Engraved into a concrete wall, it says "2017 USQRA Wheelchair Rugby National Champions." Presented by VMI. Phoenix, Arizona. April 20-22. Ability360 Sports and Fitness Center. Event Recap. A Rugby ball sits behind a players gloves.

2017 Wheelchair Rugby National Championships

Home team 360Heat Grabs Third National Title in 4 Years

By Steve Carr

The 360Heat captured the 2017 United States Quad Rugby Association National Championship (Division 1), at the Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center, Saturday.

“As a former player, I cannot express how thrilled I am that the Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center hosted the USQRA national championship tournament,” President & CEO of Ability360, Phil Pangrazio said. “I have been waiting for this.”

360Heat player-coach and five time national title winner, Scott Hogsett credits the crowd for getting them the title.


2017 Duel in the Desert

“We had a great crowd in the building and the fans really got us through it,” Hogsett said. “I’ve never seen the court so full and I’ve got to say that Ability360 really made this tournament special.”

The unbeaten 360Heat overcame a sluggish start and a neck-and-neck battle with the Minnesota Steelheads in the championship game. The 55-51 victory over the team from Golden Valley, MN secured 360Heat their third national title in the last four years.

The 360 Heat’s perfect 5-0 tournament record completed their unblemished 32-0 record for the 2017 season.

“We have a lot of good, dedicated players on our team,” said 360Heat player-coach and five time national title winner, Scott Hogsett. “Their commitment is proven in the way they train. We practice three days a week during the season and they show up, work hard and know what they’re doing.”

The 360Heat and Minnesota Steelheads gave the capacity crowd all it could have hoped for in what was arguably the best game of the tournament. Through most of the first three quarters no more than two points separated the two teams.

“We were close to blowing it open several times, but we couldn’t get it done,” Hogsett said. “But we stuck to our game plan and managed the clock at the end of the third quarter to give us the last goal and we had possession of the ball going into the fourth.”

With 14 seconds left on the game clock, 8 seconds on the shot clock and the score tied at 40, Hogsett called a time out, resetting the shot clock to 14 seconds. The extra time allowed veteran Joe Delagrave to score on a pass from Jim Roberts with 2 seconds remaining in the third quarter. 360Heat had a 41-40 lead entering the final quarter of play.

The Roberts-to-Delagrave combination tallied again, scoring the first goal of the fourth quarter. Minnesota followed up with a score of its own but 360Heat’s Roberts and Delagrave teamed up again to grow their team’s lead to two points.

Despite Minnesota keeping the deficit to one or two points, timely defensive plays by the 360Heat put the game out of reach. With the scoreboard showing a 49-47 advantage for the 360Heat, Roberts prevented a Minnesota goal at the goal line, leading to a Heat goal from Ernie Chunn. Chunn’s goal was followed by a Delagrave steal-and-score increasing the Heat’s lead to 51-47. A lead the team never relinquished.

“The hardest thing to do is to win a game you’re supposed to win,” Hogsett said. “But we’ve got a great system and really smart players and when it comes to a championship game, training and conditioning are the key.”

After the game, Hogsett told the team he would spend more time coaching and less playing next season, moving Joe Jackson into the starting lineup.

Jackson, Delagrave and Chunn will head for Japan in May as part of the USA National Team while the rest of the 360Heat players are off until October, the start of next season.

Division II

The Lakeshore Demolition of Birmingham, Alabama capped their 5-0 tournament record with the Division II National Championship. The Demolition steamed pasted the Portland Pounders in the Division II championship game with a 54-46 victory.

Both teams will look to repeat at next year’s tournament.


Game Schedule and Results Below

Thursday, April 20
  • Time
    8:00 am

  • West Court
    Lakeshore vs. Tampa
    51 – 42
  • East Court
    St. Louis vs. Grand Rapids
    54 – 44
  • 9:30 am

  • Portland vs. Northridge
    58 – 38
  • Brooks vs. TIRR
    49 – 50
  • 11:00 am

  • St. Louis vs. Tampa
    47 – 43
  • Lakeshore vs. Grand Rapids
    60 – 51
  • 12:30 pm

  • Brooks vs. Northridge
    64 – 48
  • Portland vs. TIRR
    63 – 45
  • 2:00 pm

  • MedStar vs. U of A
    52 – 47
  • 360 Heat vs. Sharp
    56 – 27
  • 3:30 pm

  • Minnesota vs. Texas
    59 – 41
  • Shepherd vs. Seattle
    61 – 53
  • 5:00 pm

  • MedStar vs. Sharp
    56 – 45
  • 360 Heat vs. U of A
    59 – 29
  • 6:30 pm

  • Minnesota vs Seattle
    54 – 31
  • Shepherd vs Texas
    47 – 54

Friday, April 21
  • Time
    8:00am

  • West Court
    Portland vs Brooks
    56 – 50
  • East Court
    TIRR vs. Northridge
    51 – 39
  • 9:30 am

  • Lakeshore vs St. Louis
    44 – 38
  • Grand Rapids vs. Tampa
    60 – 43
  • 11:00 am

  • U of A vs Sharp
    55 – 53
  • 360 Heat vs. MedStar
    71 – 40
  • 12:30 pm

  • Minnesota vs Shepherd
    66 – 49
  • Seattle vs Texas
    44 – 64
  • 2:00 pm

  • 3rd Pool A vs. 4th Pool B
    Grand Rapids vs. Northridge
    57 – 42
  • 1st Pool B vs 2nd Pool A
    Portland vs. St. Louis
    53 – 46
  • 3:30 pm

  • 4th Pool A vs. 3rd Pool B
    Tampa vs. Brooks
    38 – 52
  • 1st Pool A vs 2nd Pool B
    Lakeshore vs. TIRR
    43 – 37
  • 5:00 pm

  • 3rd Pool A vs. 4th Pool B
    U of A vs. Seattle
    62 – 44
  • 1st Pool B vs 2nd Pool A
    Minnesota vs. MedStar
    55 – 46
  • 6:30 pm

  • 4th Pool A vs 3rd Pool B
    Sharp vs. Shepherd
    54 – 47
  • 1st Pool A vs 2nd Pool B
    360Heat vs. Texas
    66 – 36

Saturday, April 22
  • Time
    8:00am

  • West Court
    D1 5th/6th Game
    U of A vs. Sharp
    50 – 39
  • East Court
    D1 7th/8th Game
    Seattle vs. Shepherd
    44 – 58
  • 9:30 am

  • D2 7th/8th Game
    Northridge vs. Tampa
    33 – 51
  • D1 3rd/4th Game
    Medstar vs. Texas
    67 – 53
  • 11:00 am

  • D2 5th/6th Game
    Brooks vs. Grand Rapids
    49 – 50
  • D2 3rd/4th Game
    St. Louis vs. TIRR
    50 – 46
  • 1:00 pm

  • OPEN COURT
  • D2 Championship Game
    Lakeshore vs. Portland
    54 – 46
  • 3:00 pm

  • OPEN COURT
  • D1 Championship Game
    360Heat vs. Minnesota
    55 – 51
  • 4:30 pm

  • Awards Presentation/Reception
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