NWBA Junior Champions

Rams’ Defense Leads To Junior NIT Title

Rams’ Defense Leads To Junior NIT Title

The No. 20-ranked DASA Rolling Rams’ press helped them build an early double-digit lead. Then, the team’s defense just held off a second-half surge from No. 22-seeded ATX (Austin) to net a 35-32 National Wheelchair Basketball Association Junior National Invitational Wheelchair Basketball Tournament championship game victory Sunday morning at Wichita Hoops in Bel Aire, Kan.

Brett Forbes (14 points and eight rebounds) and Benjamin Rees (11 points) each scored in double figures for DASA, while Elias Brown totaled a game-high 19 for ATX (Austin).

Brett Forbes, No. 45, competes in the NWBA Junior Wheelchair Basketball Championship in Bel Aire, Kan. (Photo by Christopher Di Virgilio).


DASA took control early thanks to its press. The Rolling Rams forced five turnovers in the first 6 minutes and they led 14-2 less than 10 minutes into the first half.

ATX (Austin) figured out a way to break it, though, and chipped the deficit away. ATX (Austin) trimmed the deficit to 23-15 at halftime and cut it down to just 32-30 after Brown’s basket with 5 minutes and 38 seconds left to play.

But DASA’s defense stepped up again, allowing just one basket after that. Trailing 35-32, Brown missed a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left, and the Rolling Rams held on to win the title.

“We pressed all year. We started this team this year, and we kind of blew everything up and then committed to playing good wheelchair basketball this year,” DASA coach Robert Portell said. “So, we drew it back to fundamentals in wheelchair basketball. And, as it turns out, we focused on our defense first in the process of it, and then the offense slowly has evolved through the year. I wanted the team to peak here at nationals, and we definitely did peak at the right time.”

Behren Truemper (four points, five rebounds), Skyler Chadwick (two points, eight rebounds), Josie Portell (two points, three rebounds) and Mia Balella (two points, four rebounds) also contributed for the Rolling Rams.

Mason Lopez (eight points, 10 rebounds) and Quinn Meyer (five points, six rebounds) scored for ATX (Austin), while Dominique Florez (four rebounds) and Kooper Hernandez (two rebounds) also contributed.

DASA defeated the No. 29 Dallas Junior Wheelchair Mavericks White, 49-29, in the first round, the No. 21 Synergy Junior Bulls, 66-51, in the quarterfinals and the No. 17 Brooks Bullsharks, 40-27, in the semifinals.

ATX (Austin) defeated the No. 27-ranked Fairfax Falcons, 48-27, in the first round, No. 19 Kansas City Kings B, 41-34, in the quarterfinals and No. 18 Utah Rush, 42-31, in the semifinals.

Prep Division

Peace Out: Rollin’ Tigers Take Prep Title

Roger C. Peace coach Jeff Townsend’s game plan worked.

He tried to send multiple players at LWSRA’s Cameron Davis, forcing him to give up the ball to teammates instead of driving the lane. And when they needed to clamp down on him, they did, as the Rollin’ Tigers hung on for a 29-21 National Wheelchair Basketball Association Prep Division championship game victory Sunday morning over the Hawks.

Leading 26-21, Roger C. Peace held the Hawks without a point the final 3 minutes and 16 seconds to secure the victory at Wichita Hoops in Bel Aire, Kan. 

Davis scored a game-high 17 points but finished 8-of-23 from the field. Two other Hawks players — Zaelyn Marshall (two points and six rebounds) and Gabriel Hammad (two points and two rebounds) — scored, while Ethan Ward (two rebounds) and Dominic Perakis (one rebound) also contributed. 

“Really, what I told them to do was keep their composure, keep playing Rolling Tigers’ basketball and make sure we know where Cameron is at all times, and it ended up working out for us,” Townsend said. “We were trying to push him out as much as possible and then force him to pass it to his other players.”

Roger C. Peace’s Hudson Tucker, who was named Prep Championship Game Most Valuable Player, scored a team-high 12 points and added five rebounds, while Joseph Brady (six points, 10 rebounds), Brantley Williams (six points, five rebounds), Ethan McWhorter (four points, six rebounds) and Brendon Noblitt (one point) also scored. 

Hudson Tucker, No. 15, competes in the NWBA Junior Wheelchair Basketball Championship in Bel Aire, Kan. (Photo by Christopher Di Virgilio).


Roger C. Peace defeated No. 15 seed ParaSport Spokane, 32-15, in the first round, the No. 7 seed WASA Junior Marquette Eagles, 40-24, in the quarterfinals and the No. 6 seed No. 3 seed RHI Junior Racers, 35-22, in the semifinals. 

LWSRA beat the No. 13 seed Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets, 37-14, in the first round, No. 5 seed Bennett Blazers, 42-30, in the quarterfinals and upset the No. 1 seed Kansas City Kings, 34-31, in the semifinals. 

