Thursday, December 10, 2009

BA Runs Out of Time Against MCI

The Bridgton Academy come back attempt fell just short as the Wolverines looked to over come an 18 point second half deficit. Taking on MCI in the last game before the Holiday Break the Wolverines found themselves trailing most of the night. Bridgton's effort fell just short as they lost to the Huskies 74-72.

After two quick baskets by BA, MCI responded with a 23-6 run to see their first half lead balloon to 13 points with 6:37 to play in the half. Dashaun Wiggins (Bronx, NY) kept the hosts within striking distance as he scored seven straight points to cut the lead to 30-22 at the half.

#23 Chance Jones gets to the rim against MCI

In the second half Bridgton was able to trim the lead in half with 13:53 remaining, just to see MCI expand it to 18 points, 60-42 with 6:24 remaining. The Wolverines used an 11-1 run to bring the lead to single digits. With under one minute remaining it was a two possession game. An offensive rebound put back and chance for a three point play by Ruben Kanya (Hamilton, Ontario)
brought the Wolverines within three, 69-66, with 40.1 seconds remaining. The foul shot was not converted and MCI came away with the rebound. Two late three pointers by Chance Jones (Knoxville, TN) could not make up the difference as the Huskies knocked down their foul shots.

Coach Lesure, whose Wolverines shot just 15-30 from the foul line, said "We just ran out of time," he went on to give credit to the Huskies saying, "they are a good team, they are always well coached and did a good job building the lead." Speaking of his team Lesure said, "I'm very proud of us for sticking around and giving ourselves a chance to make a run at it."

#33 Paul Dick grabs a rebound against MCI

Starting guard Paul Dick (Belfast, Ireland) said after the game, "It (the game) was a struggle, we showed good character to get back into it, and if we get a couple calls it could have been different." Contributing his most minutes of the season Derek Mayo (Orlando, FL) commented, "We pulled together as a team without Alex (Harris), everyone stepped up and I think it will help us in the long run."

Dashaun Wiggins (Bronx, NY) led Bridgton with 25 points, Chance Jones (Knoxville, TN) scored 16 second half points and Paul Dick (Belfast, Ireland) added ten.

The home crowd in the Wolverdome helped BA claw their way back into the game, "Big props to the crowd, they didn't give us up for dead. They had a large part is us coming back," added Lesure.

The Wolverines who, "have done enough good things to take a break and return a better team," as Lesure puts it, enter the break at 2-3 in NEPSAC play and 4-5 overall. BA is back in action on Saturday, January 16th, 2010 as they travel to take on Notre Dame Prep.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Bridgton Drops Decision To Winchendon

Emotions were running high as Bridgton Academy took on the Winchendon School Sunday afternoon in North Bridgton. For the Wolverines it was their second home NEPSAC contest in as many days, and the Wapiti were looking to extend their six game winning streak. In a game of runs Winchendon was able to hold of Bridgton and earn a 69-62 victory.

Bridgton opened the game with a 9-2 run capped off by a three pointer from Ruben Kanya (Hamilton, Ontario) to jump out to the early lead. However, Winchendon responded by going on a 10-3 run of their own to even the score at 12-12 with 9:33 remaining in the half. In a half that Bridgton led for the majority of time, it was a deadlock at the half 32-32.

The start of the second half saw Winchendon get off to a hot start and take a 38-32 lead. Dashaun Wiggins (Bronx, NY) would cut the lead in half by converting on a three point play with 15:35 left to play.

Winchendon would not slow down as another run, this time 11-3, gave them their largest lead of the game at 43-35. Bridgton would fight its way back with a 6-0 run to close within two points, 47-45, with 7:52 remaining. The Wolverines would not be able to come any closer however, as Winchendon was able to extend the lead to double figures before late three pointers from the hosts closed the margin.

Chance Jones (Knoxvile, TN) led the way for Bridgton with 15 points, Wiggins ended with 12 and Alex Harris (Richmond, CA) got into double figures with 10.

Coach Lesure commenting on the game said, "As well as we played for large stretches throughout the game, we committed too many defensive errors. At the half we felt that we could improve on our execution and regain the lead; the effort was not the main issue. I won't say I'm happy losing, but our team has made progress despite the setback. MCI will provide a new challenge Wednesday."

Bridgton slips to 4-4 on the year, and 2-2 in NEPSAC play. The Wolverines close out the first semester by hosting instate rival MCI Wednesday, December 9th at 6:00 PM.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Wolverines Grind Out Win Over Worcester

The Bridgton Academy Wolverines opened up their home NEPSAC schedule Saturday afternoon with a hard fought 79-74 win over Worcester Academy. In what Head Coach Whit Lesure called, "Our most complete game so far," the Wolverines were able to get key contributions off the bench to hold off Worcester.

Bridgton benefited from 38 points off the bench, lead by Chance Jones (Knoxville, TN) who contributed a season high 21 points. "The hope is that every year you can build around a number of guys to make big contributions, and tonight Chance, Addison (Williams), and Goof [Justin Miller], (Agawam, MA) did that for us," added Lesure.

The first half was a back and forth battle in which no team had more than a five point lead. The Wolverines were able to take a slim 35-33 advantage into the half.

Bridgton used a 7-2 run, capped off by a three from Ruben Kanya (Hamilton, Ontario), to start the second half and take a 42-35 lead. Worcester would come back by knocking down consecutive three pointers, and come all the way back to take the lead with 13:35 remaining.

Worcester would hold off numerous BA flurries until Paul Dick (Belfast, Ireland) knocked down a shot from beyond the arc to put the Wolverines ahead 61-60 with 5:34 remaining. Worcester would get no closer as Bridgton converted their foul shots down the stretch to earn a 79-74 victory.

Alex Harris (Richmond, CA) and Dashaun Wiggins (Bronx, NY) each contributed 17 points. Addison Williams (Boulder, CO) put in a season high 12 points, after the game he stated, "It was a tight game so I wanted to be calm and get the offense going, while also stopping their point guard." Justin Miller, who gave key contributions off the bench said, "They were a very good team and executed well, so we had to continue to play our game and remain focused."

Bridgton will be in the Wolverdome tomorrow afternoon for another NEPSAC battle, against Winchendon School, scheduled for a 2:00 PM tip-off.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

BA DEFEATS ERNST ACADEMY 87-66

#1 Alex Harris blocks a shot against Ernst Academy on Wednesday

Bridgton Academy overcame a five point halftime deficit to overwhelm the visiting Ernst Academy (SC) 87-66 at the Wolverdome on Wednesday night. Five players scored in double figures for BA led by Dashaun Wiggins (Bronx, NY) with 19 points. Chance Jones (Knoxville, TN) (16), Paul Dick (Belfast, Ireland) (15), Alexander Harris (Richmond, CA) (12) and Ruben Kanya (Hamilton, Ontario) (10) contributed to the balanced attack. Once again all thirteen players saw action in the contest, but in the first half it looked like extended vacation rather than competitive basketball and the visitors were more than willing to take advantage of the complacency and lead 41-35 at the break.

#11 Ruben Kanya drives to the hoop on his way to helping BA down Ernst 87-66. Kanya finished with 10 points.

The home team wasted little time turning the game around in their favor building a double figure lead within the first ten minutes of the second half. Coach Lesure relayed his halftime comments afterwards..."I expressed my belief that we are a better team than the way we played for the first twenty minutes"..."In the second half we demonstrated the ability to leave some bad play behind us, but give Ernst credit for their smart play to open the game", Lesure added. The victory evens the Wolverine record at 3-3 on the young season. Bridgton Academy host a pair of NEPSAC league games over the coming weekend with Worcester Academy coming to North Bridgton on Saturday followed by the Winchendon School on Sunday afternoon. Coach Lesure was pointing to the games in his closing comments Wednesday night. "These are two good clubs coming in here...It will be a test for us.".

