Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wolverines Down Huskies 71-51, Open Up NEPSAC Play With A Win

After a pair of successful scrimmages last week against Lee Academy Prep and the "Class Acts" (ME) the Bridgton Academy Wolverines kicked off their 2008-09 NEPSAC home opener with a hard fought 71-51 victory over visiting Maine Central Institute Wednesday night at the Wolverdome.

MCI jumped out to an early lead in the opening minutes of the game, but the Wolverines quickly erased it and began to build a lead of their own, relying primarily on their intense defensive pressure to do so. That defensive pressure enabled the Wolverines to force 26 turnovers, including 19 in the first half, resulting in some easy transition opportunities that saw Bridgton Academy ultimately take a 43-26 lead heading into halftime. Carl Blair (Katy, TX) led the Wolverines offensively scoring 13 of his game high 19 points in the first half, drawing praise from Wolverines Head Coach Whit Lesure: "We have a number of guys who can step it up for us on any given night and lead our team, tonight I think Carl gave us a big boost, particularly in the first half, both offensively and defensively."

The second half proved to be a good challenge early in the season for the Wolverines in working to protect a lead, a challenge they were able to rise up for as they maintained a double digit lead throughout the entire second half. Bridgton Academy point guard Malik Stith (Mathews, NC) was quick to point to his team's unselfishness and work ethic as reasons to why the Wolverines were so successful tonight: "We've got so many unselfish guys on the team that our offense will come naturally, we work hard on our defense everyday in practice and we know that our hard work in practice will transcend into our games and we'll be able to use our defense to create a lot of offensive opportunities for us like we did tonight."

That unselfishness led to a very balanced scoring attack from the Wolverines with Blair's 19 points leading a quartet of players in double figures, as Malik Stith followed with 14 points, Dwayne Smith (Toronto, Ontario) 13, and Kauri Black(Rialto, CA) 11.

When asked about some final thoughts on his teams NEPSAC opener Coach Lesure had this to say: "I think we gave a strong defensive effort tonight, and we were able to avoid any major breakdowns, plus it's always a good feeling when you can win at home."

The Wolverines will look to experience that same feeling again this Sunday, November 16th at 1 p.m. when they play host to Edison Prep (NJ) right here at the Wolverdome.

Jamal Crook (Louisville, KY) takes a jumpshot.

Carl Blair (Katy, TX) penetrates into the lane.

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