Cardinals Go 2-2 In First Tournament of Season

Nov 9, 2015

EDINBORO, PA–The Charlottesville Cardinals wheelchair basketball team went 2-2 this past weekend at the “Boro” Shootout tournament at the University of Pennsylvania-Edinboro.

The Cardinals notched two early wins on Saturday against the Cleveland Cavaliers and the London (Canada) Flyers before falling to the Bay City Thunder on Saturday afternoon.  The Cardinals faced the host Edinboro squad on Sunday in a semi-final match but were hampered when starter Jacob Tyree went down with a shoulder injury and the team couldn’t pull out the win.

“I thought we played well throughout the weekend and improved each game,” said player-coach Tom Vandever.  “I’m looking forward to having our full and healthy roster available.”

In Saturday’s opening game, the Cardinals jumped to an early double-digit lead in the first half before the Cleveland squad rallied to cut the deficit to 36-30 at the half.  But Charlottesville’s size and speed took its toll on the Cavaliers in the second half and the Cardinals took the win, 67-48.  The Cardinals’ Arthur Tracy led all scorers with 30 points, followed by Jacob Tyree and Tom Vandever with 10 each, Allen Champagne with 8, Eddie Wimbish with 7, and Gino Wilson with 2.

Against the London Flyers the Cardinals again took the early lead and went into halftime with a 30-24 edge, but the Flyers couldn’t maintain the pace in the second half as the Cardinals claimed a 66-42 victory.  Charlottesville’s Jacob Tyree led all scorers with 19 points, followed by Arthur Tracy with 15, Allen Champagne with 13, Eddie Wimbish with 8, Gino Wilson and Tom Vandever with 6 apiece.

Saturday’s final game pitted the Cardinals against the Bay City Thunder.  The Cardinals struggled in the first half to adjust to the speed of gold-medalist Trevon Jennifer and veteran Bryce Doody and trailed Bay City 30-22 at the break.  Despite several rallies in the second half Charlottesville was unable to cut the margin and fell to the Thunder 63-50.  Bay City’s Jennifer led all scorers with 22 point and Doody added 18 for the victors.  Arthur Tracy led Cardinals’ scorers with 16 points, followed by Brandon Rush with 13, Tom Vandever with 7, Gino Wilson with 6, and Eddie Wimbish and Allen Champagne with 4 each.  The loss was especially difficult for the team when starter Jacob Tyree was knocked over and suffered a shoulder injury.

Despite the loss to Bay City, the Cardinals advanced to the semi-final round of the tournament on Sunday morning and faced the host Edinboro Scots.  With Tyree unable to start the Cardinals’ were unable to play Tracy and Vandever at the same time.  The Charlottesville defense remained solid, but the offense in the first half was almost non-existent and the Edinboro squad enjoyed a 21-9 advantage at the half.  The Cardinals’ shooters found the range in the second half and closed to seven points with three minutes remaining, but Edinboro went 7 for 8 from the foul line in the closing minutes to ice the win, 44-32.  Arthur Tracy again led Cardinals’ scorers with 11 points, followed by Tom Vandever with 10, Brandon Rush with 7, and Eddie Wimbish with 4.

The Cardinals’ next competition is their Herman Key, Jr. Memorial Holiday Tournament on December 4th through 6th in Charlottesville.  The Cardinals will be joined by the 5th-ranked Atlanta Shepherd Stealers, the Miami Heat Wheels, the Bay City Thunder, the Carolina Tar Wheels, the MAPVA (Richmond) Rimriders, the NRH (Washington, DC) Ambassadors, and the Virginia Beach Sunwheelers.   Games start Friday evening, December 4th, at Tandem Friends School and at Walton Middle School and continue throughout the weekend.