Saturday, January 29, 2011

NOTRE DAME PREP 86 BRIDGTON ACADEMY 75

Notre Dame Prep broke open a very tight game with five minutes remaining in the contest to capture the 2nd Bridgton Winter Classic tournament. In the first half, it was a similar story as the visiting Crusaders edged out to a 38-30 lead at the half with a couple key buckets in the final minute. The Wolverines stayed close throughout most of the second half reducing the deficit to one on several occasions but some costly errors with the ball and hot shooting by Notre Dame Prep allowed the margin to widen in the final minutes. Todd Mayo led Notre Dame with a game high 22 points and virtually willed his team to victory. Donnie Hale (New Albany, IN) was again solid for the Wolverines on both ends and paced the scoring attack with twenty and he had plenty of help from guards Corey Spence (Baltimore, MD), Kareem Canty (New York, NY), and the front court tandem of Ryan Martin (London, England) and Daniel Franca (Sao Paulo, Brazil).


Coach Lesure pointed out the plays that Notre Dame made to close the game out as the difference on the afternoon. “ They finished some plays extremely well, and showed their mettle down the stretch. I was comfortable with the position we put ourselves in but there is no question we have to learn from this and close games with better execution. I really don’t fault our effort too much. We can play harder, but our team concept is better right now than it has been in a while. Hats off to Athletic Director Joe Sawicki for the development of the Winter Classic, and to the many people behind the scenes for helping to showcase Bridgton Academy and the Lakes Region to the participating teams and spectators. And congratulations to ND Prep for winning their second consecutive Winter Classic tournament," said Lesure.


In the consolation game, St. Thomas More broke open a tight game at halftime to defeat NEPSAC rival MCI.

Friday, January 28, 2011

BRIDGTON ACADEMY 63 ST. THOMAS MORE 60

Dust off the clich├ęs. “What a difference a day makes" or ”wins and losses come in different sizes." The Wolverines defeated one of the very best teams in New England with an all around team effort and significantly improved execution on Friday night to advance to the championship game of the Winter Classic played in honor of Martha Flint '52. The two teams battled evenly throughout the first half and St. Thomas More held a slim 29-28 advantage at the break.

It was close throughout the second half with neither team able to build a lead bigger than five points. Donnie Hale (New Albany, IN) played his best game of the year in leading the BA effort, finishing with a game high 20 points on a variety of inside and outside moves. He was not alone in putting up his best effort. Kareem Canty (New York, NY) (13 pts) and Corey Spence (Baltimore, MD) led a much more balanced attack in the backcourt with heady decision making throughout critical stretches of the game. The "Brazilian Beast" Daniel Franca (Sao Paulo, Brazil) was strong inside on both ends of the court proving that you do not need to score to play a vital role in a basketball game.

Coach Lesure was elated with the outcome in his comments afterwards. "First off, all the credit goes to the guys in our locker room. They know what went into this one. Our focus is always on getting better, but that is not an even or always pretty path. We certainly played better tonight,” Lesure said.

The Wolverines will face Notre Dame Prep in the championship game on Saturday afternoon at 2pm with St. Thomas More facing off against MCI at noon.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

BRIDGTON SUFFERS 73-38 LOSS TO BREWSTER

This one wasn’t in the cards from the start. A sluggish beginning to the game for both teams opened the floodgates for the top-ranked visitors from New Hampshire who took full advantage of the Wolverine problems to coast to an easy victory in North Bridgton. Several timeouts and multiple substitutions had little effect as Brewster rolled to a 31-8 halftime lead. The eight points in a half is the wrong kind of record to be setting against a superior opponent. Bridgton held Brewster at bay for much of the second half before letting the game get completely out of hand. Coach Lesure came away impressed with the top ranked Bobcats and was matter of fact after the game in his comments. “Give all the credit to Brewster. They are playing very well. We struggled mightily on offense to do anything. I feel for our players who have not been through this sort of humbling defeat before, but on the other hand, the only thing that really matters is how each of us responds," said Lesure.

