Wheelchair Cavaliers Go 2-2 in Invitational
The Cleveland Wheelchair Cavaliers Invitational was held January 27th and 28th at Cleveland State University and Quicken Loans Arena. This first annual regional tournament hosted teams from Seattle, Connecticut, Fort Wayne, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Rochester and Dayton.
The 3rd Ranked Wheelchair Cavaliers opened up the Invitational playing 25th Ranked Seattle Sonics. The Cavaliers opened up the game quickly with scores by Steve Smutak and Drew Lacko. The Cavaliers maintained a 22 – 19 lead at the half despite Seattle hitting a three pointer at the buzzer. The Cavaliers continued to build on their lead gaining as much as a 15 point advantage before closing out the game with a 44 – 37 victory. The Cavaliers were lead by Smutak with 23 points, Brent Hilliard with 10 points and Lack and Paul Zinn with 9 and 2 points respectively.
Next up for the Cavaliers was the Pittsburgh Steelwheelers. The game was close throughout the first half with neither team being able to open up more than a four point lead. After being tied at 18 at the end of the first half, the Cavaliers struggled to find the basket in the second half only scoring six points in the final twenty minutes resulting in a 34 – 26 loss. The Cavaliers were lead by Steve Smutak with 10 points, Erik Whetstone, Dan Lemmer and Brent Hilliard with 4 points each, and Drew Lacko and Shawn Kravchuck with 2 points each.
In game three the Cavaliers took on the Moraine Minutemen. Although the Cavaliers were scoring frequently, the Minutemen were even hotter beating the Cavaliers by a score of 51 to 47. The Cavaliers were lead by Brent Hilliard with 15 points, Drew Lacko with 11 points, Steve Smutak with 9 points, Dan Lemmer with 6 points, and Erik Whetstone and Vince Momosor with 3 points each.
The Cavaliers closed out the tournament with a solid victory versus the Connecticut Spokebenders. The Cavaliers picked up the defensive intensity early creating several turnovers and cruised to a 47 – 27 victory. The Cavaliers were lead in scoring by Brent Hilliard with 15 points, Steve Smutak with 13 points, Drew Lacko with 9 points, Paul Zinn with 6 points, and Nate Postlethwaite and Shawn Kravchuck with 2 points each.
The Cavaliers record now stands at 13 – 3 and next play in Louisville, Kentucky at the Bluegrass Invitation from February 8 – 10.
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