#3 Dashaun Wiggins elevates for a jumpshot over an Ernst defender.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wolverines Win 71-70 at Buzzer

The Turkey is likely to taste just a little bit better for the thirteen Wolverines who managed to pull out a dramatic 71-70 victory over defending national champion Tilton (NH) at the National Prep Showcase (CT) Sunday afternoon. Dashaun Wiggins (Bronx, NY) had his halfcourt prayer answered when he swished home a 50 foot desperation heave following a missed free throw by Tilton. The dramatic shot completed a gutty comeback which saw BA erase a 13 point hole with less than ten minutes to play in the game. In fact, it was a game largely controlled by Tilton but taken over late by inspired defense and improved execution on the offensive end by Bridgton Academy. Tilton finished the first half with a pair of baskets to lead 30-26 at intermission. In the second half, the game remained close before Tilton built a double digit advantage setting the stage for the late game heroics that saw multiple contributions from BA players that shared plenty of action. In addition to Wiggins (24 points), Alexander Harris (Richmond, CA) played his best game of the year (24 points) to pace the offense. But Coach Lesure was quick to praise the contributions of several other players that did not stand out in the official stat sheet for the afternoon. Ron Blossomgame (Atlanta, GA) stepped up inside as did Jeff Schmelz (Pascoag, RI). Ruben Kanya (Hamilton, Ontario) was a defensive stopper, and Addison Williams (Boulder, CO) contributed his most significant minutes in the early season. "Like so many good wins, it was easy to point out the difference that so many individuals made by not hanging their heads", Lesure said. "Wiggins deserves alot of credit, but it was his defense and not his shot that ultimately gave us a chance..When we were behind (Derek) Mayo, (Kevin) Anthony, Schmelz, Kanya, and Harris gave us life" "We were on the other end of this last year (a Hargrave 3 pointer defeated the Wolverine upset bid) so I feel for the Tilton guys, but they're a well coached team and will be fine, I'm sure". The victory evens the Wolverine NEPSAC record to 1-1 and 2-3 overall heading into the holiday break. For a complete rundown of the weekend action go to New England Basketball Report or ESPN college basketball recruiting.

BA Dropped by Hargrave 80-57

In a game generally closer than the final score the Wolverines were beaten by #1 nationally ranked Hargrave Military Academy (VA) 80-57 Saturday afternoon the National Prep Showcase Event on the campus of Albertus Magnus College (CT). Out of the top ten in ESPN/NERR polls for the first time in many years, Bridgton Academy set out this weekend to prove they still belonged in the conversation among elite prep school basketball teams. In the first half, BA led at the midway point but costly turnovers forced them to settle for a 32-24 deficit at the break. Hargrave extended their lead to open the second half and while the Wolverines were competitive they also did not seriously threaten the top ranked team in the country. Balanced scoring was the highlight of the Bridgton Academy attack with all 13 players making contributions on the afternoon. Coach Lesure reflected matter of factly on the Wolverine performance afterwards. "There were certainly some positives and negatives to be taken from today as we try and improve our overall team play"..."We will try and gain a split for the weekend tomorrow by decreasing our errors and building on the positives". The Wolverines face last year's National Prep Champion Tilton School (NH) at noon time before heading home on holiday break for the week.

Friday, November 20, 2009

BA Falls At New Hampton

Bridgton Academy played its first league contest of the early season on the road and came up short 81-69 at NEPSAC rival New Hampton. BA held the lead through the middle portion of the first half but saw the Huskies rally to earn a three point advantage at halftime 33-30.

New Hampton capitalized on the momentum early in the second half and built double digit leads before the Wolverines mounted a comeback effort of their own that ultimately fell short. BA cut the deficit to six with the ball on two occasions but could get no closer as the home team made the plays to secure the win. Dashaun Wiggins (Bronx, NY) led all scorers in the game with 30 points for Bridgton Academy. BA coach Whit Lesure gave credit to New Hampton afterward. “I thought they were better than us in every phase of the game”, Lesure said. “Our guys gave an honest effort, but that certainly won’t cut it on the road against a good club”, Lesure added. “We have a good chance to accomplish something very positive for ourselves this weekend and then enjoy a well deserved holiday break”.

BA plays at the 2009 National Prep Showcase this coming weekend being held on the campus at Albertus Magnus College (CT). The Wolverines face national power Hargrave Military Academy (VA) on Saturday afternoon and last years national prep champion Tilton School (NH) Sunday to wrap up the November schedule.

#3 Dashaun Wiggins shoots a foul shot Thursday vs. New Hampton. Wiggins led all scorers with 30 points.

#1 Alex Harris sets up a play Thursday against New Hampton.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Hampton Game to be Broadcast

Tonight's game versus New Hampton School will be broadcast live online. You can find the action at: http://www.newhampton.org/tv

Game time is 6:00 PM

Monday, November 16, 2009

BA Defeat Edison 74-54

Bridgton Academy had twenty-four hours to digest a heart-breaking opening season loss but rebounded convincingly to win 74-54 over Edison (NJ). The Wolverines started strong again and rode an Alex Harris (Richmond, CA) three point shot that beat the first half buzzer to lead by 13 at the break 41-28.

Edison made one strong run at the home team in the second half to cut the deficit to ten but timely offense and three point shooting put away any serious threat on this warm afternoon in the Wolverdome. All thirteen BA players saw action in each half led by Harris' game high 19 points and the win evens the BA record to 1-1 on the season. Paul Dick (Belfast, Ireland) added 16 and Chance Jones (Knoxville, TN) and Thierno Niang (Dakar, Senegal) added 11 a piece to pace the Wolverine attack.

Coach Lesure was pleased with much of the action in this contest. "We played solidly on both ends of the floor...I was well aware of the lingering effects of yesterday's loss and I thought our guys brought sufficient focus and energy to get a W today...Hopefully, we will have learned a few things this weekend that may help us out in the coming week", Lesure concluded.

BA travels to NEPSAC rival New Hampton on Thursday evening for a 6pm contest before closing the pre-Thanksgiving segment of the schedule at the 2009 National Prep Showcase being held at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven CT over the weekend.

BA Drops Dramatic Season Opener

The Wolverines showed signs of early season progress from their scrimmage action but were ultimately not able to hold off an improbable last second victory to NIA Prep (NJ) 83-82 at the Wolverdome in North Bridgton. NIA won the game by stealing the ball with less than 5 seconds to go and making two free throws. BA had moments earlier led by five with under 25 seconds to play. The late game fireworks were not the only part of a very exciting early season contest that saw both teams enjoy double digit leads; the Wolverines jumping out early in the first half to a 21-6 advantage and NIA taking a 12 point lead with ten minutes remaining only to see the home team mount a dramatic rally that unfortunately did not hold up in the end.

Chance Jones (Knoxville, TN) 20, Alex Harris (Richmond, CA) 18, Thierno Niang (Dakar, Senegal) 12, Paul Dick (Belfast, Ireland) 12, and Ron Blossomgame (Atlanta, GA) 10 led five Bridgton Academy players in double figures for the afternoon.

