(Burlington, Ont.) It will be an all Quebec final for the second year in a row when the Quebec Bulldogs and the Gladiateurs de Laval clash in the gold medal final of the 2014 Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League (CWBL) National Championship scheduled for 2 p.m. ET Sunday at the Haber Recreation Centre in Burlington, Ont.
Placement games are scheduled to start at 8 a.m. ET and 10 a.m. ET followed by the bronze medal game between the BC Royals and Variety Village Rebels at 12 p.m. ET.
Burlington Mayer Rick Goldring and City Councillor Blair Lancaster will be on hand for the ceremonial tip-off prior to the gold medal game.
Participating athletes include past, present, and future members of Team Canada including local Burlington Vipers’ athlete Melanie Hawtin, of Oakville, Ont., who will soon represent Team Canada at the upcoming 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship June 20-28 in Toronto, Ont. Joining Hawtin on the hardcourt are fellow Canadian National Women’s Team members Elaine Allard, of St. Eustache, Que. (playing for the Gladiateurs de Laval), Tamara Steeves of Mississauga, Ont. (playing for the Southern Ontario Suns), and Darda Sales of London, Ont. (representing the London Forest City Flyers). The hometown Vipers club also features London 2012 Paralympic gold medallist and Burlington native Brandon Wagner.
Game 13 – Quarter-final #1 – Gladiateurs de Laval 70 vs. Saskatchewan Paratroopers 51
The first team to lay claim to a semifinal spot was the Gladiateurs de Laval when they beat the Paratroopers 70-51 to remain undefeated after three matches. Three Laval players scored in the double-digits. They were led y Marc-Antoine Ducharme’s 25 points. Carl Pelletier followed closely with 23 points, while Yvon Rouillard pitched in with 16 points. The Paratroopers fell short despite whirlwind performances from Brody Johb who tallied 13 points and Mitch Bossaer who dropped in 12 points.
Game 14 – Quarter-final #2 – Bulldogs de Quebec 61 vs. Twin City Spinners 41
Brothers Kevin and Maxime Poulin teamed up to score 20 points and 15 points respectively to lead Quebec over the Twin City Spinners 61-41 in the second quarterfinal game of the day. A three-pointer by Maxime helped ice a dominating third quarter in which they outscored the Spinners 26-6. With the win, the Bulldogs stretched their winning streak to three games and advance to the semifinals. Tyler Miller and Barren Bentley both notched a dozen points for Twin City.
Game 15 – Quarter-final #3 – BC Royals 69 vs. Saskatchewan Club ‘99 51
The BC Royals fought their way into the semifinals with a 69-51 win over Saskatchewan. Their record now sits at three wins and no loss. Deion Green scored 10 points in the first quarter alone to pace the Royals offense before finishing with a team-high 24 points. Saskatchewan’s Gregg Johnston was not to be outdone though, scoring a game-high 25 points for Club ’99 in the loss. Jack Kosterman who scored 11 points and Avril Harris who scored 10 points also helped out BC.
Game 16 – Quarter-final #4 – Variety Village Rebels 63 vs. Alberta Northern Lights 56
Variety Village claimed the last remaining spot in the semifinals by defeating the Alberta Northern Lights 63-56. James Treuer poured it on in the second half scoring 20 of his game-high 30 points to lead the Rebels to victory. Teammate Jesse McNalley also had a terrific game putting up 15 points in the first half to finish with 19 points on the game. The Northern Lights countered with a four-pronged attack that was led by Tara Feser’s 13-point performance. Willy Moronchuk had 11 points, Adam Reid had 10 points, and Bradon Doll had 9 points in the game.
Game 17 – Consolation #1- Vaughan City Lashers vs. London City Flyers
The Vaughan City Lashers captured their first victory of the tournament by overtaking the London City Flyers 59-52. They recovered from a slow start in which they accumulated just three points in the first quarter. Despite trailing 34-21 at the break, they rallied in the second half to come out on top. Chantal Benoit, Reg McClellan, and Jeff Adams delivered most of the offense for Vaughan City contributing 16 points, 15 points, and 14 points respectively. Jeff Dennis captained the attack for the Flyers putting up back-to-back long bombs in the second quarter that helped propel him to tally a team-leading 19 points.
