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:

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

Game 5: Winner Game 1 vs Winner Game 2
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs Winner Game 4

Game 7: Winner Game 5 vs Winner Game 6