NWBA wheelchair basketball adult divisions meet for the final day of competition in Wichita
Orlando Going With Greene
Orlando’s Kevin Greene and Pierre Sturgis each had double-doubles and the No. 4 seed Magic Wheels rallied in the fourth quarter for a come-from-behind 41-36 National Wheelchair Basketball Association Adult Division III championship-game victory Sunday morning over the No. 2 seed Pittsburgh Steelwheelers at Wichita Hoops in Bel Aire, Kan.
Despite playing with four fouls for more than a quarter and a half, Greene totaled game highs of 18 points and 14 rebounds, while Sturgis scored 12 points and had 10 rebounds. Greene was named both the Adult Division III Most Valuable Player and Adult Division III Championship Game Most Valuable Player.
“I got into foul trouble early on, the first half of the game, and I thought I was out of it. But I stayed positive,” said Greene, a left below-the-knee amputee.
But it was a key play from Jacob Crespo that helped the Magic Wheels push ahead.
Trailing 34-33 with 4 minutes and 56 seconds left and the shotclock winding down, Luis Amaro threw a quick touch pass inside to Crespo who made a short inside shot with just 2 seconds left on the shotclock, giving the Magic Wheels a 35-34 lead with 3:38 remaining. It marked Orlando’s first lead since the 8:55 mark of the second quarter.
Orlando scored its final six points from the free-throw line, going 6-of-12 from the foul line over the last 2:16.
The Magic Wheels did all that despite losing starter Javier Rodriguez to a broken finger on his right hand within the first minute of the opening quarter. Greene says it took them a half to adjust.
“So, I had to step up and take that role. Typically, I’m just always a scorer. I never have to ball-handle. You know, I don’t mind ball-handling, but I just was never In that position,” Greene said. “So, now I have to facilitate the floor more, which I had to to help my teammates.”
Pittsburgh, which led most of the game, had two players score in double-figures. Matthew Schmalzriedt had a team-high 11 points and four rebounds, while Michael Adams added 10 points and two rebounds.
For Orlando, Will Speed added six points and seven rebounds, while Crespo (three points and three rebounds) and Amaro (two points and four rebounds) also contributed.
Jeremy Bittner (six points and seven rebounds), Skyler Scarnecchia (four points and two rebounds), Claude Scott (two points and three rebounds), Darryl Jackson (one rebound) and Sivashankar Sivakanthan (one rebound) contributed for Pittsburgh.
Orlando defeated No. 13 seed Team St. Luke’s (51-31) in the first round, the No. 12 seed Capital City Cardinals (48-36) in the quarterfinals and No. 8 seed LWSRA Hawks (57-41) in the semifinals.
Pittsburgh beat the No. 15 seed Austin (ATX) Rec’ers (43-30) in the first round, the No 10 seed Tampa Bay Strong Dogs (52-38) in the quarterfinals and No. 3 seed Shephard Stealers (42-37) in the semifinals
Paul Nelson isn’t so sure that Charles Armstead’s high, lofty pass was supposed to be one. But he was in the right place at the right time and he converted it with 29 seconds left in the fourth quarter, and it held up for the No. 5 seed ATX (Austin) Rec’ers in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Adult Division II championship game.
Nelson finished with a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds and the ATX (Austin) defense forced the No. 2 seed Los Angeles Hotwheels into a turnover and a missed shot in the final 27 seconds for a 46-44 Adult Division II championship victory Sunday morning at Wichita Hoops in Bel Aire, Kan.
Tied at 44 with 40 seconds left, the Rec’ers looked to their big man, Nelson, inside once more. Armstead lofted a ball to the inside right and Nelson ended up catching it. He waited and put up a short shot with 29 seconds left to give Austin (ATX) a 46-44 lead.
“I could tell when it’s a pass and when it’s not. I think we kinda lucked out that I happened to be there at the end. But who knows?” said Nelson, who is a a left above-the-knee amputee and was named the Adult Division II championship game’s Most Valuable Player.
After the Hotwheels called a timeout, they turned the ball over on the inbounds play. Nelson was fouled and missed the front end of a one-and-one free-throw opportunity but the Rec’ers’ defense held.
ATX (Austin)’s defense forced Hotwheels’ leading scorer Julio Fonseca (15 points and nine rebounds) to call a timeout with 6.5 seconds left after he was stuck on the right baseline and couldn’t get a shot up. Then, after the Los Angeles timeout, the Rec’ers’ defense hemmed Fonseca on the right baseline again and his shot with 2 seconds left fell short. The ball bounced out of bounds to give ATX (Austin) the win.
A 36-year-old Austin, Texas, resident, Nelson credited the Rec’ers Quinn Meyer, who signed to play for the University of Texas at Arlington women’s wheelchair basketball team this fall, for his tournament success.
“In my opinion, she is the MVP of the tournament because she freed me up constantly,” he said. “She was always looking for me. She’s so unselfish, knows her role and she’s going to do wonders. She’s at UT-A next year and she’s going to kill it. I know she is. She is amazing.”
The victory also means ATX (Austin) will move up to the Adult Division I level next season.
Armstead finished with 14 points and two rebounds, while Ryan Hundemer added nine points and five rebounds and Adult Division II Tournament Most Valuable Player Fred Esman had eight points and seven rebounds for Austin (ATX).
For Los Angeles, Marcelo Gomez had 11 points and nine rebounds. Jose Ortega (eight points, five rebounds), Armando Ibarra (six points, two rebounds) and Edgar Murillo (four points, one rebound) also scored. Saul Noranio (two rebounds) and Victor Arriola (one rebound) added contributions.
