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."

No comments: