Wednesday, March 7, 2012

CWBC Defending Champs Bring Home The 1st Place Trophy & Other Awards!

Over the weekend, the Carolina TarWheels traveled to Charleston, SC for the CWBC's (Carolina Wheelchair Basketball Conference) conference tournament. This was the team's second year playing in the CWBC conference and the second year bringing home the conference title!

Charleston always plays a great host to wheelchair basketball tournaments. The ten teams of the CWBC were all in attendance this year. Games for the TarWheels began Saturday morning at 10 am against the Triad Trackers. This was the first time that the two teams had seen each other, but as the second half got underway, the TarWheels started getting into their regular rhythm of play. After defeating Triad, that afternoon the TarWheels took on the host team. Again, the result was a win with the TarWheels pulling out to a nice lead in the second half.

Day two of the event was separated by a banquet dinner where all of the teams had a chance to celebrate their team and player's season 2011-2012 achievement. The TarWheels brought home several awards, but none more important than the induction of Rick Helms into the CWBC hall of fame. Rick lost his life in a car wreck before the season started, but had played wheelchair basketball for several teams in the Concord, NC area as well as olympic teams. Rick's brother, Scott, was able to make it down to Charleston to accept the award on his behalf. The team was pround to see several of it's players called for the "All Tournament Team" award, this included Pete Morgan, Roger White, Richard Travis, and Donnie Langford. Two other high distinctions were given to Pete and Donnie. Pete received "Rookie of the Year" and Donnie was voted "MVP" for the season's play. This was the second year in a row that a TarWheeel play recieved "Rookie of the Year" after David Hix received it during the 2010-2011 season. The entire team was proud to add the CWBC - South's "1st Place" trophy to the collection of hardware as well! The TarWheels had a perfect 16-0 record in conference play this year!

Sunday brought on the remainder of the conference tournament. The TarWheels were up against the Fayetteville Flyers for game one of the team's day. A win would put The TarWheels into the championship game. After pulling away by around 10 points, the gap started to narrow in the second half. The Flyers had momentum, but with a minute and a half to go, the TarWheels started to keep them from gaining any more ground. The final difference, only three points! The Flyers would drop to the looser's bracket where they would have to play an extra game against the Charleston Hurricaines to get back to the championship game. This was a close game at first, but the Flyers were able to pull out the win. Once again, The Flyers and TarWheels would battle, this for the second time of the day, and the 5th time in tournament play this season! The TarWheels were a little more ready to play this game, the defense fueling the team's offense. The Flyers were held to very few points in the second half and The TarWheels went on to win 61-28! The Tournament trophies were given out, another "1st Place" trophy as well as a second "MVP" award for Donnie Langford on the weekend, and then the team got back on the road to Concord.

The TarWheels will continue to practice hard until nationals. Friday, March 9th, The TarWheels will host their fundraising event at Rocky River Golf Club where we hope to raise the money to cover expenses for the team's first trip to the national tournament in Colorado Springs. Then March 21st, the team will fly out to Colorado and try it's best to bring home another 1st place trophy!

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