Later this week BA hosts the Winter Classic and takes on St. Thomas More Friday night at 8pm. MCI plays Notre Dame Prep at 6pm in the opening game.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

SECOND HALF COLLAPSE SPELLS 80-62 DEFEAT FOR WOLVERINES

When Bridgton Academy executed perfectly on the first possession of the second half to take a 35-34 lead against host St. Thomas More in the Prides Corner Championship it appeared like the Wolverines had turned an important corner in the season. Some solid play on both ends of the court including a game opening steal by Brendan Allen (Windsor, CT) off some pressure defense locked the two NEPSAC foes in a virtual deadlock at halftime. Unfortunately for the visiting Wolverines, the host Chancellors had a different agenda and played smart and aggressive basketball to soundly defeat BA highlighted by a 10-0 run five minutes into a second half that looked like it might head for a second day of fantastic finishes. BA shot itself in the foot with poor execution, mental mistakes, and shoddy defense, a deadly combination for winning on the road on any level.

BA Coach Lesure was complimentary of the opponents efforts in putting away his team, while less than impressed with the overall mental and physical approach of the Wolverine team in the second half. “ St. Thomas More is good. Very good. They have a lot of pieces including a coach who knows something about success. That being said, in my heart I don’t believe we really put up too much of a fight, and that is certainly disappointing. You know in prep ball you don’t have forever to grow up and right now we have some serious growing up to do on our team. If you want to say that we look poorly coached at times, that would be an accurate statement too. I probably need to make some calls to some coaches who know something about Motion offenses because we’re playing without one right now," said Lesure.

The road doesn’t get any easier for Bridgton as the #1 team in the country, NEPSAC powerhouse Brewster Academy visits North Bridgton on Wednesday evening for a AAA North division matchup followed by a return game with St. Thomas More in the first round of the Bridgton Winter Classic on Friday night at the Wolverdome. This coming week’s games will be among the final chances to see the 2011 Wolverines in action at home as the schedule turns nasty and features a slew of road contests to highlight the late season.

“HALE-MARY” ANSWERS PRAYER FOR BA AT STM TOURNAMENT

Bridgton Academy forward Donnie Hale (New Albany, IN) swished a sixty-five foot shot as time expired Friday night to force overtime and ultimately spur the Wolverines to a thrilling 87-80 victory over Phelps Academy PA in the first round of the Prides Corner Tournament at the St. Thomas More School CT.

Hale’s heroics came after Phelps missed a free throw with a chance to ice the game with only seconds remaining. The late game excitement was not the only desperate comeback made by Bridgton Academy in the game. Seemingly showing some effects of a more than six hour bus ride begun in the snow of Central Maine, Phelps Academy raced to a 30-11 lead midway through the first half. Remarkably, the Wolverines were able to reduce the deficit to four by half at 40-36, and took their first lead in the game with eleven minutes to play in the second half. Bridgton Academy had several chances of their own to put the game away in the final minutes but ultimately a total of 12 missed free throws in the second half alone set up the game’s biggest drama. Five Wolverines scored in double figures, led by Hale’s 18, to reflect a balanced offensive output.

BA Coach Lesure credited his team’s determination in the uplifting win. “The shot was incredible, but you could see Donnie line it up and shoot it like he was going to make it. My hat’s off to him for the mental toughness to play to the final second. I think our team showed great poise in the first half getting to halftime with a life…We talk about 40 minutes and how long a game is all the time and tonight it really showed," said Lesure.

St. Thomas More beat MCI in the early game of the tournament setting up the championship contest for Saturday afternoon.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wolverine Winter Classic Preview

The Wolverine Winter Classic is only a week away, and the Wolverines are getting ready. The schedule has been announced and is listed below.