After gaining the early first half advantage, several Wolverine miscues in the final minutes forced them to settle for a 37-34 haftime lead. NIA kept the momemtum at the start of the second half before BA staged its exciting comeback effort with five minutes remaining that certainly appeared like it would give the defending Class A champions their first victory. BA Coach Whit Lesure was candid in his comments afterwards..."I am as shocked as our players right now...Give credit to NIA for making the plays they had to, especially the big 3....Ultimately I bear the bulk of the responsibility for this loss....Obviously, it's a coach's nightmare, but it happens...The most important thing is to respond properly tomorrow." BA takes on Edison (NJ) at 1 pm in their second home contest to start the season.

Season Preview

The defending Class A champion Bridgton Academy Wolverines look ahead to the challenges of the 2009-2010 season with their usual roster of young postgraduate men from across the country complimented by three dynamic international student-athletes. The early indications for the Wolverines are that once again they will play with a bevy of guards as only four players stand above 6'5".

The backcourt features a blend of talents and will likely be led by the play of two point guards, Alexander Harris (Richmond, CA) and Theirno Niang (Dakar, Senegal). Local product Derek Mayo (Orlando, FL) and Teandre Hubbard (San Francisco, CA) will likely see some action handling the ball.

BA possesses an assortment of wings likely to make valuable contributions. Dashaun Wiggins (Bronx, NY), Chance Jones (Knoxville, TN), Ruben Kanya (Hamilton, Ontario), Kevin Anthony (Columbus, OH), Addison Williams (Boulder, CO), and Paul Dick (Belfast, Ireland) will anchor the positions off the ball. Inside BA will count on Ron Blossomgame (Atlanta, GA), Jeff Smelz (Pascoag, RI), and Justin Miller (Agawam, MA) to provide a physical front.

There is no mistaking the "small-ball" look to the overall lineup. It's hard to figure the Wolverines playing with a size advantage against any of their NEPSAC rivals. Once again, the outlook for the league is extremely competitive with several schools featuring players who rank among the tops in the country. The league will feature a new North-South division structure that will incorporate all ten teams into the Class A play-offs to conclude the season. BA will compete with MCI, Exeter, New Hampton, and Brewster for the rights to higher seeds in the tournament. The South will include St. Thomas More, South Kent, NMH, Worcester, and Winchendon. It's a bold step forward for a conference that has long been hailed as the best sub college varsity league in the nation but has also drawn criticism for its lack of a clear-cut play-off formula. BA Coach Whit Lesure applauds the vision and direction of the league. "This is a fantastic move ahead for our league. There are historically too many good programs that not only deserve the opportunity to participate in the post-season, but can now benefit by earning their placement within a legitimate league structure. This change addresses those realities."

Bridgton Academy has won four out of the last five championships including a run of three consecutive titles from 2005-2008. It's difficult to imagine that sort of streak continuing within a landscape so competitive at the top but then again few would have imagined the magical March run the Wolverines have enjoyed in recent memory. It's another wild basketball season on the horizon in the NEPSAC and the only rule is that almost anything can happen.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New England Recruiting Report Article

A look at the upcoming season with New England Recruiting Report: Link Here

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Coach Lesure Selected for the New England Basketball Hall of Fame

Coach Whit Lesure has been selected to the New England Basketball Hall of Fame, with the induction set to take place on October 9th at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Congratulation to Coach Lesure as it is an honor well deserved.

Here is a link to a story on Fox Sports mentioning the honor.

Another piece about the honor on NERR.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Amos Anderson '98 Inducted Into His HS Hall of Fame

The Oliver Ames High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee announced its inductees for its class of 2009. Six athletes, two citizens and three teams will be inducted during a dinner ceremony at the Joseph W. Martin Institute for Law & Society at Stonehill College on Saturday, Nov. 21. Following are the inductees:

AMOS ANDERSON – 1997 – In the long run of Oliver Ames High School hoops excellence, Anderson is one of its most exciting players. The son of Paul Anderson, front court ace for the OA team that played in the 1967 Class C Tech Tourney finals, and older brother of twins Erica and Ryan, Amos, a shooting guard, was a 1000-point scorer and as a junior and senior a captain of OA squads that made it to the Eastern Massachusetts Div. 2 South finals. Anderson was a Boston Globe and Boston Herald All Scholastic pick. Following a year at Bridgton Academy, where he played varsity hoops, he went on to Clark University. Anderson played forward at Clark, lettered all four years, and was a team captain as a senior.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Former BA Teammates Re-Unite

Greg Hill '07 and Ronnie Moss '07 are looking forward to playing together on the hardwood this season at TCU.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Coach Benner Lands at Lycoming College

Fans of the Wolverine blogs have long been enjoying the hard work for our Sports Information Intern, Kyle Benner. Kyle came to BA to learn all about sports information and help out in the communications office (a position that we are currently interviewing for), and in the process Kyle convinced Coach Lesure that he could help out with the basketball team. Soon it became clear that Kyle had a good head for coaching, and Benner handled a good deal of the scouting for the program.

Bridgton Academy wishes Kyle the best of luck and we look forward to seeing him be successful at Lycoming College.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

BA Alum To Work Out With the Pacers

Robert Vaden, BA class of 2004 is one of several players working out with the Indiana Pacers today. Click here for the story over on IndyStar.com.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Do you want to be the one writing these posts?

Bridgton Academy is looking for a Sports Information Intern for the upcoming academic year. This is a great opportunity to get an intensive year of writing and photographing Wolverine games, working with student athletes on a number of levels, getting your work published both in print and online, and having a great year in general.

Here is the official posting:
Position Available: Sports Information Intern

Bridgton Academy, the nation’s premier postgraduate boarding school for young men, seeks a Sports Information Intern for the 2009-2010 academic year. Bridgton Academy's mission is to provide a program for young men in a unique, one-year postgraduate environment to prepare for the rigors of college and beyond.

Sports Information interns are fully involved in all aspects of Bridgton’s postgraduate year. The program is very demanding of one’s time, talents, and energy. The internship is designed to be an introduction to the sports information profession, especially in the private boarding school/college environment, focusing on a combination of responsibilities, including sports reporting/writing, photography, videography, web content management, sports information management, team or club coaching, and residential life leadership. Interns will receive structured support and career advice from faculty mentors.

The Intern position is a nine month appointment: August 15, 2009 – May 15, 2010. Compensation includes stipend, residence hall accommodations, school term meals, and school vacations.

Candidates should submit a letter of introduction, resume, and three letters of reference to Mrs. Susan Cole, Director of Human Resources, P.O. Box 292, North Bridgton, ME 04057. Alternatively, applications may be submitted by email to scole@bridgtonacademy.org. The position will remain open until filled. For further information, visit our web site at www.bridgtonacademy.org.


Maybe you'll be the one bringing Wolverine Athletics to the world next year!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wolverines Basketball Players Receive Awards

Five of this year's Wolverines Basketball team members received awards during last weekends Graduation events. Malik Stith, Garrison Gross, Jack Houpt, Bryant Avent, and Jake Canty all were recognized either Friday or Saturday and we wanted to wish a special Congratulations to them all and best of luck with all of their future endeavors!!



Malik Stith receiving his award from Head Basketball Coach Whit Lesure.


Garrison Gross with Athletic Director Brad Smith.


Jack Houpt with Headmaster Grady Vigneau.


Bryant Avent with Headmaster Grady Vigneau.


First Row: Jack Houpt and Garrison Gross
Second Row: Malik Stith and Jake Canty
Third Row: Bryant Avent

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wolverines Basketball Awards

Bridgton Academy held their annual Winter Sports Awards Tuesday night. As always it was an exciting time for each of this years winter sports athletes to share with the community their experiences of this past season.

This years awards recipients were Malik Stith, Jack Houpt, and manager Michael Peart.

Congratulations to Malik, Jack, and Michael, as well as everyone on this years Bridgton Academy Basketball Team!


