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    09/12/2018, 12:30pm CDT
    By NWBA

    GALLERY: Team USA at the IWBF 2018 World Championship

    08/27/2018, 1:30pm CDT
    By Colin Klaber

    The players on the U.S. men's wheelchair basketball team never doubted they would be competing for a gold, but the results may not have met their expectations.

    The U.S. captured back-to-back silver medals following a lopsided 79-62 defeat at hands of Great Britain. The win gives the British their first gold medal in the history of the IWBF World Championships, thanks to a clutch 17-point (11 in the fourth quarter) performance of the bench by George Bates.

    “It’s a disappointing finish,” said Steve Serio of Westbury, New York. “We had a great tournament. We knew that this was gonna be a fight, but we thought that we were in a position to be successful today.”

    The loss snapped a four-year, 43-game win streak for the U.S., which includes winning the 2015 ParaPan Am Games, the 2016 Paralympic Games and the 2017 IWBF America’s Qualifier. The last loss came against Australia, in the gold-medal game of the 2014 World Championships.

    Jake Williams of Milwaukee, Wisconsin finished with a team-high 15 points and 5 assists for the U.S. Brian Bell of Birmingham, Alabama added 14 points and seven rebounds. He did most of his work down low, banging chairs and battling for boards with the British behemoth Lee Manning (12 points, five rebounds, two blocks).

    Bell called this British team “the future of their sport” following the U.S. win last Sunday, but the Americans did not expect that future to come a week later.

    The game developed as a dynamic contrast of styles: the bruising inside game of Great Britain versus the sweet outside shooting of the U.S. Both teams torched opponents throughout the tournament, finishing first (G.B.) and second (U.S) in points per game. Team USA men’s head coach Ron Lykins of Columbia, Missouri called this group of Brits “the best team this summer.”

    “We tried doing some different things with [Great Britain], but it seems like no matter what we did we couldn’t stop them,” Lykins said. “Defensively this was one of the worst performances we had, but that was due to them.”

    The British shot a hyper-efficient 60 percent in this contest, chaining methodical offensive possessions with defensive stops.Team USA found good looks on the perimeter and in the paint, but shot only 40 percent.

    Serio tallied only six points on 3-of-14 shooting. Even though he contributed in other areas (nine rebounds, six assists, five steals) the team captain says he “let the guys down.”

    “I’m pretty disappointed in my individual performance,” Serio said. “I promise you that I will get better. We’ll learn from this loss.”

    A 10-2 run in the middle of the second quarter gave the Brits a 30-28 lead, and they never relinquished it. Even when the U.S. pressed with its trademark speed-defense lineup, the effort came in vain. The British game planned for this scheme and made crisp passes and cuts for a number of transition layups. Great Britain’s Harry Brown went on several cuts down the lane, scoring 17 points as the U.S failed to close gaps in the paint.

    Team USA’s men end with a 6-1 record in the 2018 IWBF World Championships. Williams and Serio were both named to the 2018 IWBF World Championships All-Star 5Williams fished sixth overall amongst all players in tournament scoring with 16.8 points per game, and fifth in 3s made per game (1.67). Serio picked pockets and intercepted passes all week, finishing first in steals per game (2.67).

    The U.S. men have returned home with a medal from every World Championships since 1975, playing for the gold medal in 11 of the last 12 IWBF World Championships.

    “In perspective, we had a really good summer,” Lykins said. “But we came short of our goal.”

    Joining NWBA Hall of Famer Lykins are his assistants Robb Taylor of Auburn, Alabama, and John Sikora of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Scott Meyer of Columbia, Missouri, serves as the Team Leader, with Mary Vacala of Savannah, Georgia, filling the athletic trainer position. Assisting Valaca at the trainer position is Jeremy Johnson of Dothan, Alabama.

     

    2018 IWBF World Championships

    Hamburg, Germany

    August 16 - 26, 2018

    2018 IWBF World Championships Results

    USA def. Poland, 82-51 (1-0)

    USA def. Great Britain, 66-59 (2-0)

    USA def. South Korea, 75-49 (3-0)

    USA def. Morocco, 82-31 (4-0)

    USA def. Argentina, 82-31 (5-0)

    USA def. Australia, 84-59 (6-0)

    Great Britain def. USA, 79 - 62 (6-1)

    U.S. Men’s Schedule for 2018 IWBF World Championships

    8/18 vs Poland, 3:30 AM (Eastern/New York)

    8/19 vs Great Britain, 2:15 PM

    8/20 vs South Korea, 8:00 AM

    8/21 Crossover, vs Morocco, 2:00 AM

    8/22 Quarterfinals, vs Argentina, 6:00 AM

    8/24 Semifinals, vs Australia, 7:30 AM

    8/26 Finals, vs Great Britain, 9:30 AM

    --

    The #RoadToGold has reached it's final stop for Team USA! The men play Great Britain today at 9:30 AM EST for the IWBF World Championships gold medal! Stay here to watch the game, get live stats and post-game recaps!

    LIVE STATS 

    GAME STREAM

    HAMBURG, GERMANY -  As a young team, breaking bad habits hold as much importance as learning good ones. For Team USA, the youngest team in a global competition, they did a lot of learning on the fly.

    The U.S. women leave the 2018 IWBF World Championships with room for growth and hope for the future following a 68-53 loss to Canada on Saturday. Overall, the U.S. finished with a 4-4 record and a sixth-place finish, the lowest ever in its history at the World Championships.

    2016 Paralympic gold medalist Rose Hollermann of Elysian, Minnesota finished her superb tournament run with a solid 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Emily Oberst of Brookfield, Wisconsin had her best game of the year with 10 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Both teams knew each other well heading into the matchup, but not well enough for the Americans to stop the Canadian offense.

    “Defensively, [being aggressive] is something we really, really have to focus on in the upcoming years to 2020” said Hollermann. “Getting stronger, faster and more aggressive defensively is something that was really showing during this tournament.”

    The U.S. only led for 16 seconds in what started as a tightly contested game. Canada got into the paint often through gaps and cuts, led by Cindy Ouelett, who finished with 20 points, six rebounds and six assists.

    Turnovers were the common thread linking together each of the United States’s losses in the tournament. The young team had another tough time breaking the Canadian’s full-court press; they faced the same problem last year against Canada in three friendlies and two matchups at the America’s Cup.

    “I think everybody got excited about wanting to play Canada,” said U.S. women’s head coach Trooper Johnson of San Lorenzo, California. “There was so much excitement and so much energy and wanting to be perfect, wanting to make the perfect pass. They put so much pressure on themselves, they ended up throwing the ball away.”

    By the halftime break, Canada scored 17 points off of 14 U.S. turnovers.  Even with all the errors, the U.S. offense clicked when they held onto the rock. The team shot 50 percent from the field, with four players scoring at least eight points. Morgan Wood of Gordonsville, Tennessee racked a game-high 10 assists to go with her six points and six rebounds. 

    Hollermann finished fifth of all player in the tournament in points per game (18.5) and rebounds per game (9.5). She also tied with Wood for second place in the tournament in assists per game (6.7). The Americans moved the ball well as team, finishing second in total assists with 167, and fifth in points scored per game (58). Even though the finish today is not what the team hoped for, Johnson sees the seeds sown in the bigger picture.

    “For these kids to come out here and play like the did throughout the weekend, I’m pretty excited about it,” Johnson said. “It’s really promising looking down the road.”

    Joining NWBA Hall of Famer Johnson on the sideline are his assistant coaches Amy Spangler of Madison Wisconsin, and Adam Kramer of Northport, Alabama. Kearstin Gehlhausen of Denver, Colorado serves as the Team Leader, with Karla Franconi of Lexington, Kentucky, filling the athletic trainer position.

    The U.S. had returned home with a medal from every World Championships, except for the 2014 World Championships, since its inception in 1990, accumulating two gold medals and four silver medals. USA played for the gold medal in six of the last seven IWBF World Championships.

     

    2018 IWBF World Championships

    Hamburg, Germany

    August 16 - 26, 2018

    2018 IWBF World Championships Results

    USA def. Algeria, 75-38 (1-0)

    Germany def. USA, 70-54 (1-1)

    China def. USA, 74 - 43 (1-2)

    USA def. France, 57-25 (2-2)

    USA def. Argentina, 66-30 (3-2)

    Quarterfinals: Great Britain def. USA, 70-47 (3-3)

    Placement Game: USA def Spain, 56-54 (4-3)

    5th/6th Place Game: Canada def. USA, 68-53 (4-4)

    U.S. Women’s Schedule for 2018 IWBF World Championships

    8/17 vs Algeria 11:30 AM (Eastern/New York)

    8/19 vs Germany 6:45 AM

    8/20 vs China 12:00 PM

    8/21 vs France 10:15 AM

    8/22 vs Argentina 4:00 AM

    8/23 Quarterfinals, vs Great Britain, 12:00 PM

    8/24 Placement Game, vs Spain, 11:45 AM

    8/25 5th/6th Place Game, vs Canada, 6:15 AM

    --

    The U.S. play Canada in the 5th/6th place game of the IWBF World Championships on today 2018 at 7 AM Eastern. 

     Stay here to watch the game, get live stats and post-game recaps!

    LIVE STATS 

    GAME STREAM

    HAMBURG, GERMANY - The United States and Spain put on quite the show for an IWBF World Championship placement game that wasn’t the headliner. The game developed like an opera — it had a build-up, a dramatic twist, a climax, and then a final crescendo to leave the crowd applauding for more.

    Spain’s Sonia Ruiz missed a point blank layup at the buzzer,  as the United States held on to beat Spain in 56-54 nail biter. Rose Hollermann of Elysian, Minnesota hit two free throws to take the lead for good with 2:13 left in the game. Hollermann said hitting those game-clinching free throw late in the game put her “in her happy place.”

    “That’s probably one of me favorite parts of the game, going to the line in close games,” Hollermann said. “As a competitor, I love playing in close games. It’s even better when all the pressure comes on you and you get to the free throw line.” 

    Announcers alluded to cold temperature in the arena several times during the IWBF English broadcast, as both teams shot only 40 percent on the night. The climate did not effect Hollerman, who poured in 31 points (on 50 shooting) to go with 11 rebounds and six assists.

    Spain owned a clear size advantage, and the U.S. attempted to force Spain to score for the perimeter. Despite their efforts, the America started down 0-6, and Hollerman went deep into the bags of tricks. She rattled off eight straight points and scored 15 of her team’s 17 point in the period. Victoria Alonso of Spain went bucket for bucket with Hollermann, batting in the paint and scoring 10 points of her own in the first. The Spanish set Alonso up with great position off textbook seals, and ended the first quarter up 18-17.

    In the second quarter, Hollermann attracted more defensive attention, and distributed to her open teammates. Emily Oberst of Brookfield, Wisconsin came off the bench and provided vital secondary scoring after a few uncharacteristic, wide-open misses from Lindsey Zurbrugg of Portland, Oregon. The U.S. turned Spain over nine times in the second quarter that saw eight lead changes, seven ties, and the U.S. leading 33-29 at the break.

    The United States came out of halftime buzzing with energy, speeding across the court on a quick 6-0 run to push the lead out to ten. After shooting 2-for-8 in the first half, Morgan Wood of Gordonsville, Tennessee found her touch and shot 4-for-5, scoring nine points in the quarter. Hollermann, who's won two NWBA Collegiate Nationals Championships with Wood, continued to feed her longtime teammate despite early struggles.

    “I really just fed off my teammates,” Wood said. “Just trying to get my mind right. Everybody else was playing their game and I just had to get back on task.”