Friday 1/28:

6:00 P.M. - MCI vs. Notre Dame Prep

8:00 P.M. - BA vs. St. Thomas More

Saturday 1/29:

12:00 P.M. - Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2

2:00 P.M. - Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2


This tournament promises some great competition. Notre Dame Prep has a roster loaded with college commits. Khem Birch was named the #9 prospect in 2011 by ESPN and has committed to Pittsburgh. Ricardo Ledo is the #13 prospect for 2012 according to ESPN and after transferring from South Kent, has committed to Providence. ND Prep also has Angel Nunez who has committed to Louisville and Todd Mayo, who is a highly regarded prospect for 2012 and the brother of OJ Mayo, an NBA player.

St. Thomas More is also bringing the competition. With a current record of 14-2, they will be looking to dominate. Some of their star players include Andre Drummond, who is the #1 prospect for 2012 by ESPN. Check out this link to see a highlight video of Drummond. Their roster also contains Indiana Faithful who is a former Cheverus player whose team was previous Maine State Champions.

Maine Central Institute is bringing several ranked prospects to the tournament. With a loss to BA early in the season, MCI will surely come out ready to play.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wolverines Push Past Holderness

Bridgton Academy returned to playing winning basketball with a team oriented 77-45 victory against Holderness School NH. BA started strong with several baskets but the visitors rallied to even the game 17-17 at the ten minute mark of the first half. The Wolverines capitalized on the cold shooting of the visitors to mount a game breaking run to lead 41-17 at the half.

Corey Spence (Baltimore, MD) paced a balanced BA attack with 16 points but Coach Lesure was quick to point out the contributions of several players off the bench to spark the Wolverines. “I thought no one played a better overall game than Nebby Exantus (Apopka, FL). He is finally getting healthy and ready to contribute on both ends,” said Lesure.

Lesure also thought the focus was better on Wednesday in their second game back saying, “we are still very much a work in progress as a team. I think the sting of defeat was a good thing for everybody including me.”

The Wolverines return to action Friday evening at the Prides Corner tournament hosted by St. Thomas More. BA squares off against Phelps Academy PA in a first ever meeting for the two schools.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

BA DROPS TIGHT 76-72 CONTEST TO NEW HAMPTON

Bridgton Academy could not hold on to the leads they held throughout the game and lost a game in the final minute at home on Saturday night. BA started fast, jumping out to a 10-2 advantage and managed the first half well on both ends of the court to build a 41-28 advantage.

In the second half, the visitors mounted a spirited comeback behind some solid team play and timely shooting to even the game with five minutes remaining. The Wolverines responded by taking the lead back but could not make it stand up. New Hampton playmaker Jordan Laguerre converted a midrange jumpshot with less than thirty seconds left to give the Huskies their third lead of the night and then stole the inbounds pass off a Bridgton timeout to seal the road victory.

It was a rough way to start the second semester for the Wolverines who seemed poised to return to action with a more positive outcome and the upbeat mood on campus during the closed winter weekend. Coach Lesure credited the visitors following the game. “We understood that they would battle us for the full forty minutes. I was surprised we did not meet that challenge in the second half. It seems like I’ve been talking a lot about halves all year and not complete games. We’ll get it straightened out.”

Bridgton returns to action on Wednesday afternoon taking on Holderness School from New Hampshire at 3:30 P.M.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Finishing Touches Put on Basketball Locker Room Renovations


Coach Lesure, along with the help of the Development Office, has spent several months reaching out to basketball alumni, parents, and fans, to help cover the costs of renovating the team's locker room. The much improved space will be a welcome sight to the basketball team and coaching staff as they return to the Wolverdome later this month to begin 2011 portion of their season. A special thank you to all of the donors who made this project a reality - we wouldn't have succeeded in this effort without your support.

Fall Academic Awards

Last evening the Fall Academic Award Ceremony took place honoring those who went above and beyond in their classes this semester. There were recipients of these awards from several of the teams of campus. On top of the Academic Awards, a number of students were recognized for making High Honors. On the basketball team, there were several players recognized.


High Honors:

Josh Atlman

Tom McDonnell

Academic Awards:

Brendan Allen- English Composition

Donnie Hale- (CAP) Pre-Calculus

Corey Shaw- Nutrition

Alex Dobrovic- History of Conflict