AKRON, OHIO - The 2022 NWBA Toyota Women's Wheelchair Basketball National Championships presented by ABC Medical concluded on Sunday with a 70-53 victory by the Wisconsin Adaptive Sports Association (WASA) Lady Bucks over the Lincolnway Special Recreation Association (LWSRA) Lady Hawks. The Lady Bucks last competed in this event in 2019, in which they also captured the crown of national champions of the Women's Division.
The first quarter of the game was dominated by a bronze medalist from the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, Ixhelt Gonzalez (Chicago, Illinois). Gonzalez's 12-point effort helped the Lady Hawks take a 22-10 led after one frame of action.
Gonzalez had established herself as a "hard jump" late in the first quarter, and continued to demand this defensive respect into the second quarter as she put up eight points (20 points in the first half) for the Lady Hawks. Regardless of the early deficit the veteran roster of the Lady Bucks, which includes three Paralympians, stayed calm and committed to their style of play into the second quarter. With a few defensive adjustments by the Lady Bucks and with the wealth of riches on offense the Lady Bucks were able to cut into the lead going into half only being down 31-27 to the Lady Hawks.
The Lady Bucks came out of halftime strong scoring a team high in points for quarter with 22 points in the third. The offensive in the quarter was evenly distributed among the roster that includes the likes of Natalie Schneider (Syracuse, NE), Emily Oberst (Brookfield, Wisconsin), Christina Ripp-Schwab (Edgerton, Wisconsin) and Becca Murray (Germantown, Wisconsin). The Lady Bucks took a lead into the fourth quarter of 49-42.
With a lead the Lady Bucks kept the pressure on the Lady Hawks as their scoring barrage continued to start the fourth. Oberst found her touch as she scored a quick four field goals (eight points) in the first few minutes of the fourth quarter. Oberst's 14 point fourth quarter helped her secured 28 points for the game and was recognized as "Championship Game Most Valuable Player".
This event wrapped up the entire 2022 Toyota National Championship Series for the 2021-22 NWBA season. Livestream recordings of games this weekend is available by visiting the NWBA's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NWBA70/. Also all of the brackets can be found below and on the tournament webpage at https://www.nwba.org/nationals.
1. WASA Lady Bucks
2. LWSRA Lady Hawks
3. Dallas Lady Mavericks
4. Arizona Storm
5. Charlotte Rollin' Hornets
6. Lakeshore Lightning
7. Seattle Storm
8. ParaSport Spokane
Most Valuable Player
|4.5||Ixhelt Gonzalez||LWSRA Lady Hawks|
First Team All Tournament
|4.5||Shannon LaRoza||ParaSport Spokane|
|1.5||Elizabeth Floch||ParaSport Spokane|
|1||Darlene Hunter||Lady Mavericks|
|3||Hannah Exline||Lady Mavericks|
|3.5||Mary McLendon||Lakeshore Lightning|
Second Team All Tournament
|4.5||Candice Law||Charlotte Rollin' Hornets|
|2.5||Becca Murray||WASA Bucks|
|2.5||Christina Schwab||WASA Bucks|
|1.5||Sarah Heinzl||Arizona Storm|
|4.5||Elaina Terry||Lady Mavericks|
Third Team All Tournament
|2||Jami Tribby||Seattle Storm|
|4.5||Natalie Schneider||WASA Bucks|
|2||Evita Rush||Seattle Storm|
|4.5||Jah'Kyra Daniel||Lakeshore Lightning|
|2.5||Jian Jackson||Lakeshore Lightning|
|2||Brittany Gustafson||Charlotte Rollin' Hornets|
Special thanks again to all the NWBA partners that made the event possible including, but not limited to Toyota, ABC Medical, Nike, RGK Wheelchairs, Warrior Foundation Freedom Station, PER4MAX, Dr. Dish, Molten USA, TopEnd, and Eagle Sports Chairs.
Thank you to the local organizing committee (LOC) led by Tim Fox for hosting the 2022 NWBA Toyota Women's Wheelchair Basketball National Championships. Thank you to University of Akron for welcoming and supporting this event on your campus.
Thank you to all NWBA Board of Directors and divisional leadership for their efforts on hosting this event. Thank you to all the tournament personnel for their work, including classifiers, floor officials, and volunteers.
Lastly, thank you to all members of the NWBA Women's Division! We are happy to have concluded the NWBA season with this great event. We encourage any female athlete on an Adult and Junior Division team that didn't play in this event this year to reach out to the teams that attended to get on a Women's Division team roster for the 2022-2023 season!