Left to Right: Manager Michael Peart, Coach Whit Lesure, Jack Houpt.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Wolverines Pull Upset in Opening Round of The National Tournament, Fall in National Final Four

Fresh off their 4th NEPSAC Championship in 5 years the Bridgton Academy Wolverines were faced with the task of playing the #1 ranked team in the country in the opening round of the National Tournament. Patterson School (NC) came in as the top seed with a 34-2 record and Bridgton was the last team in and given the #8 seed.

The Bridgton players came out with a look in their eyes, as if they knew something no one else knew...they were about to surprise everybody.

The Wolverines started the game on fire knocking down 10 3-pointers in the first half en route to leading by as many as 17 points at 35-18 before entering halftime with a 43-34 lead.

Bridgton picked up right where they left off continuing to shoot the ball as well as they have all season in pushing their lead back up to 18, flat out determined to prove to everyone there top 5 ranking all season long was no fluke. But Patterson had other plans as they were motivated to prove they were #1 for a reason. Slowly chipping away Patterson was able to cut the lead down to 8..then 6..4..2. Suddenly it was 67-65 and Patterson was as close as they had been since the opening minutes of the game when the score was 3-2 Bridgton.

Regrouping for one last push the Wolverines came together and again combined key stops with key scores in finished the game outscoring Patterson 16-8 to advance to the National Final Four where they would meet the winner of South Kent/Tilton.

Malik Stith again showed everyone he is a big time player leading the Bridgton charge with 19 points, Dwayne Smith (Toronto, ON) followed with 17, Jack Houpt 13, Carl Blair 12, and Jamal Crook (Louisville, KY) added 9 points, including 7 big free throws late in the second half to seal the win.



After making their 3rd trip from North Bridgton, Maine to Beverly, MA in 3 days the Wolverines were set to face off with Tilton School in the National Semi-Finals at Endicott College.

The Wolverines started the game by outscoring the Rams 10-5, however Tilton fought back to take a 24-14 lead midway through the first half. Bridgton did their best to cut into the lead getting it to within 4 before Tilton pulled away in closing the half up 12, 44-32.

The second half saw Tilton work to protect their double digit lead as the Wolverines did everything they could to bring the game within a couple of possessions. Bridgton was able to cut the lead to 7 on multiple occasions but that was as close as they were able to get as their tanks had just run out after an emotionally and physically draining 48 hours. Their season had come to a close with an 86-71 loss to Tilton in the National Final Four.

Carl Blair led the Wolverines with 21 points, Jamal Crook followed with 14, while Malik Stith added 11.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Bridgton Wins NEPSAC Championship!

Bridgton Academy squared off with top seeded South Kent School on Sunday night in what was sure to be a very exciting NEPSAC Class A Championship game. South Kent came in the favorites having won 15 games in a row, two of which coming over the Wolverines during the regular season.

The Cardinal jumped out to an early 22-7 lead over Bridgton, however the Wolverines fought back with a 19-8 run of their own to make it 30-26 South Kent. The Cardinal however answered with a 15-6 run before stretching their lead up to 15 at 55-40 heading into halftime.

Shortly before the midpoint of the second half and trailing by 19 points, the Wolverines put together yet another run, this time outscoring South Kent 19-6 to bring the lead to within 4 at 68-72. Bridgton still wasn't done yet as they took their first lead of the game 78-77, on a Malik Stith (Long Island, NY) layup with 5:01 to play capping a 10-0 run.

With the momentum clearly favoring Bridgton, the Wolverines combined some key stops and scores pulling away from a tie game at 82-82 to capture their 4th NEPSAC Championship in the last 5 years winning 89-85.

Carl Blair (Katy, TX) led the charge with 25 points, Malik Stith followed with 18 points, and Jack Houpt (Chesterton, IN) added 10 points.

When asked for his thoughts after the game Wolverines Head Coach Whit Lesure said, "I Couldn't be happier for our guys, and those whose support for our program has meant a great deal"

The feat of 4 NEPSAC titles in 5 years hasn't been done in almost 30 years. "The history certainly isn't lost on me, but those guys are more into Gucci, Zoro, and Taylor Swift then history, and frankly me too" he added.

When asked how this championship compares to the first three Lesure replied, "It was certainly the most thrilling and probably most dramatic of our Championship runs. I don't want to single out individual players because I think this one is owed more to collective heart. It's good stuff, that's for sure."



Game MVP Malik Stith putting up a jumper.


Stith driving the hole.


Carl getting fouled going to the basket.


Making the trip to the line count.


Coach keeping the team on task.



Jamal putting up the final shot to go up 89-85.


BA gets the win!


The final score- Bridgton Academy 89 - South Kent 85.


Your 2009 NEPSAC Champs.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bridgton Wins Semi-Final Over Brewster, Headed to NEPSAC Championship Game!!

Bridgton Academy won a hard fought semi-final game against NEPSAC rival Brewster Academy 68-58 on Friday night to advance to Sunday's Class A NEPSAC Championship game. The Wolverines will take on #1 South Kent School in the Final at 4 PM on Sunday, March 8th at Endicott College.

The Wolverines came out strong setting the tone for what would be a very physical game throughout with a clear tourney-time effort. With the help of some tough defensive stands and some timely baskets Bridgton was able to open a 31-25 lead heading into halftime.

As the second half started the Wolverines picked up right where they left off, extending their lead to as many as 11 points while never surrendering the lead in the second half. Bridgton was able to hold Brewster to their second lowest point total of the season in winning 68-58.

Malik Stith (Long Island, NY) led the Wolverines with 19 points (15-18 from the FT line), while Dwayne Smith (Toronto, ON) added 15, and Jack Houpt (Chesterton, IN) finished in double figures as well with 9.

"I liked the smarts and poise we showed on defense, our offense really struggled at times though, and we are going to need to be better" said Bridgton Head Coach Whit Lesure.

With the win the #2 seeded Wolverines will move on to face #1 South Kent School in the NEPSAC Championship game, it will be Bridgton's fourth appearance in the title game in the last 5 years.

"South Kent's a good club, well coached and the number one seed for a reason. We have to be ready to play our best game of the year for all the marbles" said Lesure.

When asked about his thoughts for the upcoming championship game Lesure replied, "This one feels like Villanova-Georgetown in 1985, I should probably call Rollie (Massamino)."

Wolverines Selected To Play In National Tournament

Bridgton Academy has been selected to play in the 2009 National Prep Basketball Tournament at Endicott College starting Monday, March 9th. Only the top 8 teams in the country are chosen to compete and the Wolverines will take on #1 ranked Patterson School on Monday after drawing the #8 seed.

The National Tournament will begin the day after Bridgton takes on South Kent for the Class A NEPSAC Championship.

Check back for more details soon!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wolverines Beat St. Thomas More, Headed to NEPSAC Semi's

Bridgton Academy played some of their best basketball of the year when it counted most Wednesday night in their quarterfinal matchup with St. Thomas More. After St. Thomas scored the opening point of the game Bridgton went on an 11-0 run and never looked back from there leading throughout.

After taking a 31-18 lead into halftime Bridgton put together a 15-5 run in the early minutes of the second half extending their lead to 60-31. The Wolverines never let up playing strong defense and patient, unselfish offense in cruising to a 72-39 victory.

Malik Stith (Long Island, NY) led a very balanced scoring attack with 17 points, followed by Carl Blair (Katy, TX) with 13, while Jamal Crook (Louisville, KY) also reached double figures with 12.

