Wednesday's championship game of the 37th annual Wheelchair Classic at L.I.U. in Brooklyn, NY was between the defending champion Manhattan Team and the team with the most wins in the tournament, Brooklyn.
In a game that was all about runs, the host team from the borough of Kings would add to their titles with a 73-67 win.
Mike Taylor (15 points) kicked things off for Brooklyn with a jumper that was all net but Manhattan's Sidiki Johnson (4 points) would show that big men have jumpers too, responding from the right of the key.
Johnson assertiveness would spark the Manhattan team who would in turn lead throughout most of the quarter but a basket by David Coley (13 points) and an assist to teammate Tymell Murphy (4 points) would move Brooklyn out in front 11-7 with 3:57 left in the first quarter. Leroy Isler (2 points) would chime in with a bank shot and Manhattan would be down by 6 points. Shane Southwell (9 points) would end the Brooklyn team's 9-0 with 2:03 remaining and a 3-ball from Rice's Jack Middleton (5 points) plus a buzzer beater by Wadleigh's Karim Rowson (12 points) would give the lead back to Manhattan, 18-15.
ENY Transit Tech's Deylon Bovell (12 points)scored twice and Brooklyn took the lead, 19-18 and ignited a 9-0 propelled by Murphy and Coley. 50th St. Campuses junior, Yunus Hopkinson (9 points) would swish a perimeter shot with 3:19 left in the half but Manhattan was still down 24-20. Austin would extend Brooklyn's lead to 6 points but Hopkinson would finally tie the game at 26 with 2 minutes remaining. Both teams battled to take the lead going into the third quarter but Marlon Cort (9 points) would score as time ran out giving Brooklyn a 30-28 advantage.
Bovell and Coley played well in the third quarter, improving Brooklyn lead to 40-30 midway through the quarter. Manhattan College bound Rhamel Brown (4 points) would then score inside, increasing Brooklyn lead 12 points. The Manhattan team was resilient and a perimeter shot by Southwell reduced Brooklyn's lead to 52-44 going in the final quarter.
Rowson stepped up big for Manhattan cutting their deficit to 5 points with 3:56 left in regulation. The defensive intensity picked up as both team could see the finish line. Wadleigh's David Burgos (7 points) began to penetrate and draw fouls and with 1:57 on the clock, the Brooklyn team's lead was only 3 points. A quick steal and a bucket by Rowson and the score was 65-64 with 1:49.
Brooklyn would awake up as if they had been knocked out and woke up in a free fall. Taylor would hit key baskets and Coley would counter another perimeter shot by Southwell. With Brooklyn still ahead 70-67 with 57 seconds, Coley would draw a foul and go 1for 2 from the line. Taylor would snag the offensive rebound and Dovell would close the show with a bucket as time ran out. ------
In the consolation game, the Bronx team defeated the Queens team as Kareem Thomas scored a 3-ball as time ran out in regulation. Tied at 68, Jeffrey Short's 28 points would lead the Bronx team in OT to a 73-68 win.
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