Dylan Cummings is back with a March roundup of British Wheelchair Basketball action.
The university championship finals occurred on March 9th in Nottingham with Sheffield Hallam winning gold for the second consecutive year. The final standings were;
Gold: Sheffield Hallam University
Silver: University of Worcester
Bronze: Northumbria University
4th: Brunel University London
5th: Cardiff Metropolitan University
6th: University of East London
7th: University of Hull
8th: University of Nottingham
All the preliminary rounds of junior league have wrapped up and the quarterfinal matchups have been announced for the Elite 8’s which will take place in Sheffield on April 27th:
Jaguars vs. Thames Valley Kings
Northern Ireland vs. North Wales Knights
CWBA vs. Lancaster Spinners
South West Warriors vs. Wakefield Whirlwinds
Kingston Panthers, The Bears IIII and Exeter Otters II all topped their respective pools in Division 4.
In the North, Calerdale suffered a heavy loss to North East Warriors as did Bolton Bulls to Wakefield Whirlwinds II. However, Vikings picked up a somewhat narrow victory over the Bulls (52-44) and Calerdale (47-31.) Whirlwinds II continued their dominance bey beating Manchester Maverick Giants II (47-30) whilst North Wales Knights II picked up the win against Bolton Bulls (57-22.) Glasgow Rocks II have gone undefeated this month with three wins, (60-41) against Maverick Giants II, (55-44) over RGK Tees Valley Titans III and (55-44) versus North East Warriors.
In Central, Birmingham Phoenix were back to winning ways with three victories, (37-32) over The Bears III, (47-21) against Derby Wheelblazers and (58-28) versus Stoke Spitfires. Derby were able to get redemption by beating Leicester Cobras II (36-25.) Also, on a winning streak was Wolverhampton, with two wins (67-17) versus Cobras II and (46-32) against Spitfires who also lost to Sheffield Steelers V (34-26.) Steelers V also beat Cobras II (58-27.)
In the South East, Brixton Ballers suffered two losses to the top two teams (61-32) to Frenford Falcons and (57-35) to High Rollers. Also suffering two losses were SportAble Rockets (42-14) to London Titans IIII and (30-28) to Brunel Bulls. Bulls were defeated earlier in the month by Tornados II (58-18) who also beat Rockets (44-12.) Titans IIII got the win versus Brunel Bulls (52-27.)
In the South West, Hampshire Harriers have been dominant with a (73-31) win versus Worcester Wolves and a (92-27) victory against Gloucester Blazers. Thames Valley Kings II have been unsuccessful with a (56-19) loss to Swansea Storm and a (51-34) defeat to Worcester Wolves. Swansea Storm beat CWBA III in a close game (40-35.) Cardiff Met Archers have remained on undefeated top form with wins over CWBA III (42-38) and Worcester Wolves (57-41.)
In the North, RGK Tees Valley Titans II ended Lancaster Bulldogs undefeated streak, (56-46) only for the Bulldogs to regroup and pick up wins against Sheffield Steelers IIII (67-58), Wakefield Whirlwinds (65-48) and North Wales Knights I (49-39.) Titans II (twice) and Steelers IIII also beat Jaguars II (63-22), (72-35) and (65-27.) Knights I were victorious over Steelers IIII (68-43.)
In the South, Aces lost to Thames Valley Kings I (62-35) and Plymouth Raiders twice (46-29) and (58-40) but they did beat Sparrows (51-30.) Norwich Lowriders lost three games (48-40) to Kings I, (52-45) to Sussex Bears and (55-30) to Sparrows. Sussex Bears lost (51-35) to Raiders and (69-36) to The Bears II. Kings I avenged their earlier loss to London Titans III by beating them (58-47.)
In the North, there were a lot of upsets this month as the previously undefeated OWLS II shockingly suffered two losses, first to Glasgow Rocks I in a nail-biter (52-50) and secondly to Northern Ireland Knights (74-58.) Rocks continued their winning streak by beating Knights (51-46.) Sheffield Steelers II comfortably got the win versus Jaguars I (51-42) but somewhat surprisingly lost to Manchester Maverick Giants I (64-56) and to Knights twice, (50-31) and (56-32.)
In the South, Exeter Otters I kept their undefeated streak intact with a (57-37) win over Blackhawks I. Blackhawks were able to regroup by beat Leicester Cobras I (55-33) who also lost to CWBA II (60-32.) CWBA II also beat Swindon Shock (65-43) who also lost to Tornados I (52-33.) Sheffield Steelers III easily got the wins over Tornados I (80-19) and Leicester Cobras I (74-22.) Shock beat Blackhawks (55-47) CWBA II won a nail-biter of a game against London Titans II (57-55.)
London Titans beat CWBA in an electric game (51-50.)
CWBA comfortably beat The Bears (72-33) in a Warwickshire derby. CWBA’s Liam Hassell was top scorer with 22 points, Lewis Edwards had nine rebounds and Peter Cusack had seven assists.
The OWLS saw off London Titans (64-50) in a game that was live streamed on BBC Sport. Top scorer was OWLS’ Martin Edwards with 20 points closely followed by Billy Bridge (18pts and 11 assists) and Jack Perry (16pts.) Titans’ Tyler Saunders had 11 rebounds.
As mentioned last month Sheffield Steelers will host the EuroLeague 1 Finals whilst The OWLS will fly to Italy to compete in the EuroLeague 2 Finals. However, this month London Titans flew to Nottwil, Switzerland to compete in the EuroLeague 1 preliminaries hosted by Pilatus Dragons. Titans finished with two wins and two losses, meaning they have qualified for the EuroLeague 3 Finals in Vigo, Spain.
Their first game was ended in a thrilling one-point (61-60) win over the hosts, Pilatus Dragons with Christy Gregan scoring 18 points, closely followed by Tyler Saunders on 17 points and 13 rebounds. Matt Sealy got three assists.
They lost their second game to the Italian side, Padova (54-46) with Christy Gregan and Emmanuel Filson both on 13 points, Ade Adepitan on ten rebounds and Matt Sealy on four assists.
They easily beat Hafia (77-27) with Christy Gregan achieving 21 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
Unfortunately, their final game was a (54-29) loss against Germany’s Koln 99ers with Tyler Saunders scoring 13 points, Emmanuel Filson with ten rebounds and Matt Sealy with three assists. Sealy was named in the all-star five of the tournament.
Join us next month where we will be bringing you news on the EuroLeague conquests of Steelers, OWLS and Titans.
Text: Dylan Cummings | Photo: Dave Dunbar