Maryland Ravens hope to roll into final four Wheelchair team plays top seed in regional today

March 22, 1997|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,SUN STAFF

Their name has changed, but their game hasn't. It's still wheelchair basketball.

In deference to the NFL's Ravens, the wheelchair Ravens have Maryland before their nickname now, not Baltimore. But just as they have since their beginning in 1970, the Ravens play good wheelchair basketball.

Spurred by their first-round upset of the Charlotte Hornets, the Ravens will play the top-seeded Lakeshore Pioneers of Birmingham, Ala., in the round of 16 of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association's Southern Regional today in Nashville, Tenn.

If they oust Lakeshore, the Ravens will meet the winner of the Orlando Magic Wheels vs. Austin, (Texas) Wreckers game tomorrow for the right to advance to the final four April 4-6 in Birmingham.

"I'm very optimistic," said coach Mike Naugle, a program coordinator for the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks, noting that the Ravens lost in the first round of last season's tournament. "I feel we're quite competitive with the teams we'll face and that we'll make it to the final four."

The Ravens' key players are Keith Lewis, a construction company owner who scored 17 points in the overtime win against Charlotte, and Craig Cook, a double amputee who is a computer technician with the Social Security Administration.

"Craig is our point guard," Naugle said. "He's been playing since the late 1970s, and our success hinges on him."

Pub Date: 3/22/97

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