    Spain went on a roaring 11-2 run to start the fourth quarter, spearheaded by Virginia Perez. Perez, who finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, used her length to score over multiple U.S. defenders at will. The same shots that the Americans hit in the first half didn’t fall, with several shot dancing around the rim and spinning out. Spain to took the lead with 3:20 left in the game, prompting U.S women's head coach Trooper Johnson of San Lorenzo, California to call a timeout.

    “It was all part of the ebb and flow of the game,” Johnson said. “Everything washed out. Luckily when it came down to end of the game, we were able to come up big."

    Oberst hit Wood streaking down the court for a wide open layup to make the score 53-30. With less than a minute left on the clock, that put one of the final nails in the coffin for Spain. Wood finished game with 15 points and 11 assists.

    The Spanish controlled the paint, out-rebounding the U.S. 45 to 29. Their flaws emerged as the American pushed the pace, coughing up the ball 17 times.

    “We looked at their size but we also recognized that they, at times, lacked speed,” Hollermann said. “That why we went 5-0 out on offense and put pressure on them in the fullcourt.”

    The U.S. improved to 4-3 through the tournament with Friday’s win. They’ll face Canada in the fifth/sixth place game on Saturday at 6:15 AM Eastern.

    Joining NWBA Hall of Famer Johnson on the sideline are his assistant coaches Amy Spangler of Madison Wisconsin, and Adam Kramer of Northport, Alabama. Kearstin Gehlhausen of Denver, Colorado serves as the Team Leader, with Karla Franconi of Lexington, Kentucky, filling the athletic trainer position.

    The U.S. had returned home with a medal from every World Championships, except for the 2014 World Championships, since its inception in 1990, accumulating two gold medals and four silver medals. USA played for the gold medal in six of the last seven IWBF World Championships.

    2018 IWBF World Championships

    Hamburg, Germany

    August 16 - 26, 2018

    2018 IWBF World Championships Results

    USA def. Algeria, 75-38 (1-0)

    Germany def. USA, 70-54 (1-1)

    China def. USA, 74 - 43 (1-2)

    USA def. France, 57-25 (2-2)

    USA def. Argentina, 66-30 (3-2)

    Quarterfinals: Great Britain def. USA, 70-47 (3-3)

    Placement Game: USA def Spain, 56-54 (4-3)

    U.S. Women’s Schedule for 2018 IWBF World Championships

    8/17 vs Algeria 11:30 AM (Eastern/New York)

    8/19 vs Germany 6:45 AM

    8/20 vs China 12:00 PM

    8/21 vs France 10:15 AM

    8/22 vs Argentina 4:00 AM

    8/23 Quarterfinals, vs Great Britain, 12:00 PM

    8/24 Placement Game, vs Spain, 11:45 AM

    8/25 5th/6th Place Game, vs Canada, 6:15 AM

     

     

    --

    It's not over for the ladies of Team USA! They play their world championship 5-7th placement game against Spain today at 11:45 AM, EST. Stay here to watch the game, get live stats and post-game recaps!

    LIVE STATS 

    GAME STREAM

    HAMBURG, GERMANY- After losing to Australia in the gold medal game in the 2014, the U.S. exacted their revenge one round sooner.

    The U.S. advanced to its second straight IWBF World Championships gold-medal game after an 84-59 victory Friday. Jake Williams of Milwaukee, Wisconsin led the U.S. in scoring with 29 points, scoring early and often alongside team captain Steve Serio of Westbury, New York. Serio finished with 17 points, five rebound and a game-high seven assists. Despite the final score, the game was another intense matchup between the teams that met in the finals and semifinals of the last two world championships.

    “It was the Paralympic Champions versus the World Champions,” Serio said “We knew that the Aussies have a great mix of veteran leadership with really talented, young, up-and-coming guys. We knew it was going to be a dogfight for 40 minutes, and that’s kinda what we tried to make it.”