After the game Wolverines Head Coach Whit Lesure had this to say, "Our defensive effort was excellent, we were really dialed in. We were aggressive on offense and took care of the ball. I think Carl's two "3's" got us going early, while I think Malik (Stith) and certainly our forwards (Jack Houpt, Chad July, Kauri Black) played well too. Now it's a new "18" on Friday."

With the win the Wolverines advance to the Semi-Finals of the NEPSAC Class A tournament where they will meet rival Brewster Academy Friday night at 6 PM at Endicott College.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Wolverines Fall To Winchendon in Regular Season Finale

Bridgton Academy traveled to Winchendon School for their final regular season game on Saturday. The Wolverines got off to a quick start and worked to protect a slight lead throughout the first half, however in the closing minutes before halftime Winchendon was able to make a small run trimming the lead to just two at 37-35 going into the break.

The second half remained close with neither team able to seperate themeselves from the other and to the surprise of no one it came down to the final seconds before a winner could be declared. Despite having their chances the Wolverines came up short falling by a final score of 72-68.

Malik Stith (Long Island, NY) led the Wolverines with a team high 13 points while Carl Blair (Katy, TX) also reached double figures with 12.

Bridgton finishes with a regular season record of 21-10 and will play St. Thomas More in the opening round of the NEPSAC Class A tournament on Wednesday, March 4th at Endicott College in Beverly, MA.

The first round of the NEPSAC Class A Tournament will be as follows:

Quarterfinals
Game 1: (1) South Kent School vs (8) Northfield Mount Hermon
Game 2: (4) Winchendon School vs (5) Worcester Academy
Game 3: (2) Bridgton Academy vs (7) St. Thomas More School
Game 4: (3) Brewster Academy vs (6) Maine Central Institute

Semi-Finals
Game 5: Winner Game 1 vs Winner Game 2
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs Winner Game 4

Finals
Game 7: Winner Game 5 vs Winner Game 6

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bridgton Downs Rival Brewster in NEPSAC Showdown

Bridgton Academy traveled over to NEPSAC Rival Brewster on Wednesday for a battle between two of the top teams in the country. Having had their game scheduled earlier in the season at Bridgton cancelled, this would be the only time the two teams will meet during the regular season with potential tournament implications on the line.

Brewster came out on fire knocking down a number of 3's in the opening minutes of the game and appeared to be putting the Wolverines in a hole that might just be too deep to get out of. Bridgton however hung tough and battled back, slowly closing in on Brewster's lead before taking a lead of their own thanks to a big run at the end of first half which gave them a 36-34 lead going into the break.

The game remained close throughout the second half as Brewster continued to dial in from long distance, but Dwayne Smith (Toronto, ON) had the hottest hand of the night connecting on six 3-pointers en route to a game high 32 points (18 in the second half). As outstanding as Smith was, he couldn't hold off Brewster's come back bid alone as some strong team defense and timely offense from teammate Carl Blair (Katy, TX) kept the Wolverines on top as they picked up a big road win 85-82.

Smith had a career high 32 points, followed by Blair's 24 points to lead the Wolverines in scoring.

After the game head coach Whit Lesure noted that, "The key for us was getting to halftime with the lead. I'm proud of the effort, poise, and toughness our guys showed in the last 24 hours."

The Wolverines have had a number of games this season that have fallen on back-to-back nights, sometimes even three days in a row. During such stretches it's important for teams to continue executing their brand of basketball and have key players step up in crucial moments, something Bridgton was able to do tonight. "Guys like (Carl) Blair and (Dwayne) Smith played the way we need them to, and the team offense and defense is starting to come together. We'll enjoy this one, but we know tomorrow we have to get back to work and prepare for Winchendon" said Lesure.

With the win Bridgton now stands at 21-9 (8-4 in NEPSAC play) with one regular season game remaining at Winchendon School scheduled for Saturday at 2 PM.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bridgton Falls to St. Thomas More

Bridgton Academy dropped to 20-9 on the season Tuesday afternoon as St. Thomas More School came into the Wolverdome and handed the Wolverines just their second home loss of the season.

St. Thomas More came out strong as Bridgton found themselves down two possessions for most of the game. Neither team was able to establish any kind of convincing lead though STM took a 33-31 lead into halftime.

The second half was much like the first as the Wolverines continued to trail by a couple of possessions throughout the half. Bridgton was able to tie the game up on a couple of occasions but failed to make any kind of decisive run to take control of a lead as St. Thomas More was able to hang on for a 72-68 win.

Dwayne Smith (Toronto, ON) led the Wolverines with 15 points while Jamal Crook (Louisville, KY) added 13.

After the game Bridgton Head Coach Whit Lesure said, "I think the better team won today. We'll just have to see now if we can put this loss to good use."

The Wolverines have two game remaining on their schedule before tournament play begins, with the first coming Wednesday afternoon as they travel to Brewster Academy for a 4:30 PM game.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

TODAY'S BASKETBALL GAME (FEBRUARY 21) HAS BEEN CANCELLED

TODAY'S BASETBALL GAME, SATURDAY FEBRUARY 21ST, HAS BEEN CANCELLED!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wolverines Take Down Phillips Exeter

Bridgton Academy made the short drive over to Exeter, NH last night to face off with Phillips Exeter Academy in a NEPSAC showdown. The Wolverines got off to a very strong start, building a double digit lead in the opening minutes. As the first half progressed Bridgton was able to hold off any Phillips Exeter attempt at a run protecting their double digit lead while taking a 33-20 lead into half time.

The Wolverines were able to pick up right where they left off to start the second half as they combined some big defensive stops with some timely made shots stretching their lead to as many as 20 points. It was only a matter of time before some of Phillips Exeter's long balls began to fall. While the Wolverines had done a terrific job holding Phillips Exeter's shooters in check throughout the game, they were able to string together a few big possessions and suddenly had trimmed the lead down to 9 in the closing minutes. Coming out of a timeout Bridgton's Bryant Avent (Phoenix, AZ) knocked down a big "3" that slammed the door shut on any sort of come back attempt from there as the Wolverines held on for a 59-49 win.

Dwayne Smith (Toronto, ON) led Bridgton with 16 points, followed by Malik Stith (Long Island, NY) with 12, while Justin Rake (Mandeville, LA) added 10.

After the game Wolverines Head Coach Whit Lesure seemed satisfied with his team's performance saying, "I was generally pleased with our overall effort and execution. It was a good team win. Dwayne (Smith) got us going in the first half, and it was good to have (Justin) Rake back out there too. Garrison (Gross) and Bryant (Avent) contributed significantly in the second half."

"Also wanted to give a special Thanks to Kevin Jones (Trustee) and his daughter for their support and spirit at the game tonight." added Lesure.

When asked about what he thought his team could learn from the game Lesure responded, "We've got to improve our nose for the ball, but giving up 49 points ain't too bad either. We'll build on the positives, and work harder on our weaknesses."

With the win Bridgton's record now stands at 20-8, 7-3 in NEPSAC play. They will return to action this Saturday when they play host to Ste. Foye, the two teams met earlier this season in Quebec City, Canada where the Wolverines won 87-66.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nice Article on Former Wolverine Cheick Diakite Class of '05

The Roanoke Times recently did a very nice article on former Wolverine Cheick Diakite and his journey from West Africa to Maine to Virginia Tech. Diakite has had a terrific career at Virginia Tech where he is currently in his senior season, during a recent game at Boston College he had the chance to catch up with some familiar faces from his time at BA (see photos below!)

To read the entire article click here


Left to Right: Tyler Bullock '05, Cheick Diakite '05, Ben Summerhayes '05, and Tripp Baker '05


Left to Right: Former Bridgton Academy Librarian Linda Kautz, Cheick Diakite '05, and current members of Bridgton Academy Bob and Milagros Katz.

