News & Events

1st Annual Rhino Rumble

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By: Dilshani Madawala

1st Annual Rhino Rumble Wheelchair Rugby Tournament The Adaptive Sports Program of Ohio (ASPO) hosted their 1st Annual Rhino Rumble Wheelchair Rugby Tournament in Kent, Ohio on January 9th and 10th, 2016. I need to thank Kent State University Recreation center for accommodating all the needs and providing the facility for the weekend. A big thank you to all the sponsors and volunteers who came out we couldn’t have done it without you. Joe Bonjiovanni served as the head referee, he did a great job getting referees to Kent and ran a smooth operation all weekend.

The tournament had six teams that included the two Ohio teams, Akron Rhinos and Columbus Blitz, then Grand Rapids Thunder, WNY Wreckers, Maryland Mayhem and the At- Large team rounded out the field.

Saturday’s action started with #1 seed Grand Rapids Thunder beating up on #3 seed Maryland Mayhem in game one, #2 seed Columbus Blitz took down the WNY Wreckers 56-34. The home team the Akron Rhinos had no problem winning their first game for the day against the At-Large team. The #1 seed Thunder took on the #2 seed the Columbus Blitz in the next game and was able to retain their spot as #1.

The Akron Rhinos took on the Mayhems next and was able to beat them 49-37. Wreckers and Mayhem played each other with the Mayhem’s dominating the game until the end. The last game of the day was between the #1 seed team Thunder taking on the hosting team the Rhinos which ended with a 57-40 score with the Thunder remaining unbeaten.

Day two cross over games started with the Blitz taking down the Mayhem’s 54-36 and the Rhinos handling their business against the Wreckers 63-32. The battle against the two Ohio teams was next with the Ohio Blitz taking on the hosting team the Akron Rhinos.

The Rhinos was ahead by 1 point at the end of the first quarter and continued to be the dominating team at the end of the second quarter as well. It was one of those games which kept all the spectators on the edge of their seats. It seemed like the Rhinos took advantage of their break at half time as the 3rd quarter ended with a score of 36-32 with the hosting team still in the lead. The final quarter started with a small change in the line up from the Rhinos which might have hurt them as the Blitz took advantage of by scoring 8 points consecutively. The teams were battling it out for 2nd and 3rd place. The Rhinos did their best to regain the points back but the Blitz kept them down and won the game with a score of 50-37.

However both Ohio teams were able to bring home the 2nd and 3rd place trophies. Grand Rapids took home the title at the 1st Annual Rhino Rumble. Congrats to Thunder, great job guys!

The final standings looked like this,

1. Grand Rapids Thunder
2. Columbus Blitz
3. Akron Rhinos
4. Maryland Mayhem
5. WNY Wreckers
6. At-Large

All- Tournament Team was led by

MVP, Lars Mertens (Thunder)
Best Higher-Pointer was Craigs Mills (Wreckers)
Best Mid-Pointer, Daniel Pitaluga (Blitz)
Best Low-Pointer Nick Long (Thunder)

Once again it was a great tournament with some great rugby in the Heartland, thanks again to all the players, referees and especially to the volunteers that made this tournament a success.

February 24, 2016 — 2:09am