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.

No comments: