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2015 USABA National High School Goalball Championships Tournament Recap

Posted November 10, 2015  Goalball

Florida Cobras and Lakeshore Foundation Capture 2015 USABA National High School Goalball Championships

By: James Crozier, Special Contributor

Sixteen teams were on hand for the 2015 USABA National High School Goalball Championships, hosted by the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) in St. Augustine, Florida for the 22nd year.  The tournament proved to be action-packed as teams competed with passion for the opportunity to claim a spot in the medal rounds.

Upon completion of pool play and quarter-final action on the girls’ side, the final four teams (Arizona Sentinels, FSDB Cobras, Texas Wildcats, and Washington Lionesses) competed for medal positions in the semi-finals.  In the first semi-final, the Arizona Sentinels faced off against Washington.  The Washington Lionesses relied on their excellent defense and some timely scoring to win, 7-2, and advanced to the championship game.  In the next semi-final match, the Florida Cobras and Texas Wildcats played in a rematch of pool play action, which would result in the winner taking the other spot in the title game.  The girls from Florida played solid defense and attacked the scoring zones with frequency to win, 11-2, and advanced to the finals.

In the bronze medal game, the Arizona Sentinels took on the girls from Texas.  After a tight defensive battle in the first half, the Texas Wildcats would find some gaps in the Arizona defense later in the game and go on to win, 4-1, claiming the bronze medal.  The gold medal game featured host team Florida against medal-round newcomer, Washington Lionesses.  After an early Washington 1-0 lead, Florida fought to take the lead at 2-1.  Florida began to pull away midway through the second half, and would go on to win 7-3, capturing the 2015 National Championship and gold medal position, sending the Lionesses to a silver medal finish.

After quarter-final action on the boys’ side of the draw, the final four teams  (Lakeshore Foundation, Georgia Panthers, Texas Wildcats, and Arizona Sentinels) would face off to decide medal positions.  In the first semi-final, Lakeshore Foundation would look to secure a spot in the championship game for the third year in a row against the Arizona Sentinels.  Lakeshore Foundation played outstanding defense and demonstrated offensive prowess in their first semi-final win, 11-1. Lakeshore advanced to the title game. In the second semi-final game, it was the Georgia Academy Panthers facing the Texas Wildcats.  Similar to the first semi-final, the Texas Wildcats would play suffocating defense, frustrating Georgia into mistakes, winning 11-1, and claiming a spot in the title game.

The bronze medal game was a back and forth offensive contest where the Arizona Sentinels outscored the Georgia Panthers 18-11 to claim bronze.  In the championship game, Lakeshore Foundation would look to defend their 2014 title against the Texas Wildcats for the gold medal and 2015 National Championship.  After a tight defensive battle for much of the game and finding themselves tied up at 2-2 late in the second half, the Lakeshore Foundation’s championship experience would prove to be the determining factor. Lakeshore won the closest contest in a medal round, 5-3, to win the gold medal and 2015 National Championship, and the Texas Wildcats claimed the silver.

During the post-tournament awards presentation, several student-athletes and teams were recognized:

Team Sportsmanship

Girls –  Utah Rage
Boys –  Washington Lions

High School All-Americans

Girls – Ashley Centimole – Florida
Demetria Ober – Texas
Oryan Fitim – Washington
Aaliyah Gisondi – Florida
Ella Donaghey – Washington
Vanessa Coleman (MVP) – Florida

Boys – Parker Stewart – Lakeshore Foundation
DeAngelo Willis – Georgia Academy
Davion Perez – Texas
Jordan Main – Texas
Armando Cruz – Arizona
Josh Welborn (MVP) – Lakeshore Foundation

Final Girls Placement:

1st – Florida Cobras
2nd – Washington Lionesses
3rd – Texas Wildcats
4th – Arizona Sentinels
5th – Georgia Panthers
6th – Utah Rage
7th – New York Stars
8th – South Carolina Hornets

Final Boys Placement:

1st – Lakeshore Foundation
2nd – Texas Wildcats
3rd – Arizona Sentinels
4th – Georgia Panthers
5th – Washington Lions
6th – Utah Havoc
7th – Florida Cobras
8th – South Carolina Hornets