    Both teams came out with a physical, high-tempo pace in a first quarter that saw five lead changes and four ties. Team USA got off to a slow start, finding themselves down 6-0 after a couple of unforced turnovers. They scored their first basket on a speedy Serio give-and-go with Brian Bell of Birmingham, Alabama and the offense got rolling from there. Australian Shaun Norris got to the paint at will in the period, where he scored nine of his team-high 14 points.

    U.S. men’s head coach Ron Lykins of Columbia, Missouri turned to his stingy defensive lineup earlier than usual, featuring Aaron Gouge of Wake Forest, North Carolina, Matt Scott of Detroit Michigan, and Trevon Jenifer of Huntingtown, Maryland. With that crew in, the U.S. went on a 10-2 run between the first and second quarter. This gave the U.S. a ten-point lead at 27-17 that kept Australia at arm’s distance for the rest of the game.

    “[The Australians] are so hard to play against,” said Lykins. “They’ve got a couple lineups that they can run, and each one can give us problems if we didn’t execute our defense. I felt our guys were really ready.”

    From halftime onward, the game became death-by-a-thousand-cuts for the Australians. Though they cut the deficit to as low as eight points in the third quarter, Team USA’s depth nullified any comeback effort. Jorge Sanchez of Oakland, California packed a punch off the bench, scoring six straight points for the U.S in the quarter and sparking a 12-4 run to end the period.

    The speed, chair skills, and quickness of Team USA put the game away in the fourth. Their lead stretched to as big as 27 at one point. These blowouts have become the norm for a U.S. team that’s gotten better with each passing game.

    “The more we’re playing, the better our awareness is,” Lykins said. “Guys are recognizing situations and then they can anticipate. So mentally, were quicker right now. If you’re mentally quick it can make up for some shortcomings you have.”

    Defense has defined Team USA all tournament. Friday was different as they pilfered the ball from the Aussies nine times and scored 19 points off of 15 turnovers.

    Team USA’s men improve to 6-0 in the 2018 IWBF World Championships. The U.S. will play either Great Britain or Iran in the finals on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Eastern.

    Regardless of the opponent and the stakes, Matt Scott says Team USA’s goal transcends the moment.

    “We came here to do one thing,” Scott said. “That’s to play our brand of basketball, and show that we can beat anyone when we play USA Basketball’s best game.”  

    NWBA Hall of Famer Ron Lykins of Columbia, Missouri is the head coach. His assistants are Robb Taylor of Auburn, Alabama, and John Sikora of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Scott Meyer of Columbia, Missouri, serves as the Team Leader, with Mary Vacala of Savannah, Georgia, filling the athletic trainer position. Assisting Valaca at the trainer position is Jeremy Johnson of Dothan, Alabama.

    The U.S. men have returned home with a medal from every World Championships since 1975, accumulating six gold medals and four silver medals. USA has played for the gold medal in ten of the last 11 IWBF World Championships, most recently winning silver in 2014.

     

    2018 IWBF World Championships

    Hamburg, Germany

    August 16 - 26, 2018

    2018 IWBF World Championships Results

    USA def. Poland, 82-51 (1-0)

    USA def. Great Britain, 66-59 (2-0)

    USA def. South Korea, 75-49 (3-0)

    USA def. Morocco, 82-31 (4-0)

    USA def. Argentina, 82-31 (5-0)

    USA def. Australia, 84-59 (6-0)

    U.S. Men’s Schedule for 2018 IWBF World Championships

    8/18 vs Poland, 3:30 AM (Eastern/New York)

    8/19 vs Great Britain, 2:15 PM

    8/20 vs South Korea, 8:00 AM

    8/21 Crossover, vs Morocco, 2:00 AM

    8/22 Quarterfinals, vs Argentina, 6:00 AM

    8/24 Semifinals, vs Australia, 7:30 AM

    8/26 Finals, vs Great Britain/Iran, 9:30 AM

    --

    The U.S. men  enter the semifinals of the IWBF Championships against Australia today at 7:30 AM, EST. Stay here to watch the game, get live stats and post-game recaps!

    LIVE STATS 

    GAME STREAM

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