Wheelchairs clash in the first basketball matches at Warrior Games
By Staff Sgt. Devon Suits, Air Force News Service / Published September 30, 2014
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AFNS) --
The first round of wheelchair basketball brought some fierce competition between the services during the 2014 Warrior Games at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Sept. 29.
The Navy and Air Force teams met on the hardwood for the first game of the evening. The Navy proved to be too much for the Air Force on both sides of the court. The Air Force tried to keep it close, but in the end, Navy took the victory 38-19.
“Once we saw what we had in terms of speed … we pressed to get (the ball) down the floor,” said Grant Moorhead, the coach for the Navy wheelchair basketball team. “I think we did really well. I am proud of them all.”
Winning the first game means the Navy’s next opponent will be the Army on Sept. 30.
Moorhead, who has been coaching for the past 5 years, said he enjoys the Warrior Game experience.
“I love working with the guys and seeing them develop over the whole season,” he said.
The second game of the evening was a one-sided battle between the Marines and Special Operations Command. At the end of the first half, the Marines led 24-1. The size and speed of the Marines proved to be too much and they kept up the pressure on SOCOM, winning the game 36-9.
The Air Force and SOCOM moved to the loser bracket of the competition and will play their second game on Sept. 30.
According to Willie Jackson, the coach of the Air Force wheelchair basketball team, his team didn’t play well against the Navy.
“It was the first game and (the team) kind of had the jitters,” Jackson said. “I have a bunch of new guys that haven’t been on the stage, and I think that was our problem. I don’t think they were ready for this big of a stage.”
For the next match against SOCOM, he said that he is looking for improved defensive play to help push them to the next round. The round-robin competition will continue until the gold medal game scheduled for Oct 3.