Prep Repeat as National Champions
Varsity Wins Consolation Game
In what many people thought would be the NIT championship game, the #1 ranked Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks Varsity Team met the #2 ranked Phoenix Banner Wheelchair Suns (AZ) in the consolation game for 3rd/4th place. The game was a classic battle of two good teams. At no point did either team enjoy more that a 4 point lead. The Suns had the slight 17-16 lead at the half behind a strong performance of Joseph Underwood who had 14 of the teams 17 points. Brent O’Grady (Kennesaw) and Treyvon Smith (Athens) kept the Hawks close with 6 and 4 points respectively.
The second half was more of the same see-saw battle with the lead change hands more than 8 times. Josh Joines (Kennesaw) finally got the lid of the basket after shooting 1 for 9 in the first and shot 70% to lead the Hawks with 14 second half points. Brent O’Grady finished with 10, Treyvon Smith had 6, Bryan Powell (Marietta) added 4 while Curran Brown (Johns Creek) and Luke Hutchinson (Marietta) each scoring 2 points. Hawks win a close game 40-38 to place third in the NIT. Josh Joines led the Hawks in scoring with 79 points in four games and was named to the Second All-tournament team.
The Junior Wheelchair Hawks Prep team met the #2 seed Courage Rolling Rowdies (MN) who won the second semi-final game against the Turnstone Flyers (IN) 20-18. The Hawks earned their way into the Championship Game with 34-17 win over the #5 ranked Chicago Skyhawks. The Hawks entered the game undefeated and defending 2012 National Champions.
The key to the Hawks success all season has been their defense. Today would be no different. The Hawks held the Rowdies to 3 first half points behind the dynamic duo of Collin Lancaster (Bethlehem) and Cameron Elzey (Cumming). On the offensive side of the ball Samuel Armas (Vila Rica) scored 10, Chance Boyd (Atlanta) 6 and Kalen Reese (Powder Springs) 4 and the Hawks led at the half 20-3. The second half represented a transition for the Hawks with three players playing their last Prep game before graduating up to the Varsity squad next season. The five remain players affectionately know as the “short stacks” represent the future of the Hawks for the next four years and played most of the half second. The Hawks win 30-13 to repeat as National Prep Champions.
Samuel Armas led the Hawks with 16 point and was named MVP for the Championship Game and MVP for the entire Prep tournament. Kalen Reese was selected for the tournament’s Sportsmanship Award.
BlazeSports would like to thank Atlanta Hawks for all their support and for the opportunity to represent Atlanta and the Atlanta Hawks organization. Thanks also to BP Oil, Georgia Oil Holdings, LLC and Clipper Petroleum, Inc and Eagle Sportschairs for their continued support of BlazeSports.
Prep Advance to Championship Game -Varsity will Play for 3rd Place in JNIT
The Junior Wheelchair Hawks Prep team faced the #5 ranked Chicago Skyhawks in the first semi-final game of the NWBA National Prep Championship. The #1 ranked Hawks had a slow start as compared to yesterday’s game. Collin Lancaster (Bethlehem) kept the Hawks in the first half with 8 points while Kalen Reese (Powder Springs) had 4 points. The Hawks led at the half 16-9.
The key to the Prep team’s success all season has been their defense and that continued during this semi-final game. Behind the dynamic defensive pair of Collin Lancaster and Cameron Elzey (Cumming), the Hawks held Chicago to 17 points. Led by 12 second half points from Kalen Reese, the Hawks finished strong to win 34-17. The Hawks will defend their 2012 National Championship against the #2 seed Courage Rolling Rowdies (MN) who won the second semi-final game against the Turnstone Flyers (IN) in a thrilling 20-18 decision in the last 10 seconds.
The Varsity Junior Wheelchair Hawks played regional rivals Lakeshore Lakers (AL) but did not fare as well as their Prep teammates. This semi-final match was the sixth time this season that these teams squared off. The Hawks came into the tournament enjoying a 4-1 season record over the Lakers. The game started well for the Hawks who led at the half 21-11 behind 8 points from Josh Joines (Kennesaw) and 4 points from Brent O’G Brady (Kennesaw), Treyvon Smith (Athens) and Curran Brown (Johns Creek). The second half was the complete opposite with the Lakers scoring 24 and holding the Hawks to only 10. Lakers win 35-31.
The Varsity Hawks will play the Phoenix Banner Wheelchair Suns (AZ) in the 3rd place game. The Suns were also upset in the semi-finals by the #3 Jr. Sioux Wheelchairs.
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.
Meet the 2013 Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks
Team Photo: 2013 Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks