News & Events

The Grand Rapids Thunder 1st Annual Thunderfest Tournament

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The Grand Rapids Thunder hosted their first annual Thunderfest Tournament in Hudsonville, Michigan February 18-19th 2012. With an overwhelming attendance from family and volunteers the bleachers were full of first time watchers and loud cheers when the Thunder was on the court. Teams present were the Michigan Storm, Indy Brawlers B, Ohio Buckeye Blitz and the Grand Rapids Thunder.

The day started off with Storm vs. Thunder in front of over 150 spectators that started the day off with a boom. Storm is the team that initially got the Thunder athletes in their chairs pushing, practicing and competing in tournaments last year. So this friendly rivalry was full of big hits and goals with handshakes and exchanging smiles. The storm pulled away with a 56-34 win. The Thunder Team wants to thank the Storm for everything they have done for us in the past 2 years. The second game was Indy B vs. Ohio which was interesting for the spectators considering watching other teams make the trip up to Michigan to compete. Indy's players Kevin Crombie and James Ezell led this tight match to win over Ohio 45-44. Brett Harbage was a big asset to Ohio and their other high pointers. With a great lunch served from the various volunteers from the local high school, Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University Occupational Therapy program everyone including the spectators were full. After a quick pick up game the Storm took the court vs. Ohio. The speed of Eric Chase, Dave Mengyen and Andy Zimmer quickly put Ohio away for a 58-35 win. With the last game of the day Thunder vs. Indy the Thunder Captains, Colin Sullivan and Amber Marcy tried to pull the team together to get a home court win. With the well played line up from Indy the Thunder couldn't pull it off for the 56-33 loss but had their eyes set on Ohio for the next morning.

Sunday morning started off with a goal in mind for Thunder to get a win for themselves and their fans. Gabe Grant, Colin Sulliven and Emily Blauw from Thunder played a terrific game with several goals and turnovers which brought their deficit back to single points in 4th quarter. The team pulled together after a great pep talk and moved their momentum to overall out score the Blitz in the 4th but couldn't pull it off for a 50-43 loss. With the Storm losing a key player Dave Mengyen they were forced to run a 4.5 line up against Indy's mid-point team. The Storm played intensively but couldn't match the ball handlers Indy brought. With this miss match the Storm put up a good fight but they still trailed by several points at each half. In the 4th quarter Chase caused 4+ turn overs with goals to put the Storm up. But in the remaining seconds the miss match line pulled in to Indy's favor and came out with a win 47-45.

The weekend was full of fun and the Thunder wants to thank all the teams who came and the fans for supporting everyone. We also want to thank the Grand Rapids Wheelchair Sports Association for their support of Thunder. But mostly we want to thank the sponsors; they helped fund this event and made it possible to provide everything we needed and more.

Thank You,

Team Manager
Bri Ferguson

February 27, 2012 — 8:49am