By Ronald Wolf
Warrior Transition Command
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. – The young Army team fought hard in the opening game of wheelchair basketball at the 2015 DoD Warrior Games but fell to the Navy team 23-17. The competition at Marine Corps Base Quantico was held on June 20.
Top scorers for the Army Team were Veteran Spc. Dustin Barr, Jamesville, North Carolina, with six points and Sgt. Blake Johnson, Bethesda, Maryland, with five points.
Head coach Rod Williams told the team afterward that they did a good job but needed to function more as a unit in succeeding games. Focus on rebounding and defense, he said.
The Navy made a number of easy open shots in the paint as the Army team was slow to react on defense, which turned out to be the difference in the game.
Veteran Staff Sgt. Alexander Shaw, Clarksville, Tennessee, scored the first basket, and the Navy team responded and held a small lead for much of the game.
Saturday’s games are seeding games for the final tournament. The Army team plays five times on Saturday. Top seeded teams, determined by Saturday’s play, receive a first-round bye in the final tournament and have an easier path to the championship game.
The 2015 DoD Warrior Games, June 19-28, is an adaptive sports competition for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans. Approximately 250 athletes, representing teams from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Special Operations Command, and the British Armed Forces are competing in archery, cycling, track and field, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, and wheelchair basketball.