ATX (Austin) knocked off the No. 12 seed Shephard Stealers (55-34) in the first round, the No. 4 seed Chicago Hornets (61-52) in the quarterfinals and the No. 1 seed Detroit Wheelchair Pistons (60-47) in the semifinals.
The Los Angeles Hotwheels defeated the No. 15 seed Southeastern Rolling Rebels (64-36) in the first round, the No. 7 seed Denver Rolling Nuggets (67-43) in the quarterfinals and the No. 3 seed Los Angeles Clippers Chairmen (51-46) in the semifinals.
With the championship game tied late in the fourth quarter, Paralympian Matt Scott delivered.
He hit two key 3-pointers from the top of the key to give the top-seed Golden State Road Warriors a six-point edge. Then, the top seed hung on while the No. 2 seed New York Rollin’ Knicks nearly clawed back.
With teammate and Paralympian Brian Bell fouled out, Scott hit two key 3-pointers inside the final 3 minutes and Christoph Paasch added a late basket to help No. 1 seed Golden State edge past the No. 2 seed New York Rollin’ Knicks, 55-52, in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Adult Division I championship game Sunday afternoon at Wichita Hoops in Bel Aire, Kan.
Scott finished with a team-high 21 points and had nine rebounds, Bell added 15 points and nine rebounds, while Paralympian Jorge Sanchez added 11 points and seven rebounds.
“What sparked me is the point of the game that we were at. It was knotted up, it was a tie game, it was in the fourth quarter of a championship game, that’s what sparked me,” said Scott who was named the Adult Division I championship game Most Valuable Player.
Scott provided some fourth-quarter late-game theatrics.
First, after Bell picked up his fifth foul and fouled out of the game and the Road Warriors leading 47-42, officials called Scott for a technical foul with 4 minutes remaining. Moments after, the Knicks went on a 5-0 run, tying the game at 47 with a Patrick Anderson 3-pointer with 3:12 to go.
But Scott responded — with some clutch 3-point shooting of his own. He hit a 3-pointer at the top of the key with 2:50 left to give Golden State a 50-47 lead and added another from nearly the same spot to push the lead to 53-47 with 2:10 remaining.
New York rallied. Paralympian Steve Serio (seven points and six rebounds) answered with a deep 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 53-50 with 50 seconds left.
But Golden State answered back. This time, the Road Warriors went inside to Cristopher Paasch. With time running down on the shotclock, he made an inside basket to boost Golden State’s lead to 55-50 with 22.8 seconds to go.
“We have a lot of faith in Cristoph. He’s been our go-to low-pointer for the entire season, We believe in everything that he’s able to do, and he believes in himself. Ultimately, that’s Warrior basketball,” Scott said. “We share the ball with our teammates and when, you’re in the right place to shine, you just go ahead and do it.”
Anderson trimmed the deficit to 55-52 and, with 11.1 seconds left, Sanchez missed the front end of a one-and-one free-throw spot, giving the Rollin’ Knicks a shot. But, the Road Warriors double-teamed Anderson at the 3-point line and he passed to Christopher Bacon, who missed a game-tying 3-pointer to the right side.
Anderson led New York with game highs of 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Bacon added 13 points and four rebounds. Kevin Grant (six points, one rebound), Fabrizio Shao (two points) and Joseph Gugliotta (two points and two rebounds) also scored for the Rollin’ Knicks.
Passch added six points and one rebound, while Marcus Oden (two points, one rebound) and Arthur Renowitzsky (one rebound) also contributed for Golden State. Sanchez was named the Adult Division I Tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Golden State received a first-round bye, then defeated the No. 8 seed NMSCD Wolf Pack (65-39) in the quarterfinals and No. 4 seed Memorial Rehabilitation Sharks (62-40) in the semifinals. New York also received a first-round bye, then knocked off the No. 7 seed Utah Wheelin’ Jazz (71-39) in the quarterfinals and the No 3 seed MedStar NRH Punishers (66-56) in the semifinals.
NWBA Adult Division Wheelchair Basketball Tournament Day 3
No. 14 Tulsa Twisters 64, No. 9 Coastal Chairmen 43
No. 12 Capital City Cardinals 56, No. 11 Lakeshore Storm 47
No. 1 Tucson Lobos 52, No. 10 Tampa Bay Strong Dogs 43
No. 3 Shephard Stealers 51, No. 8 LWSRA Hawks 42
No. 4 Orlando Magic Wheels 41, No. 2 Pittsburgh Stealwheelers 36
No. 12 Shephard Stealers 57, No. 10 Magee Spokesmen 50
No. 8 OKC Wheels of Thunder 65, No. 6 Kansas City Kings 60
No. 9 Ability360 Phoenix Wheelchair Suns 53, No. 11 Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets 46
No. 4 Chicago Hornets 57, No. 7 Denver Rolling Nuggets 55
No. 3 Los Angeles Clippers Chairmen 62, No. 1 Detroit Wheelchair Pistons 51
No. 5 ATX (Austin) 46, No. 2 Los Angeles Hotwheels 44
No. 11 WWAR Generals 52, No. 13 Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets 44
No. 12 Seattle Sonics 46, No. 10 Mary Free Bed Pacers 42
No. 8 NMSCD Wolf Pack 55, No. 7 Utah Wheelin’ Jazz 51
No. 6 Rancho Halos 51, No. 5 Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks 39
No. 3 MedStar NRH Punishers 65, No. 4 Memorial Rehabilitation Sharks 49
No. 1 Golden State Road Warriors 55, No. 2 New York Rollin’ Knicks 52