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Re: Firecrackers: 15U & 16U summer travel....

PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:50 am
by LennyH
Lessons Learned!

The Lady Firecrackers went into the Semi-Final match up well aware of who they were playing, the Number 1 Team in the Country, with every player already committed to top programs in the SEC. A team that won the 400 team Deep South Championship by a 20 point plus margin. While the ladies have faced tough competition, this was the best of the best. The final result was a 60-30 loss, however, there were some great lessons learned for the girls from Maine.

The team competed hard and well for most of the first half after getting down 10 early, the two teams traded baskets most of the first half and was "only" down 11 with about 3 minutes to play when a FBC United guard banked in a 3 pointer from the top of the key. The shot took the wind out of the girls, when your trying to compete against this level of play you don't need to see a banked 3 pointer find it's way into the basket. After that the FBC team simply continued to pull away from the Maine Team, however, there were some bright spots by several individuals on the team.

Mackenzie Holmes continued to show that if you try to play her straight up with one defender, your going to have issues at any level. She used an array if inside moves, jump hook shots and reverse layups to score 21 points and left a big impression on the 50 plus coaches on the end line. She also jumped screens, blocked shots and went at it 110% with the talented FBC Squad, leaving no doubt her abilities to compete with the best.

Anna DeWolfe played and amazing game as a leader and game changer. Her hustle and effort and inspired player were off the charts. She gave her body up and drew 3 offensive fouls from the high flying FBC Team as a matter of fact her 3rd charge actually seemed to inspire the FBC team as they were not used to this type of fundamental play. However, Anna's defining moment of pure grit and team first attitude came when there was a loose ball and her and a FBC chasing down, leaving her feet with a head first dive that would have made Pete Rose smile, she left everything on the floor (literally) during a 20 point game to recover a loose ball. This kind of effort can't be faked, you either got it or you don't and she certainly "HAS IT!"

Alex Hart continued to show why Bryant University offered her a scholarship. One of the few FC players who can compete athletically with every team they play, she again controlled the ball and never seem rattled by the intensity and level of play. Clearly she was able to compete and put the team in a position to get an offense started. (at this level even that can be an accomplishment) She continues to improve over the Summer and Bryant may well have gotten themselves a steal in her signing.

Faith Blethen also showed well despite nursing a sore shoulder. She knocked down a 3, defended the perimeter well and competed with the crazy Basketball Player/athletes the FBC United team put on the floor. Faith like the rest of the team did not back down to the challenge.

The reality is the entire team came ready to play, however, in basketball, like in life, your most likely eventually going to run into someone who is plain out better then you. In the Summer Basketball National Circuit you often run into to teams who are bigger, stronger and faster, but the FC teams have the basketball skills and coaching to compete. However, this was team that was superior in both athletic and basketball skills, fun to play and see how you match up and use the lessons learned to get better.

Re: Firecrackers: 15U & 16U summer travel....

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:07 am
by Green17
Lenny,
Do you have a roster for the 15U team. Also was the 16u team the same for both tournaments? If not could you supply the changes?

Re: Firecrackers: 15U & 16U summer travel....

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:41 am
by LennyH
This is the roster for the 15U Team -

McKenzy Ouellette (Massabesic ’19), Camille Clement (Falmouth ’21), Gabrielle Wener (Messalonskee ’20), Grace Martin (Biddeford ’19), Brooke Obar (Greely ’20), Katie Whitmore (South Portland ’19), Julia Colby (Oxford Hills ’20), Serena Mower (Maine Girls ’20), Paige Cote (Sanford ’20), Kaleisha Towle (South Portland ’20)

There were no changes to the 16U team roster during the two events. Both teams finished the tournament with victories in Consolation games on Wednesday to go 3-1 in the event. The Firecrackers 16U team avenged a 3 point loss in Suwanee to the FBC Black 17U team with a victory in Kentucky.

The final event on the schedule for both teams is the United States Junior Nationals in the DC area starting next Saturday the 22nd. This event is one of the most popular events in terms of scouting and recruiting in the US and will bring to close the Firecracker 2017 Spring/Summer season. It will be the last Firecracker event for Juniors, Eva Mazur, Sophie Glidden, Alex Hart, Meghan Graff, Emme Poulin and Alex Goodman. 2 of them, Glidden and Hart have been with the program since their earliest years, and for all of them a lot of emotion will go into this final event. (players and parents)

While Hart (Bryant University) and Poulin (Assumption) have made verbal commitments for their post High School years, Mazur and Glidden will look to build on and solidify their current offers and recruitment as they head into their Senior year of High School. Goodman has shown steady improvement throughout the season and will look to continue her growth during this final event. For all the members of this class the future is bright and will be loaded with options.

For the underclassmen on the 16U Team, Faith Blethen, Anna DeWolfe, Mackenzie Holmes and Maggie Whitmore they will find out what new and continued interest they have gathered from the Spring/Summer recruiting process. For the Juniors on both of the 16U and 15U team the process really changes on September 1st, as this is when College coaches can start contacting them directly.