Latest NERR National Prep Poll Announced

New England Recruiting Report (NERR) released their latest National Prep Poll on Tuesday, the Bridgton Academy Wolverines have hung onto their #4 ranking they had found themselves in the last poll, however, this time they have some company.

Following Patterson School (NC) at #1, Hargrave Military Academy (VA) at #2, and Notre Dame Prep (MA) at #3, the Wolverines are now joined by Brewster Academy and South Kent School in a 3-way tie for 4th.

NEPSAC Class A Winchendon School comes in at #7 followed by NEPSAC Class B powerhouse Tilton School at #8. Charis Prep (NC) makes their first appearance on the poll coming in at #9 following their upset win over #1 Patterson, and NEPSAC Class A Northfield Mount Hermon rounds things out at #10.

Class A of the NEPSAC is very well represented with 5 teams ranked in the top 10 and an additional 2 teams (New Hampton & St. Thomas More) having received at least 1 vote.

Bridgton Head Coach Whit Lesure's response to the latest poll, " I think most observers are aware of the competitive balance that exists in our league and the poll reflects this strength. Class A NEPSAC teams have also fared reasonably well outside of our conference across the nation and against some highly regarded Class B and Class C powerhouse programs".

The Wolverines will look to hang around in at least the top 8 when the final poll is released around seasons end in hopes of qualifying for the National Tournament which will be held Monday, March 9th and Tuesday, March 10th at Endicott College in Beverly, MA.

For the official poll check out New England Recruiting Report- National Prep Poll

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bridgton Falls to South Kent

The Bridgton Academy Wolverines made the long trip to western Connecticut on Sunday to square off with the red hot Cardinal of South Kent School. South Kent had won 11 of their last 12, including the last 8 in a row.

The first half saw South Kent jump out to an early lead and Bridgton was forced to try and play catch up throughout the first half, however they were unable to pull even as the Cardinal took a 33-27 lead into the break.

Bridgton came out a bit sluggish in the second half as the Cardinal were able to score 4 quick points stretching their lead to 10. The Wolverines however battled back and kept the game close with both teams exchanging some big baskets and crucial stops. Bridgton was even able to take a one point lead in the final minutes, however South Kent proved to be just a little too much for the Wolverines on this day as the Cardinal held on to win 63-59.

Dwayne Smith (Toronto, ON) led the Wolverines with 15 points, Jack Houpt (Chesterton, IN) followed with 10, while Malik Stith (Long Island, NY), Carl Blair (Katy, TX), and Jamal Crook (Louisville, KY) each added 9 points.

When asked for his thoughts after the game Bridgton Head Coach Whit Lesure had this to say, "We failed to convert a couple opportunities late that made a difference. I think we were more competitive today and hopefully our team will recognize the areas of improvement we can bring about."

With the loss Bridgton falls to 19-8 on the season, 6-3 in NEPSAC play, while South Kent School improves to 20-5, 7-3 in the NEPSAC. Lesure also made mention of South Kent's success this season saying, "Kevlin's (Jefferson) quickly done good things with his program. It was a lively basketball atmosphere for the fans and players."

The Wolverines will look to rebound after back to back losses when they travel to Phillips Exeter Academy Wednesday night for a NEPSAC showdown, tip off is scheduled for 4:00 PM. Lesure made note of Wednesdays big game and the remainder of the Wolverines schedule heading into tournament time saying, "We're in the middle of a tough road stretch, but still rank among the best teams in our league. We'll let it all shake out later on."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Wolverines Fall to NEPSAC Foe New Hampton Prep

Bridgton Academy traveled over to New Hampshire Friday night for a matchup with NEPSAC rival New Hampton Prep. The Wolverines were able to build a slight lead in the first half however saw it slip away slowly and ultimately found themselves trailing at halftime, 37-36.

As the opening minutes of the second half got underway the Huskies of New Hampton were able to build up a similar lead to the one the Wolverines had in the first half. Malik Stith (Long Island, NY) again did his best to take the game over, keeping the Wolverines within striking distance throughout thanks to his 19 second half points, however New Hampton was able to make a few timely plays and protect their lead as they remained undefeated at home with a 79-75 victory.

Stith led the Wolverines with 24 points, Carl Blair (Katy, TX) followed with 12, while Jamal Crook (Louisville, KY) and Kauri Black (Rialto, CA) finished with 10 apiece.

When reached for comment after the game Wolverines Head Coach Whit Lesure said, "They got a lot more easy baskets then we did. There's probably a combination of reasons why, but none get the game back. We'll just have to do a better job Sunday."

The Wolverines will return to action this Sunday as they travel to South Kent for a 1:00 pm tip off.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wolverines Take Down Pandas 76-65

Bridgton Academy traveled up to Lee Academy Tuesday night to take on the Pandas and were able to come away with a well earned 76-65 win.

The first half remained close throughout with neither team really able to separate themselves from the other. Justin Rake was able to keep the Wolverines close as he poured in 17 first half points, including five 3 point field goals, though it wasn't enough as Lee took a 35-34 lead into half time.

Bridgton started the second half with a run that gave them the lead once again and this time they never looked back. The Wolverines were able to force 16 second half turnovers (27 in the game) providing them with a number of easy baskets. Free throw shooting was also a key as the Wolverines were able to knock down 20-24 attemps in the second half, Malik Stith (Long Island, NY) was once again the offensive leader for the Wolverines when they needed it most scoring 20 of his game high 23 points in the second half, including making 16-17 from the free throw line.

Stith paced Bridgton with his 23 points, Carl Blair (Katy, TX) followed with 18 points, Justin Rake 17, and Jack Houpt (Chesterton, IN) once again turned in a solid all around game contributing 8 points.

When reached for comment after the game Head Coach Whit Lesure said, "I thought it was a really good team effort tonight. A lot of different guys stepped up. Rake (Justin) flat out kept us in it in the first half. Stith and Blair did a good job together in the 2nd."

He went on to note that, "The way we started the 2nd half was exceptional and then the game was in our favor. Our pressure free throws stopped them from coming back on us."

With the win the Wolverines improve to 19-6 on the season. They return to action Friday night when they travel to NEPSAC rival New Hampton school for a big conference game, tip off is scheduled for 6:00 pm.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Wolverines Leave National Prep Invitational With One Win, One Loss

Bridgton Academy made the trip down to Kingston, RI and the campus of URI for the annual National Prep Invitational. This year they were matched up against two very formidable opponents and were able to leave the weekend with a split.

In the Wolverines first game of the weekend they squared off with NEPSAC powerhouse St. Mark's. A highly contested first half saw the two teams enter the break deadlocked at 29-29. It was clear both teams were working to their strengths as St. Marks got solid production out of their two bigs (Erik Murphy bound for Florida, and Nate Lubick committed to Georgetown), while Bridgton used their strong guard play (14 first half points from Malik Stith).

The second half saw the Wolverines make an early run and build a small lead which they spent the remainder of the half working to protect, and with some strong defensive and some timely scoring they were able to do just that in earning a 63-54 win.

Malik Stith led the Wolverines with a team high 19 points, Dwayne Smith followed with 17, while Jack Houpt continued his strong play of late reaching double figures with 10.

When asked for his thoughts after the game Head Coach Whit Lesure said, "It was a good non-league game for us against a nationally recognized team with some highly skilled players. We played the game at both ends as consistently as we have all year. I liked our level of activity around the basket...we had a good practice week."

