Monday, December 15, 2008

Wolverines Lose One, Win One At Fork Union Tournament

The Bridgton Academy Wolverines Basketball team traveled down to Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia this past weekend for the annual Fork Union Basketball Tournament. The team played two games, losing to Fork Union, and beating NEPSAC opponent New Hampton.

On Friday night Bridgton took on tournament host Fork Union, a game which was tightly contested throughout, however the Wolverines came up short suffering their second loss of the season 70-59. It was a two point game with 2 minutes remaining but the Wolverines were never able to grab the lead from that point forward.

When asked for his thoughts on the game, Bridgton Head Coach Whit Lesure had this to say, "We've been going pretty god, but we were a bit complacent tonight. We got outplayed and outcoached, outcoached in the sense that their execution of transition, defensive, and offensive play was a direct result of the way they practice everyday. I have a ton of respect for that guy (FUMA Head Coach Fletcher Arritt). We need to get better."

Justin Rake (Mandeville, LA) led the Wolverines offense scoring a team high 10 points.

Less then 24 hours later the Wolverines found themselves back in action hoping to come away from the trip 1-1 after suffering a tough loss the night before. Bridgton was able to open up a 33-24 halftime lead on the strength of some strong defensive play before going on to defeat New Hampton Prep by a final score of 72-71. The final minutes saw the Wolverines make some big plays, Justin Rake was able to steal an inbounds pass and convert on the offensive end moments before Dwayne Smith hit a big 3-pointer that ultimately gave Bridgton Academy the lead for good.

Head Coach Whit Lesure had this to say after the game, "To beat New Hampton in Virginia is an accomplishment. They have a long history of playing especially well in this tournament. I give Rake and Smith full marks for having the courage to make the game changing plays at the end. And I give all our guys credit for not allowing last nights outcome to interfere with tonight's game."

Malik Stith (Long Island, NY) led three Wolverines in double figures versus New Hampton scoring 15 points, followed by Dwayne Smith (Toronto, Ontario) with 13, and Chad July (Gainesville, FL)10.

When asked for some thoughts on the weekends games Chad July responded by saying,
"I think we played hard both games, we never gave up at any point. We rebounded the ball pretty well, we finished strong, and most importantly we had some guys step up and make some big plays when we needed them most, especially in the final minutes of the New Hampton game."

Teammate Justin Rake added, "We lost to a team we could have beaten on Friday (FUMA), they just played better then we did. But we were able to come back and get a big win which I think is a sign of a good team, being able to find ways to win even when things aren't going great. Overall it was a good weekend for us, but we know we have some work to do to be great."

The Wolverines will return to action this weekend when they travel up to Montreal, Canada for the Sun Youth Tournament starting Friday, December 19th.

#24 Justin Rake lets it fly from long range.

#1 Carl Blair (Katy, TX) looks to turn the corner.

#3 Malik Stith setting up the offense.

#00 Dwayne Smith goes up for the dunk.

#32 Kauri Black (Rialto, CA) driving around a New Hampton defender.

#4 Jamal Crook (Louisville, KY) pulls things back at the top of the key.

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