The game of the second day of the 2016 National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament presented by ABC Medical was in the Junior National Invitational Tournament where the No. 7 seed Nebraska Red Dawgs upset the Denver Rolling Nuggets, 23-22, to make it to the finals against the Richmond Sportable Spokes. The NIT final will kickoff Championship Saturday at the Kentucky Exposition Center at 8 a.m. Eastern.
The Red Dawgs and Nuggets have faced each other four times in the regular season, with the Red Dawgs holding a 3-1 regular season record and all games were decided by five points or less. Maya Campbell led the way for the Red Dawgs with 11 points, while the Nuggets’ Josie DeHart led with 13 points and Abigail Farrell followed with 6 points. This is the first time for Nebraska to reach the NIT final.
The Richmond Sportable Spokes were carried into the finals with Ignacio Ortega Lafuente with 23 points and Colin Egan with 18 points for their win over the BORP Junior Road Warriors, 59-46.
The Road Warriors had three players in double digits with Jacob Ramirez putting up 20 points, Isaiah Ahlstrom with 16, and Ben Thornton finishing with 10 points.
The NWBT’s Championship Saturday will start at 8 a.m. EDST at the Kentucky Exposition Center and will culminate in the crowning of three of four National Championships in Junior Prep, Junior Varsity and Championship divisions.
The Junior Varsity division will be ready to play at 2 p.m. This game is highlighted by a the Courage Kenny Minnesota Timberwolves against the Houston TIRR Hotwheels, another rematch from 2015, where the Hotwheels won 73-45.
To get the championship, the Timberwolves were carried by Collin Evans, who sank 33 points with three, three-pointers, in their 59-42 defeat of the Dallas Mavericks.
The Hotwheels Peter Berry and Abraham Hausman-Weiss were responsible for 15 points each, as they narrowly beat the BlazeSports Junior Hawks, 42-37.
The Championship Division Title will see the defending champion Dallas Mavericks taking on the Milwaukee Bucks. The Mavericks have been regularly featured in the National Championship game with 11 appearances since 2000 and cutting down the nets 10 times. The Bucks last trip to the national title game in 2006, and lost to the Mavericks 90-75 in Lexington, Ky.
The Mavericks advanced to the championships by defeating the Rogue Valley Scorpions, 76-54. Bobbie Nickleberry and three-time U.S. Paralympian Jason Nelms rolled their team to the title game by scoring 23 and 22 points, respectively. 2016 U.S. Paralympic hopeful Aaron Gouge put up a total of 18 points.
2012 Paralympic bronze medalist Nate Hinze propelled the Milwaukee Bucks to the title game by putting up 26 points in their victory over the New York Rollin’ Knicks, 62-54.
The Junior Prep Division is a rematch of the last two title games between the Atlanta Junior Hawks and Chicago Skyhawks, where Atlanta has come out on top. Saturday’s game tips at 10 a.m. The Chicago Skyhawks doubled-up the Mississippi Wheelcats, 26-12, in the semi-finals. Rance Surratt drained 12 points and Zachariah Gorecki put up 8 points in Atlanta’s win.
The Atlanta Junior Hawks saw three players in double digits in its 47-21 win over the Junior Minutemen. Leading the way for the 2013-15 National Champions were Bailey Moody with 17 points, Eric Francis with 15 points, and Collin Lancaster with 14 points.
Division III, a 24-team bracket, will be finishing the upper placement games through morning, and the National Title game is set for 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 10.
The 2016 NWBT is the largest ever with 88 teams and 976 athletes that featured a total of 176 games on 12 courts. The NWBT is a five-division event spanning four age groups – Junior Prep, Junior NIT, Junior Varsity, Division III and Championship.
Championship Saturday will start at 8 a.m., with the Junior National Invitational Tournament being the opening draw. From 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Eastern, the National Title Games for Junior Prep, Junior Varsity and Championship Divisions will be contested. All final games will be web streamed at www.nwba.org.
Individual tickets are available for the 2016 NWBT presented by ABC Medical. Event tickets are for sale at Kentucky Exposition Center at $30 for adults for all sessions or $12.50 per day. Children 8-18 will be $15 for all sessions and $7 per day. Children 7 and under are free.
In addition to the NWBT, the NWBA Hall of Fame will hold its annual induction ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel on Saturday, April 9 at 6 p.m. Eastern. This year’s inductees are: NWBA’s most prolific scorer Trooper Johnson of San Lorenzo, Calif.; non-competitors Barbara Radbel of Munster, Ind., and Kathy Curtis of El Paso, Texas; and posthumously recognized is women’s standout player Mary Ann O’Neill of Minneapolis, Minn.
2016 National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament presented by ABC Medical Schedule
At Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky., April 7-10
Saturday, April 9, 2016
7:30-8 a.m. 2016 NWBT Opening Ceremonies
8 a.m.-6 p.m. 2016 NWBT Championship Saturday (34 Games)
8 a.m.-6 p.m. VA Clinic
8 a.m. Junior NIT Championshi
10 a.m. Junior Prep Championship
12 p.m. Per4Max Shootout
1:30 p.m. NWBT Championship Opening Ceremony
2:00 p.m. Junior Varsity Championship
4:00 p.m. Championship Division Championship
Half Time ABC Medical 3-Point Contest
6-9 p.m. 2016 NWBA Hall of Fame Induction - Crown Plaza Hotel
7-11 p.m. Junior Varsity Banquet - Galt House Hotel
Sunday, April 10, 2016
10 a.m. Division III Championship Kentucky Expo Center