Auburn, Ala. - The Lee County Special Olympics basketball team captured the gold medal at the state tournament in Montgomery on Friday, March 8. The athletes defeated the team from the Helen Keller School of Alabama by a score of 36 - 24 to take home the top prize for the second year in a row.
The 2013 Alabama Sate Special Olympics Basketball Gold Medal winners include: (*indicates member of 2012 Gold Medal Team as well)
Back Row (L - R): Coach Kasey Kaschak, Justin Murphy, Gideon Weigel*, Donald Lee*, Jeffery Barnes, and Coach Daniel Hiestand
Middle Row (L - R): Wiley Crowell*, Elijah "Bo" Dunn*, Ben Crowell*, Richard Haynes*, Ann Finlen*, and Coach Gwen Janigan*
Front Row (L - R): Chris McPherson, Brooke Owens, Cari Autrey, and Britani Owens
Highlights from this year's quest for the championship include multiple three-point shots by Chris McPherson, Ben Crowell, Justin Murphy, and Gideon Weigel throughout tournament play. Top scorers (in order of points scored) include Gideon Weigel, Justin Murphy, Chris McPherson, and Donald Lee. Lee County players totaled six steals during the championship game, including two each by Donald Lee and Gideon Weigel and one each by Chris McPherson and Ann Finlen.
Lee County Special Olympics offers practices and competitions for athletes in basketball, bowling, flag football, golf, powerlifting, swimming, track & field, and volleyball. Currently, athletes are preparing for the Lee County Special Olympics Bowling Tournament on Friday, March 15 at Auburn Lanes, the Special Olympics Sectional Aqutics Meet on Friday, March 22 at the Opelika SportsPLEX, and the Lee County Regional Track and Field Meet on Wednesday, April 17 at Smiths Station High School. Area and regional competitions culminate with the State of Alabama Special Olympics Games at Troy University May 17 - 19.
For more information on Lee County Special Olympics, visit www.auburnalabama.org/specialolympics or contact Alison Hall or Dana Stewart, Lee County Special Olympics Co-Directors, at 501-2930.