Wheelchair Basketball wins in Edinboro

Team prepares for trip to Kansas to face top seed Texas - Arlington

Forward+Brian+Wofford+takes+a+shot+during+a+home+game+this+season.+He+led+the+team+to+two+wins+in+the+Edinboro+tournament.+

Dane Sheehan

Forward Brian Wofford takes a shot during a home game this season. He led the team to two wins in the Edinboro tournament.

Calahan Steed, Journalist

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Men’s Wheelchair basketball team will rely on the strong bond they’ve built all season as they prepare for the 2020 National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament.

The Warhawks, who are coming off a two-win appearance at the Edinboro tournament will travel to Wichita, Kansas from March 18-21 for another tournament. Here they will face off against teams they faced in previous tournaments including schools like the University of Illinois, the University of Alabama and the University of Missouri. For the team, this final tournament is a chance to show how they’ve grown throughout the long season.

“Our goal is to always win and be a better team in March than we were in October,” said head coach Jeremy Lade. “We’ve got some kids that have made some big strides, whether it’s on the court or off the court. To see them succeed in areas that they might not have previously succeeded at is my favorite part.”

For many players, seeing teams for another time is also a chance to correct mistakes in earlier matchups.

“I think it’s definitely going to help, just being familiar with how they played, and how we can play better against them,” said senior Drew Selz. “I think it’s successful as long as we play our best basketball.”

The field will be tough however, as along with the schools already mentioned, the University of Texas-Arlington will be competing as well.

UT-A is a national powerhouse in Wheelchair basketball.

“The University of Texas-Arlington is a really, really good team,” said Brian Woffard, one of the teams Seniors, and an emotional leader. “They’re going to be coming in as a number one seed, and we’re going to have to be on our A-game if we want to compete with them and beat them,”

For the Warhawks, they are competing for their 14th national championship. They’ll have to show why they are seen as a top-flight team in the sport. To do that, they need to keep focused as they go up against the other top competitors in the country.

“It’s a matter of coming out and executing and staying really engaged, so that we execute the defensive and offensive game plan,” said Lade.

“Historically, we’ve set a precedent of being competitive and a national championship contender every year,” said Woffard. “We’ve gotten to the point where we know we’re good enough to win one, so if we don’t play to our capabilities and win one then we feel like we fell short.”

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