TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The Alabama women’s wheelchair basketball team ended their 2016 season with a 79-31 win over the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater. The Tide finished third in the National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament that took place from March 9-March 12 in Edinboro, Pa.
“Our ladies brought a lot of positive energy which fed a good level of intensity and composure. We were really happy to end our season on a high note, playing the game we love, together,” said assistant coach, Adam Kramer.
The Tide lost the first game of the tournament against the University of Texas at Arlington, 68-45. The Alabama women struggled against the Movin’ Mavs all season and despite only a few points difference each game, the Tide could not defeat the Mavericks.
The Alabama Tide started the 2015-2016 season fresh off a national championship and without some of their key players – Cobi Crispin, Karolina Lingyte, Laurie Williams and Cindy Quellet. The 2016 women’s team was a new group of women that did not have the time and chemistry that the 2015 national championship team had.
“Last year’s team was a very experienced group who had been playing together for several years. We are a young team and with each tournament and game we are playing better and learning from our mistakes,” said Coach Elisha Williams about the difference between last year’s team and this year’s team.
Although the Tide lost many important players, they also gained valuable team players like Arinn “Juice” Young, the top scorer for the Tide this season, and also Darda Sales, one of the team’s most aggressive defenders.
The Tide ends the season with a 10-14 overall record and a 5-12 conference record. The Alabama women will continue to prepare for the 2016-2017 season with many of the players competing for a spot at the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro this summer.
The University of Alabama has one of the strongest adapted programs in the nation – more than 20 current and former players and coaches are expected to participate in this year’s games.