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Local team takes second place in the Carolina Wheelchair Basketball Conference tournament

The Coastal Chairmen, a local team that practices at the North Myrtle Beach Aquatic and Fitness center, took second place in the CWBC tournament last weekend at the aquatic center gymnasium. The Chairmen lost to the Fayetteville Flyers by a 66-54 score in the championship game Sunday afternoon.

The two teams battled to an 18-18 score after the first period but the Flyers, who were undefeated throughout the double elimination tournament, slowly took charge after that. They increased their lead to 37-30 at the half, then led 52-42 after three ten-minute periods and won by a 66-54 margin.
Seven teams began the tournament on Friday afternoon and play continued through Saturday. Sunday’s games included the consolation game for third and fourth place which was won by the Richland County Recreation Commission Lightning over the Spartanburg Pistons followed by the championship game.

Aquatic Center director Melinda Chappell stated that the center had hosted the tournament off and on over the last ten years and the last three years in a row.

“The Carolina Wheelchair Basketball Conference has been active since the 1970s, but we have been involved since after we opened up. The players are amazing. Wheelchair basketball players are classified by a system that is set to allow even levels of competition on the court based on functional mobility. Players are classified as belonging to one of eight classes: 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5. 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and 4.5. Each team is allowed to have players whose skill levels total 15, so teams can’t have two players on the court with a 3.5 classification. This is to ensure even competition,“ Chappell said.

Wheelchair basketball is a fun sport to watch. Except for three-point shots, play is like any basketball game you see: dribbling, fast breaks, set defenses, fouls and foul shots, inbounds plays, turnovers and a three second rule to keep players from staying in the paint.

There can be tie-ups, blocked shots and of course a foul shot after a made basket.

The tournament All-tournament team was broken up according to classes mentioned above. Players singled out and voted on by all participants were: Class 1: Dylan Cooper/Spartanburg Pistons, Tamirat Rbuilee/Triad Trackers. Class 2: Phil King/Coastal Chairmen, Melido Mir/ Richland County Recreation Commission Lightning. Class 3: Jesse Lind/ Coastal Chairmen, Daniel Moody/Triad Trackers. Class 4: Mike Whitlock/Fayetteville Flyers, Patrick Barnes/Spartanburg Pistons. The Most Valuable Player was Cortez Graham of the Fayetteville Flyers.

Melinda Chappell stated that the tournament was a big success. “The tournament went smoothly, with a lot of help from our staff, interns and volunteers from Coastal Carolina University. Our officials worked hard for three days and the players from all teams were great, “Chappell said.

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