Horne, Pittman Lift Lakeshore

The Lakeshore Lakers finished as the only top seed to take home a National Wheelchair Basketball Association Junior Division title.

Jackson Horne and Daniel Pittman provided a late-scoring punch, and No. 1 seed Lakeshore held off No. 2 seed Kansas City Kings A team for a 52-45 Junior Varsity Division championship game victory Sunday afternoon at Wichita Hoops in Bel Aire, Kan.

Daniel Pittman, No. 0, competes in the NWBA Junior Wheelchair Basketball Championship in Bel Aire, Kan. (Photo by Christopher Di Virgilio).

Leading 39-37 with 7 minutes and 40 seconds left, Horne and Pittman combined for 10 of the Lakers’ final 13 points. Horne scored six of his 12 points during that stretch, while Pittman had four of his 14, including back-to-back baskets inside the final 2 minutes, changing the game from tied at 45 to a 49-45 Lakeshore lead with 31.6 seconds left. After going 4-for-4 in the first half, the Kings clamped down in the second half, until Pittman found his spot and hit those two late shots.

“I kept getting in the paint down here on the block, and I was hitting my shots and they did a good job getting the ball to me. I did my best to capitalize on them leaving me open,” said Pittman, who also had eight rebounds. “It feels great, and I’m glad we could get the seniors a national championship, especially [Jeffrey] Walker Ray ’cause he’s been playing as long as I have and he’s been here for a long time.”

J’ahkyra Daniels led Lakeshore with 15 points and had four rebounds. Jakarius Kemp (saddled in foul trouble for most of the game) added seven points and five rebounds, and Mary McLendon added four points, including two free throws with 12.4 seconds left to seal the game, and three rebounds. Jian Jackson also had three rebounds.

Benjamin Edwards led Kansas City with a game-high 27 points and had five rebounds, while Caleb Roach added 14 points and nine rebounds. Stephen Bandimere (two points, four rebounds) and Isiah Barr (two points, three rebounds) also contributed.

Lakeshore defeated the No. 16 seed Rancho Halos, 37-15, in the first round, No. BlazeSports Junior Hawks Red, 40-38, on a buzzer-beater in the quarterfinals and No. 4 seed Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets Purple, 51-43, in the semifinals. Kansas City knocked off the No. 15 seed Ryan Martin Foundation Trojans, 58-35, in the first round, No. 7 seed New York Rolling Fury, 66-54, in the quarterfinals and No. 3 seed Bennett Blazers, 58-45, in the semifinals.

National Wheelchair Basketball Association Junior Championships March 26 At Wichita Hoops Bel Aire, Kan.

Varsity Invitational Division
11th-Place Game

No. 27 Fairfax Falcons 42, No. 28 Iowa Grizzlies 35

Ninth-Place Game

No. 26 Wichita Wildfire 55, No. 25 Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets Teal 37

Seventh-Place Game

No. 19 Kansas City Kings B 38, No. 24 WASA Marquette Eagles 36

Fifth-Place Game

No. 21 Synergy Junior Bulls 37, No. 23 RHI Turnstone 33

Third-Place Game

No. 18 Utah Rush 41, No. 17 Brooks Bullsharks 40


No. 20 DASA Rolling Rams 35, No. 22 ATX (Austin) 32

Prep Division

11th-Place Game

No. 13 Charlotte Rollin Hornets Prep 18, No. 11 Lakeshore Sharks 16

Ninth-Place Game

No. 10 Dallas Junior Wheelchair Mavericks 18, No. 9 ATX (Austin) 7

Seventh-Place Game

No. 6 New York Rolling Fury 20, No. 8 Fairfax Falcons 15

Fifth-Place Game

No. 7 WASA Junior Marquette Eagles 34, No. 5 Bennett Blazers 23

Third-Place Game

No. 3 RHI Junior Racers 25, No. 1 Kansas City Kings Prep 18


No. 2 Roger C. Peace Rollin’ Tigers 29, No. 4 LWSRA Junior Hawks 21

Varsity Division

11th-Place Game

No. 14 Mississippi Wheelcats 42, No. 12 Nebraska Red Dawgs 33

Ninth-Place Game

No. 9 Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks Blue 43, No. 15 Ryan Martin Foundation Trojans 32

Seventh-Place Game

No. 7 New York Rolling Fury 51, No. 8 BlazeSports Junior Hawks Red 41

Fifth-Place Game

No. 5 Cincinnati Dragons 62, No. 6 Courage Kenny Junior Rolling Timberwolves 44

Third-Place Game

No. 4 Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets Purple 62, No. 3 Bennett Blazers 54


No. 1 Lakeshore Lakers 52, No. 2 Kansas City Kings A 45

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