Game 18 – Consolation #2 – Southern Ontario Suns 60 vs. Burlington Vipers 37
Kevin Wakeling was at the helm for Southern Ontario when they defeated the Burlington Vipers 60-37. Wakeling potted a game-high 21 points for the Suns, while Jesse Packard chipped-in with 16 points in the victory. The floor seemed to tilt in their favour in the third frame when they outscored their opponents 18-4. Brandon Wagner continued his strong play scoring a team-high 12 points and Mark Willard scored 10 points for the Vipers.
Game 19 – Placement Game #1 – Twin City Spinners 63 vs. Saskatchewan Club ‘99 56
Blaine Hancock was a force to be reckoned for Club ’99 scoring 29 points in a tough game against the Spinners. Nonetheless, in the end, it was the Spinners who came out on top by a score of 63-56. Tyler Miller showcased his agility and ball handling throughout the game and finished with 19 points for the Spinners, while teammate Darren Bentley stormed out of the gate scoring 16 of his 18 points in the first half.
Game 20 – Placement Game #2 Alberta Northern Lights 61 vs. Saskatchewan Paratroopers 57
The Northern Lights narrowly defeated the Paratroopers 61-57 in a cliffhanger that came down to the wire. Alberta held a narrow three-point cushion going into the final quarter, coercing Saskatchewan into deploying an up-tempo style of play down the stretch. Clutch shooting from the charity strip by Willy Moronchuk saw him sink three free throws in the last two minutes of the game to clinch the victory for the Northern Lights. Mitch Bossaer harnessed his speed and skill to score a game-high 15 points for the Paratroopers. His counterpart on Alberta, Braden Doll scored a team-high 14 points.
Game 21 – Semifinal #1 –Gladiateurs de Laval 73 – Variety Village Rebels 42
The defending-champion Gladiateurs de Laval are off to the gold medal game courtesy of a 73-42 semifinal victory over the Variety Village Rebels. The Gladiateurs quickly established the tone of the game by staking claim to a 26-6 lead after the opening frame. The deficit proved to be too much for the Rebels forces to overcome, despite a spirited fourth quarter in which they produced 18 points to the Gladiateurs’ 13. Carl Pelletier and Marc-Antoine Ducharme were a one-two offensive punch for Laval by tallying 21 and 20 points, respectively. James Treuer countered for the Rebels with a team-high 20 points of his own.
Game 22 – Semifinal #2 –Bulldogs de Quebec 72 vs. BC Royals
The second semifinal pitted the Bulldogs de Quebec against the BC Royals. Maxime Poulin was a difference maker tallying an impressive 31 points for Quebec in a 72-55 victory. Philippe Vermette was second in individual scoring with 16 points. Jack Kosterman and Ross McDonald responded for BC scoring a dozen points apiece.
Day 3 Preview:
- 11/12 Placement Game – Burlington Vipers vs. London Forest City Flyers at 8 a.m. ET
- 9/10 Placement Game – Southern Ontario Suns vs. Vaughan Lashers at 8 a.m. ET
- 7/8 Placement Game – Saskatchewan Paratroopers vs. Saskatchewan Club ‘99 at 10 a.m. ET
- 5/6 Placement Game – Alberta Northern Lights vs. Twin City Spinners at 10 a.m. ET
- Bronze Final – Variety Village Rebels vs. BC Royals at 12 p.m. ET
- Gold Final – Quebec Bulldogs vs. Gladiateurs de Laval at 2 p.m. ET
The weekend festivities also include Wheelchair Basketball Canada’s annual awards banquet, where former player and five-time Paralympian Roy Henderson and long-time official Trevor Kerr enter into the Hall of Fame.
Competition wraps up with a medal ceremony following the gold medal game.
About the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League
The Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League (CWBL) was founded in 1986 and has two primary divisions: the Open division and the Women’s division. The league features wheelchair basketball club teams from across Canada and culminates each season with a national championship for both the Open and Women’s divisions.
The league is fully integrated as both divisions welcome athletes with a disability as well as able-bodied athletes to play in the spirit of competition. It often features some of the country’s best wheelchair basketball players, including past, present and future members of Team Canada.