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."

Monday, January 5, 2009

Latest NERR National Prep Poll Released

The second poll of the season from was released on December 31st and thanks to an impressive 11-2 start the Wolverines find themselves ranked 4th in the nation, up one spot from the previous poll which had been released late in the pre-season.

Patterson School (NC) has climbed up to the top spot after starting the season 20-0, including handing Hargrave Military Academy (VA) their first loss in two years.

Hargrave (12-1) drops down to #2 followed by Notre Dame Prep (14-2) at #3, Bridgton Academy (11-2) #4, and Northfield Mount Hermon (9-1) rounds out the top 5.

For the complete write up see New England Recruiting Report's National Prep Poll