The 16U Team is playing in the Highest Division (there are about 7-8 levels of play) at USJN. No team from Maine has ever played in this division, so there will be no shortage of opportunities and challenges for the young ladies from Maine. Hopefully they perform up to the standards that Coach Briggs and the program have come to expect. Looking forward to the challenge.

Re: Firecrackers: 15U & 16U summer travel....

PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:53 am
by Tom Nolette
Brian Clement‏ @BrianClement234
Congrats 2 Gracie "Apple Pie" Martin on offer 2 Iona. Special kid + huge upside. 8th active FC w/ offer. Basketball or football in college?

Re: Firecrackers: 15U & 16U summer travel....

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:35 am
by Tom Nolette
Maine Firecrackers‏ @me_firecrackers
We're four days away from the final tournament of the summer ... US Junior Nationals in DC, July 22-25.
PIC: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DFD43MCXsAAYXIW.jpg

Re: Firecrackers: 15U & 16U summer travel....

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:59 pm
by LennyH
The Firecrackers squads kick off this evening at USJN with games at 7:15 - 16U and 9:45 15U. If you are interested in watching the 16U teams games will be broadcasting on Facebook Live - goto Joan Kinney Holmes Facebook page for the link to view. It should be very exciting event to say the least!

Complete Schedules are as follows:

16U Schedule
Saturday July 22nd:

7:15pm Firecrackers vs.LT3 (Virginia) Court #9

Sunday July 23rd:

4:00pm Firecrackers vs. Team Takeover (Maryland) Court #6
7:30pm Firecrackers vs. Best (Indiana Court #8

Monday July 24th:

10:15am Firecrackers vs. Bluehounds (Quebec City) Court #12
1:40pm Firecrackers vs. Flight 22 (North Carolina) Court #3

You need to win your pool to advance. Games will be played on Tuesday for teams that advance….single elimination to a championship.

15U Schedule
Saturday July 22nd:

9:45pm Firecrackers vs. Panthers (New Jersey) Court #8

Sunday July 23rd:

4:00pm Firecrackers vs. Hudson Valley Elite (New York)
7:30pm Firecrackers vs. Boo Williams (Virginia)

Monday July 24th:

5:10pm Firecrackers vs. Philadelphia Belles (Pennsylvania) Court #15
8:40pm Firecrackers vs. Pistols (Georgia) Court #7

Re: Firecrackers: 15U & 16U summer travel....

PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:06 pm
by LennyH
Good opening game for the 16U team as they beat the Virginia Based LT3 programs 44-29 to get the ever important 15 points differential, (max allowed) for the game. The Ladies had a considerable size advantage but the pesky LT3 team hung around for the first half as the Firecrackers had a hard time connecting. As the game advance the superior play of the Maine girls, showed the way and led to a comfortable win.

The 15U team lost a close game 36-32 to the Panthers from Jersey City.

Re: Firecrackers: 15U & 16U summer travel....

PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:31 pm
by LennyH
Firecrackers 16U ROLLING!

The Spring Club circuit is a long season - starts in March and ends 4 months later in the end of July and there are always ups and downs along the way. The 16U Firecrackers have certainly seen their share of good and not so good times. However, Coach Briggs always talks about the big picture and getting to where you want to be in July during the live viewing period. If the first 3 games here at USJN is any indicator they ladies may be clicking at exactly the right time. The girls have rolled to 3 victories all by the a +15 margin, heading into a showdown game tomorrow morning vs the other undefeated team in the Pool and the top team from the Montreal area - Bluehounds Basketball. The winner of the 10:15 matchup will advance to the 16 Team single elimination championship tournament on Tuesday against the pool winners from all the other pools.

We have figured out how to stream the games on Facebook Live with some consistency so if you want to watch tomorrow, go to Joan Kinney Holmes Facebook page.

Re: Firecrackers: 15U & 16U summer travel....

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:55 am
by Tom Nolette
Maine Firecrackers‏ @me_firecrackers
16U at 3-0 after day two of US Jr Nationals, following a 63-31 win over Indiana's Best. 15U split today's game, and sit at 1-2.

Re: Firecrackers: 15U & 16U summer travel....

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:51 am
by LennyH
GREAT WIN!

The Maine Firecrackers 16U Team continued their stellar play at USJN with a outstanding team effort to defeat the Bluehounds from Montreal 50-47 and stamp their entry into the Single Elimination Tournament beginning tomorrow at 8:00. Playing maybe their best half of basketball, the ladies led 37-22 at the half. However, the Montreal team which plays year round together (they all attend a Private Prep School) was not going to fade that quickly. A VERY slow start by the Firecrackers led to a 15-2 start of the second half by Montreal. The Bluehounds actually took the lead 44-42 with about 5 minutes to play, but the Firecrackers responded with an 8-1 run and closed out the game to get a victory.

The team plays again today at 1:40,(ish, games have been behind schedule all week) however, they have already qualified, so this will be a great game to get everyone minutes and some rest before tomorrows Tournament.