. With 2 seconds left he got off a shot and swish went the net as the buzzer rang. Tears of joy from players, parents, and spectators flowed freely as the team won their 4th National Championship. A true BlazeSports team effort for the entire tournament.
Our eight month basketball season shows the true dedication from not only the players but from the parents and coaches as well. Our BlazeSports Jr. Hawks are a not only a team, but a family. Congratulations on a season well played!
NWBA National Championship 2015 Team Awards
Prep Championship Game MVP: Collin Lancaster
2nd Team All-Tournament Prep: Eric Francis
1st Team All-Tournament Female Prep: Bailey Moody
2nd Team All-Tournament Varsity: Brent O’Grady
2nd Team All-Academic Varsity: Luke Hutchinson
1st Team All-Academic Varsity: Josh Joines
Presidential Award: Chance Boyd
BlazeSports is honored to be the recipient of the Courage Kenny Award of Merit for Outstanding Leadership presented by the NWBA. This award recognizes BlazeSports’ vision, leadership, and service to the NWBA and development of Junior Division Wheelchair Basketball. We are delighted and honored to receive such a wonderful award!
Join our team for the 2015/2016 Season!
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