He went on to note that, "The way we began the 2nd half was key for us. Our team confidence was good, and Stith played both ends like the best player on the court. I'm happy his hard work is showing up in games."

The Wolverines once again had little time to enjoy their victory as less then 24 hours later they would take the court once again, this time against Nationally ranked #1 Patterson School.

The opening minutes of the game showed in person what most people might assume from seeing the two teams matched up on paper, Patterson's size in the paint is likely to give the Wolverines some serious trouble.

Bridgton found themselves down by as many as 18 early in the first half but were able to cut it to 10 in the closing minutes of the half before entering half time down by 12, 36-24.

The Wolverines continued to battle as the game stayed within 14 points much of the second half, however were just unable to make that crucial run to cut the lead under 10. Patterson was able to hang on and win their 26th game of the year by a final score of 66-52, Bridgton falls to 18-6.

Dwayne Smith scored a team high 14 points, the lone Wolverine reaching double figures.

Head Coach Whit Lesure had this to say after the game, "Well, overall the game didn't live up to the past hype or expectations and we're responsible. Patterson competed better then we did today. They deserve their #1 ranking. Chris (Chaney) has done a good job with them. I thought at one point I should send him a Thank You card for not burying me on my 50th birthday. He was kind."

When asked where the Wolverines go from here he replied, "We need to regroup and focus our attention on getting a win at Lee Academy for the first time Tuesday."

Monday, February 2, 2009

Bridgton Falls To Notre Dame Prep, Wins Consolation Game

The Wolverines headed up to Maine Central Institute for a two day tournament starting on Saturday and came away with one win and one loss.

Things got started Saturday night when the Wolverines locked up with Notre Dame Prep for the second time in less then two weeks. With the Wolverines having knocked of Notre Dame 72-68 in their last meeting it was clear ND Prep was going to do everything they could to even the season series. Bridgton fell behind early as it seemed everything Notre Dame was putting up from behind the arc was falling, and in a matter of minutes the Wolverines were down by double figures. Notre Dame continued to stay hot as they were looking to take a 12 point lead into the break before Bryant Avent (Phoenix, AZ) knocked down a "3" as the horn sounded to bring the Wolverines to within 9 to start the second half.

Bridgton was able to play even with Notre Dame over the opening minutes of the second half cutting the lead down to as few as 6 before Notre Dame caught fire from behind the arc again pushing their lead back to double digits and coasting to an impressive 86-72 lead. Notre Dame Prep finished the game with a very impressive 15 made 3 pointers.

Jamal Crook (Louisville, KY) led Bridgton with 13 points, Carl Blair (Katy, TX) and Jack Houpt (Chesterton, IN) each scored 10.

When asked for his thoughts after the game Head Coach Whit Lesure said, "Our guys hung in there pretty good, knowing Notre Dame Prep was trying very hard to even the series this year. We needed to finish a few more plays when we had the chances in the second half."

Having lost in the first day of the tournament the Wolverines found themselves playing the early game Sunday afternoon, this time against NEPSAC foe St. Thomas More. Both teams struggled to get any consistent offense going throughout the game, however Malik Stith (Long Island, NY) was able to score 10 first half points that helped give Bridgton a 30-20 lead entering halftime.

In the second half Bridgton's offense continued to struggle, while St. Thomas More slowly began to close the gap one basket at a time. The Wolverines again looked to Stith who scored 13 of the team's second half points (Dwayne Smith scored the other 7) when they needed a score. Thanks to some timely defensive stops and some big free throws from Stith in the final seconds the Wolverines were able to hang on and earn an important conference win 50-46.

Stith led all scorers with 23 points, while Dwayne Smith added 10.

The close game throughout wasn't a big surprise to Lesure as he said, "We expected a difficult game with St. Thomas More. I conveyed that message as soon as Saturday's game was over, and again this morning. Everyone knows they are a dangerous and well coached team."

When asked for some comments about the weekend as a whole Lesure replied, "There were some positives to gain in getting home with a win the way we did. Guys may begin to see this is not a short, typical high school season. It's a grind. And you have to be mentally and physically tough. If you told me in September that we'd be 17-5 and leading our conference I'd be alright with that. We just have to keep our focus on getting better."

The Wolverines will return to action when they travel down to Rhode Island this weekend for the National Prep Invitational where they will square off against St. Marks on Friday afternoon and will then meet #1 ranked Patterson School (NC) on Saturday.

Monday, January 26, 2009

South Kent Tops Bridgton 89-81

South Kent School came into the Wolverdome on Sunday and handed Bridgton Academy their first home loss of the season by a score of 89-81. With the loss the Wolverines drop to 16-4 on the season, 5-1 in NEPSAC play.

The game got off to a quick start with both teams having success on the offensive end early, the score was 17-15 Bridgton after the opening five minutes. However, as the first have continued defense became a little more of a factor as the Cardinal took a 43-41 lead into the break, thanks in large part to a significant first half rebounding advantage. Head Coach Whit Lesure noted that, "That's about as bad as we've gotten beat on the boards in a long time, and as a smallish type of team that just can't happen."

Having had a lead entering the second half for the majority of the season, particularly at home, the Wolverines had a tall task in front of them in mounting a comeback. The next twenty minutes saw South Kent do everything in their power to hang onto a crucial lead, stretching it to as many as 9 points in the closing minutes which proved to just be too much as the Wolverines came up short at the final horn.

Dwayne Smith (Toronto, Ontario) led 5 players in double figures with 16 points, Kauri Black (Rialto, CA) followed with 13, Malik Stith (Long Island, NY) and Chad July (Gainesville, FL) each scored 11, and Carl Blair (Katy, TX) finished with 10.

When reached for comment following the game Head Coach Whit Lesure had this to say, "They outplayed us when it counted, they're a very good team in our league and we should learn something from it."

The Wolverines will return to action this Wednesday when they play host to NEPSAC rival Brewster Academy, with tip off scheduled for 5:30 p.m.



#3 Malik Stith looks to make a move.


#1 Carl Blair takes the jumpshot.


#14 Chad July goes up for the dunk.

Friday, January 23, 2009

#4 Team In The Nation Getting It Done In The Classroom Too

Nine members of this years Bridgton Academy Basketball Team, which is currently ranked 4th in the country, recently received recognition for their standout performances in the classroom. Jack Houpt and Jake Canty both earned High Honors, while Garrison Gross, Carl Blair, Chad July, and Dwayne Smith each earned Honors. Bryant Avent received an award in Geometry, Kauri Black an award in Computer Science, and Jerrel Harris and Carl Blair each received an award in History.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wolverines Down Huskies 99-84

The Bridgton Academy Wolverines hosted the New Hampton Huskies on Wednesday night and came away with a well deserved 99-84 victory. With the win Bridgton Academy improves to 16-3 on the season, 5-0 in NEPSAC play.

The Huskies opened up the game with an 11-0 run that put the Wolverines in a hole early, however, Bridgton Academy was able to put together a 26-6 run of their own to take a 26-17 lead midway through the first half. Through some tough defense which forced 11 first half New Hampton turnovers, the Wolverines were able to get out and run a little bit allowing them to extend their lead to 14 points at 40-26 entering the break.

In the second half the Wolverines were looking to build on their halftime lead and that's just what they were able to do stretching their lead to as many as 22 points before going on to win by a final score of 99-84. Bridgton kept New Hampton on their toes all night with one of the most balanced offensive attacks this season. Six different Wolverines reached double figures with Bryant Avent leading the charge with 17, Carl Blair followed with 12, Jerrel Harris 11, while Dwayne Smith, Justin Rake, and Kauri Black added 10 each.

