The University of Alabama Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team opened their season in Atlanta this weekend. The team traveled to the Shepherd Center, for their annual Shepherd Shootout Invitational Tournament. This tournament created a unique opportunity for the women to get competitive games, competing against high level men’s teams from across the southeastern United States.
On Friday, the ladies opened up with a great game against the home team, Shepherd Stealers. Alabama came out ready for the challenge and played in a very physical match. Some of their early season jitters were apparent in the game, but got ironed out as the game progressed thanks to the team’s experience level. The Crimson Tide played Shepherd extremely closely throughout the game, winning the fourth quarter, to end with a respectable eight point loss.
After a good night’s rest, the women were matched up against Charlottesville for their first of two games on Saturday. Alabama came out on fire, scoring 25 points and only conceding 8 in the first quarter. As the game went on, Alabama remained in control, going on as much as a 12-0 run. With such a good showing, it was possible to get everyone some quality minutes. Alabama was able to cruise to a twenty-one point victory, 63-42.
The third game of the Shepherd Shootout paired Alabama against another worthy opponent with a short turnaround time. This game brought on the unique challenge of the Memphis Rollin’ Grizzlies, a team that mixed experience with youth, as well as a good deal of size and speed. After a closely contested first half, Alabama trailed by four going into half time. In the second half, the ladies fought through some injuries and foul trouble. Ultimately, the team’s depth and resolve shone through. They took the lead in the third, overcame the tribulations, and never trailed again in the game. A never surrender attitude allowed the team to come away with an eight point victory.
After three tough games in just under twenty-four hours, the Crimson Tide finished the weekend with two wins and a single loss. The team gained a great deal of valuable experience and looks forward to taking that into their collegiate opener next weekend in Texas, which will also feature a match up against the Great Britain Women’s National Team. Roll Tide!