TALLMADGE, OH –The Toronto Rollin’ Raptors become the first team from Canada to be crowned NWBA Adult Division II National Champions. The title was awarded during the 2019 event as part of the Toyota National Championship Series. The last two teams from Canada that captured a NWBA national title were the British Columbia Cable Cars in Adult Division I (previously Championship Division) in 2008 and Twin City Spinners in Adult Division III in 2009.
Road to the National Championship Game
The Toronto Rollin’ Raptors entered the 2019 Toyota National Adult Division II Wheelchair Basketball Tournament on a small three-game win streak. The Raptors entered the tournament with a 10-8 record, with their last two loses coming from Intercollegiate Division programs in Edinboro University (45-39) and University of Illinois Men (57-55). The #6 seeded Raptors tipped off the tournament with a 64-50 victory over the #11 seeded LWSRA Hawks. Next up for the Raptors was the #14 seeded Madonna Magic, who were fresh off a March Madness bracket buster performance upending the #3 seeded Ft. Lauderdale Sharks, 68-62 in the first round of games. The Raptors used their potent offense to helped secured a 66-52 win over the Magic. The semifinals for the Raptors was a tough test facing off against the #2 seeded Austin Rec’ers, but Toronto was able to earn its spot in the national championship game with a 57-48 victory.
After a 10-game win streak in January, the LA Hotwheels “cooled off” during their last regular season games going 1-3 at the Third Annual Brad Rich Invitational in San Diego, CA. The LA Hotwheels still entered nationals as the odds-on-favorite and #1 seeded Adult Division II team. As the top seed the Hotwheels had a target on their back, which was evident in their first game against the Sportable Rim Riders. This gritty game played out in a closer fashion than the score would indicate, but regardless the Hotwheels were victorious 63-49. The quarterfinal matchup for the Hotwheels featured a familiar face in crosstown rivals LA Clippers Chairmen, which they dominated 61-36. The Southern California, or SoCal, trend of opponents continued for the Hotwheels as they stayed hot rolling past the Rancho Renegades Elite in a 64-49 contest that placed them in the title game.
National Championship Game Recap
Toronto Rollin’ Raptors def. LA Hotwheels, 54-46
The 2019 NWBA Adult Division II National Championship Game started similar to a heavyweight boxing match with the two title contenders feeling out their opponent and not showing their hand too soon. The Hotwheels held a slight 14-12 lead following a tight first quarter. The second quarter was carbon copy of the first as the halftime score was 26-24, advantage Hotwheels. The Raptors received a strong first half from Kady Dandeneau of Toronto, Ontario-Canada, scoring 12 in the half of her 27 points in the game.
The Hotwheels received six points from Mexico National Team member Julio Fonseca of Cudahy, CA, in the third quarter. Fonseca had a total of 16 points for the game, leading the Hotwheels in scoring. Fonseca’s performance helped the Hotwheels take a 40-35 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Raptors played solid defense in the fourth quarter, that resulted in the Hotwheels settling for perimeter shots. Those perimeter shots, along with other looks, weren’t falling for the Hotwheels in the fourth as they found a sole field goal during the quarter. Lack of offense was not a problem for the Raptors in the fourth scoring a game-high 19 points in quarter. The Raptors were led in the quarter by Dandeneau with 11 points.
The Rollin’ Raptors success was also the result of the offensive performance from post-player Daiusz Symonowicz of Toronto, Ontario-Canada, with 12 points. She did account for four points, but more importantly throughout the game was the intangibles that Elodie “DiDi” Tessier of Saint-Germain-de-gGrantham, Quebec-Canada, provided to the Raptors.
A contributor on offense for the LA Hotwheels was Edgar Murillo of Los Angeles, CA, with nine points. The Hotwheels also received input on offense from Puerto Rico National Team member Jose Manuel Ortega of Los Angeles, CA, with eight points.
The Rollin’ Raptors are coached by Marc Antonie Ducharme of Chambly, Quebec-Canada. Ducharme is the head coach of the Canada Women’s Senior National Team and he most recently coached them to a fifth-place finish over the U.S. Women (6th) at the 2018 IWBF World Championships in Hamburg, Germany last August.
3rd Place Game Recap
Rancho Renegades Elite def. Austin Rec’cers, 63-44
The Rancho Renegades Elite kicked off the third-place game with lights-out shooting in the first quarter hanging 22 points on the Austin Rec’ers. The Rec’ers were able to shake of the cobwebs in the second quarter as they were able to triple their scoring total from the first quarter (6 points) with 18 points and hold the Renegades to their game-low for points in a quarter with 10.
The halftime score of 32-24 was the smallest deficit the Rec’ers would see for the remainder of the game. The Renegades saw a 11-point third quarter from Malcolm Wright of Culver City, CA. Wright finished as the leading scorer for the game with 24 points. The Renegades also received a great game from Hector Rivera of Huntington Park, CA, with 16 points.
The Austin Rec’ers were led on offensive by Charles Armstead of Killeen, TX, with 15 points, while going 5 of 7 from free throw line. The Rec’ers also received a solid offensive showing from big man Paul Nelson of Universal City, TX, tallied a total of 12 points.
Final Places – Adult Division II
1. Toronto Rollin’ Raptors
2. LA Hotwheels
3. Rancho Renegades Elite
4. Austin Rec'ers
5. Madonna Magic
6. LA Clippers Chairmen
7. Tampa Bay Strong Dogs
8. Tucson Lobos
9. Magee Spokesmen
10. Courage Kenny Rolling Timberwolves
11. Nassau Kings
12. LWSRA Hawks
13. Ft. Lauderdale Sharks
14. Sportable Rimriders
15. Charlottesville Cardinals
16. Wisconsin Thunder
Please feel free to click to view the results from the tournament posted on the NWBA website or click on the complete final bracket below.
Tournament Awards – Adult Division II
Fred Esman 4.0 Austin Rec’ers
Marcelo Gomez 3.5 LA Hotwheels
Erica Gavel 3.5 Toronto Rollin’ Raptors
Malcolm Wright 2.0 Rancho Renegades Elite
Elodie Tessier 1.0 Toronto Rollin’ Raptors
Jacob Busch 4.5 Madonna Magic
Julio Fonseca 3.0 LA Hotwheels
Victor Arreola 3.0 LA Hotwheels
Charles Armstead 2.5 Austin Rec’ers
Scott Zessin 1.0 Madonna Magic
Evan Thorn 4.5 Courage Kenny Rolling Timberwolves
Paul Nelson 4.0 Austin Rec’ers
Edgar Perdomo 3.0 LA Clippers Chairmen
Danny Maravilla 2.5 Rancho Renegades Elite
Dwight Veney 1.0 Sportable Rim Riders
Tom McNaughton Magee Spokesmen
Kady Dandeneau Toronto Rollin’ Raptors
National Championship Player of the Game
Kady Dandeneau Toronto Rollin’ Raptors
The 2019 Toyota National Adult Division II Wheelchair Basketball Tournament was held on March 15-17 in Tallmadge, OH. The venue for the competition was the Tallmadge Recreation Center in Tallmadge, Ohio a suburb of Akron. The tournament was hosted by the Tim Fox, NWBA Board of Director, and Will Waller, NWBA Board of Director. Special thanks to the City of Tallmadge, Cleveland Cavaliers, Wheelchair Cavaliers, Cleveland Clinic, Sports Alliance of Greater Akron, Warrior Foundation Freedom Station, Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association, Stay in Akron, PNC Bank, volunteers and all tournament personnel on-site.