When asked for his thoughts after the game Head Coach Whit Lesure responded, "It felt a little bit like a men's league game I used to play in, we used to take awhile to get going too. We had a number of guys step up tonight in big ways, Malik Stith was terrific defensively and Bryant (Avent) was in another world I don't know. In all it was a good league win for us, and now we move onto the next one."

That next one will be played this Sunday, January 25th, at home as the Wolverines host NEPSAC foe South Kent School. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.



#24 Justin Rake makes a pass.


#32 Kauri Black goes up for two.


#3 Malik Stith goes up for the lay in.


#1 Carl Blair cutting to the basket.


#1 Carl Blair bringing the ball up court.


#5 Jerrel Harris at the free throw line.


#32 Kauri Black goes up for two more.


#00 Dwayne Smith pulls up for "3".


#22 Bryant Avent on a breakaway.


#33 Jack Houpt makes a move for two.


#00 Dwayne Smith elevates for the jumper.


#32 Kauri Black getting in on the rebounding action.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Wolverines Win Prides Crossing Tournament, Knock Off #3 Ranked Notre Dame Prep At BABC Showcase

The Wolverines had a very successful weekend this weekend winning the Prides Crossing Tournament down at St. Thomas More School before going on to earn a hard fought win vs the nations #3 ranked team Notre Dame Prep in the BABC Showcase at Chelsea High School on Sunday. With the 3 wins the Wolverines improve to 15-3 on the season.

The action got started Friday night when the Wolverines faced off against Champlain St. Lambert for the third time this season. Having defeated Champlain in each of the first two meetings the Wolverines were fully expecting an inspired effort from the Cavaliers, and that's just what they got. After taking a 30-20 lead into halftime, Bridgton Academy found themselves trailing midway through the second half. The two teams exchanged baskets over the following minutes trying to protect slim leads but the Wolverines were ultimately able to come away with a highly contested 60-58 win.

Kauri Black (Rialto, CA) led the offensive attack scoring 16 points, Malik Stith (Long Island, NY) followed with 14, and Jamal Crook (Louisville, KY) added 11.

Head Coach Whit Lesure recapped the game by saying, "We won a game we easily could have lost. Champlain played their guts out. Late in the game we stayed relaxed, didn't panic, and played harder to make some plays. Our guys have been able to close out games with confidence."

The Wolverines had little time to reflect upon their Friday night win as Saturday afternoon they found themselves playing in the Championship game of the Prides Crossing Tournament versus NEPSAC rival MCI (Maine Central Institute). The Wolverines again came out and were able to build up an early lead, stretching it to as many as 20 points heading into halftime with the score 45-25. The second half saw the Wolverines continue their high level of intensity and sound play as they were able to coast to an impressive 89-48 win.

Jamal Crook scored a team high 20 points, Carl Blair (Katy, TX) followed with 15, Kauri Black 11, Chad July (Gainesville, FL) 9, and Justin Rake (Mandeville, LA) 9.

Although the Wolverines were able to win by a significant margin Coach Lesure was quick to note that the margin of victory wasn't necessarily a strong indication of the difference between the two teams, "We're not 40 points better. We just played really well and MCI didn't. The key for us was our overall play with the lead."

With the weekend off to a terrific start, the Wolverines currently ranked #4 in the latest National Prep Poll, would soon face one of their toughest tests to date, a showdown with the nation's #3 ranked team Notre Dame Prep in the BABC Showcase. Anyone in attendance was fortunate enough to be treated to a tremendous basketball game, as the two teams exchanged baskets all afternoon with neither team stretching their lead to more then 6 points. The Wolverines grabbed a 34-32 lead heading into halftime, thanks in large part to Carl Blair's 18 first half points.

The second half picked up right where the first left off as the game continued to go back and forth exchanging big baskets and crucial defensive stops. The Wolverines however were able to make just a couple more big plays down the stretch in earning a very well deserved 72-68 victory.

Carl Blair finished with a team high 25 points, Jamal Crook followed with 17, and Malik Stith 13.

Head Coach Whit Lesure had this to say after the game, "It was two good teams trading punches. We hung in when we had too, and no one was any more clutch then (Jack) Houpt. Our team has taken a step forward; that's something we've discussed. I also want to give a big thanks to Leo (Papile). It was fun to be a part of this event and catch up with a few old friends. And a special mention to Zach Walker's dad for braving the weather to come out and support BA."

The Wolverines will return to action this Wednesday, January 21st when they host New Hampton School in what will be a big NEPSAC game, tip off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. The game will be the first of 3 consecutive home conference games with the other two scheduled for Sunday (1/25) versus South Kent School and next Wednesday (1/28) against rival Brewster Academy.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Wolverines Gear Up For Busy Weekend

The Bridgton Academy Basketball Team is gearing up for a busy weekend this weekend as they prepare to head down to St. Thomas More School in Connecticut for the Prides Crossing Tournament Friday and Saturday, with the Wolverines set to tip off against Champlain-St. Lambert Friday at 8pm in the opening round with the consolation and championship games to follow on Saturday. Before returning home the Wolverines will stop off in the Boston area, at Chelsea High School, for the BABC Classic on Sunday where they will square off with the nation's #3 ranked team Notre Dame Prep at 2 p.m.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Wolverines Head North To Canada, Win One Lose One

The Bridgton Academy Basketball Team headed north across the border on Thursday for a pair of games up in Quebec City. The first of the Wolverines two games came against NEDA, which stands for the National Elite Development Academy in Canada. The team is comprised of many of the top young (17-19 year old) players throughout Canada, many of whom represent Canada on the country's Junior National Team.

The game started out highly contested with NEDA taking a 19-17 lead after the first quarter before opening up an 8 point 36-28 halftime lead. The second half saw the Wolverines make a strong run out of the gate to make it a tie game at 40-40, NEDA however answered with a run of their own taking a 56-45 lead into the fourth quarter. Bridgton Academy remained competitive to the final whistle before falling by a final score of 84-67. Dwayne Smith (Toronto, Ontario) and Carl Blair (Katy, TX) each scored 19 points to lead the offensive charge, Kauri Black (Rialto, CA) also finished in double figures scoring 11 points.

The following day on Friday afternoon the Wolverines had an opportunity to salvage a split for their trip to Canada as they faced off against Saint Foye. This time the Wolverines came flying out of the gate opening up a 27-10 lead after the first quarter. Their defense remained strong, creating a multitude of offensive opportunities which saw Bridgton convert on some easy lay ups opening up a 42-21 lead heading into halftime. In the second half Saint Foye was able to win the 3rd quarter outscoring the Wolverines 27-24, cutting the lead to 18 to start the 4th. Bridgton was able to put the defensive clamps back on for the final 10 minutes to win by 21, 87-66. Dwayne Smith again led the Wolverines scoring 19 points, Malik Stith (Long Island, NY) followed with 18 (14 in the second half), and Jamal Crook (Louisville, KY) added 16.

The Wolverines return from the trip with an overall record of 12-3, although the trip wasnt all about wins and losses according to Head Coach Whit Lesure, "The primary purpose of this trip is to get back into the sinw of our season outside of our league competition. It's no different then a classroom, with a teacher trying to get their students back after a long break. Kids just think its school, but there's a whole set of routines and positive habits that have to be reestablished quickly."

With the two games in Canada complete to kick of the second semester Head Coach Whit Lesure was asked for a brief assessment of the trip and his teams current state, he replied by saying, "I see our guys with a lot of the close relationships on and off the court you need to become good. We're at the point now where we need to demand from each other the sacrifices necessary to improve. Playing good teams like we did on this trip can help, and beating good teams down the line will help us grow more confidence as well."