Wheelchair basketball finishes regular season

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, March 4th, 2020 at 11:03 PM

The Edinboro University wheelchair basketball team played their last home games over the weekend. 

The team went 0-4, first facing off against the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. 

Wisconsin got on the board first, 4-0, before Josiah Knight scored for ‘Boro. Fighting Scot Stephanie Glatch then followed another Wisconsin basket. Chayse Wolf put up the next 11 points for EU, while Will Speed then added two from the line. Despite the strong efforts, Wisconsin led at the half, 32-19. 

“I thought the first half of our first game was some of the best basketball we’ve played this season,” said Head Coach Jim Glatch. “I was very proud of the guys. They just missed some shots; it was a close first half. The second half they kind of fell apart.”

As Glatch mentioned, the second half was rough for the Scots. The team scored only 10 points in the second, while Wisconsin added 35. 

Next was the University of Illinois. The opponents would go up 12-0 before Stephanie Glatch got on the board for ‘Boro. The Fighting Illini continued their scoring in the first half while the Scots remained cold, falling behind 39-12. 

The scoring continued at that pace in the second. Illinois won 74-20. 

In the loss, Edinboro faced a high-pressure defense that often made any movement past halfcourt a battle. The Scots’ defense then faced a powerful combination of Noah Hotchkiss and Thomas Duffy, the two combining for 32 points. Even when ‘Boro shut the two down, Illinois found a way to the basket. 

“Normally it doesn’t affect us. We’ve been pressed all year,” said Jim Glatch on the defense they faced. He then explained that Speed was sick for the games that day. 

Speed elaborated on the difficulties. “I wasn’t even present for the first 10 minutes of the game. Sadly you could see that reflection on the court...It’s just because I offer a lot of leadership on the court...When you lose a leader, you’re looking for someone else to step forward, and I don’t think those guys were prepared for that at that moment in time.” 

Edinboro started the next day against Missouri. While the Scots scored first, Missouri soon jumped out to a lead they’d keep the rest of the game. 

‘Boro was able to keep the score close, staying within four for most of the first half. Missouri eventually pulled out to a larger lead, 23-10 ,with less than two minutes left. Wolf added five points to close the half at 25-15. 

Knight started the scoring in the second, but ‘Boro stalled out and Missouri jumped out to a 23-point cushion. The Scots worked to bring the deficit down (it would get to 15), but it wouldn’t be enough. The game ended at 66-45.

The Scots ended their regular season playing the Illini, facing them for the second time that weekend. This game was also the last home contest for seniors Wolf and Speed, who were honored at halftime. The two talked about their memorable moments with The Spectator. 

“We played the No. 3 seed (Illinois) and should have won the game, but it ended up going into overtime, and we lost it there. It is one that I still look back on and wish that I could have it back, because I know that we were the better team,” said Wolf. 

“We recruited some really good talent. For three or four years, we had a really good run where we were competing with the top spots in the nation. That was really fun [and] it was fun to be with those guys and be really competitive in the league,” said Speed. 

In the last game, Illinois pulled out to a 6-0 lead, while the team of Duffy and Hotchkiss took the half to 36-24. 

Duffy scored early on in the second and Stephanie Glatch responded. The Scots offense struggled against Illinois in the second more than they had previously in the tournament, adding only nine points in the half. The Illini took the game, 63-33. 

“I think that the team played with a lot of heart. It was awesome to be able to play in front of a home crowd, and I think that helped fuel us when we were playing well,” said Wolf.

“Unfortunately, it has just been a tough season with the number of players we have and lack of size compared to the other teams in the league, but I’m proud of the progress that we have made as a team up to this point.” 

The Scots are headed to the national tournament on March 19. 

“I’m really excited about it, the team is really excited...the team is excited to be able to put together everything we’ve worked hard for this year, to put it all together in one good 40-minute game, one continuous flow of successful opportunities after another,” said Speed. 

Speed and Wolf are in the running to be All-American. 

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