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

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Re: Firecrackers: 15U & 16U head to ATL for the Suwannee TOC

Postby LennyH » Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:45 pm

The Wifi here works so will be streaming the 16U Game at around 8:50 ( games are running a little ahead of schedule) - go to Joan Kinney Holmes Facebook page to watch the game if you are interested.
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Re: Firecrackers: 15U & 16U head to ATL for the Suwannee TOC

Postby LennyH » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:02 pm

After a couple of strong warm up games - Tournament starts for real this afternoon as the 15's play at 1:25 and the 16's go at 3:35. The 16's will be on Facebook Live again this afternoon for those interested in watching.
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Re: Firecrackers: 15U & 16U head to ATL for the Suwannee TOC

Postby LennyH » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:21 pm

Good day for both FC squads as the came up with 2 wins in the opening round of the Tournament. As for the 16''s this tournament is a challenge to match last year's Championship performance. After taking the month off to rest and play with their schools team, they girls are ready to get after it. It takes time to adjust to game speed that this level of play brings.

Game 1 of Tournament play started with the Each One Teach One program. The Firecracker girls came out of the gate quick with the Super Soph combination of Mackenzie Holmes and Anna DeWolfe feeding each other for quick baskets. Holmes continued the strong early play scoring 8 of the first 10 points and leading the ladies from Maine to a quick 10-2 start. EOTO countered quickly with 2 deep '3's and any thought of an easy win was quickly dismissed.

The two teams got involved in an a back and forth offensive battle. DeWolfe scored on a deep 3 and fellow Soph Faith Blethen added one as well. The ETOP team continued their strong play from the perimeter and the game was back and forth for most of the first half. Alex Hart hit a great driving layup to put the girls up and punctuated a 30-26 half time lead.

The 2nd half started similar to the 1st with the teams exchanging baskets, however, momentum changed a two consecutive plays - Holmes missed a foul line jumper, but kept the ball alive and Eva Mazur scooped up the ball and hit a crazy reverse lay up while being fouled, she completed the traditional 3 point play. On the next possession Mazur drove baseline and at the last second found Holmes for a driving lay in to push the lead to double figures.

The rest of the game featured some of the best Firecrackers basketball of the season. Holmes found Alex Goodman on a back door layup set, DeWolfe put on a show after being challenged by an EOTO player, with 2 driving lay ups and deep 3's, letting her play do her talking. When EOTO thought they might have a chance at run Blethen burried 2 deep 3's to send the message there would be no comeback in this one! The final score hand the Firecrackers winning by 20.

As is customary with the Firecrackers program, no one knows who will step up each game, Sophie Glidden, Emme Poulin (huge shots in Wednesday's non-counter) Meghan Graf and Maggie Whitmore (the lone 9th grader on the team) all contributed to the win. They all recognize it's a team effort that allows them to have continued success and tomorrow brings another game and another opportunity to prove Maine Basketball can compete at the highest level.
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Re: Firecrackers: 15U & 16U head to ATL for the Suwannee TOC

Postby ExpoEddie » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:44 am

Great post. Great read. I would like to say amazing, but the truth is we are learning Maine kids can get it done at the highest level. Keep us updated LH.
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Re: Firecrackers: 15U & 16U head to ATL for the Suwannee TOC

Postby LennyH » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:45 pm

Both Teams Continue into the Semifinals of Respective Brackets.

A great morning for the Firecracker Program as both teams advanced to the Semi-Finals of their respective brackets in the National 17U Division. The 15U team made up of 9th and 10th graders continued their run with an impressive win over the FBC 16U Club team. The Ladies from Maine put on a defensive rebounding display against the much taller and athletic FBC Team. If anyone wants to understand the importance of limiting the opponent to one and done, a film of this game would be in order. The FC team played great team D and simply out worked and out hustled the FBC Team for the victory. They take on a VERY good Southern Starz team at 5:40 tonight to advance to the Finals of the B - Bracket.

The Firecracker 16U Team also advanced with a tough fought win over the PeAk Performance team out of Georgia. The team trailed quickly as the PeAk team scored 3 quick hoops, however FC responded with Mackenzie Holmes scoring inside for 2 quick hoops and Alex Hart hitting a nice step back 3 pointer for an early 7-6 lead. The teams stayed close in the first half, until Faith Blethen continued her torrid shooting in the South with two 3's and Hart added another to push the FC lead up to 6 points. Holmes picked up her 3rd foul (players get 6 in this Tournament) and headed to the bench with 5 minutes to play in the half. PeAk took advantage of her absence and cut the lead to 2 at the half.

The 2nd half saw the teams go back and forth when Eva Mazur hit a 3 to give FC a one point lead, the Girls from Georgia went on a 7-0 run and started to take control with about 8 minutes to play. That's when Blethen stepped up with 2 HUGE 3 pointers to get the Firecrackers back on track - an Anna DeWolfe 2 pointer pushed the FC lead to 5 with about 3 minutes to play and possession of the ball. The FC went to their motion offense but turned the ball over and PeAk turned it into 2 points and a deficit of 2 points. On the next two possessions Holmes went back to work scoring on inside lefty hook shot and finishing strong on the break after a PeAk basket. PeAk scored again but Blethen put a capper on a fantastic game with a short jumper to seal the deal and provide a 45-38 victory.

The 16U Club moves into the Semi-Finals against the FBC 17U Black squad who the faced in the Preliminary game on Wednesday night, losing by 3 points. It's a rarity when two teams face each other twice in the same tournament as now both teams have a "scouting" report to go by. No surprises this time around.

Hopefully the Wifi will be a little more cooperative this time around and anyone who wants can watch the 16U game at 6:45 on Joan Kinney Holmes facebook page.
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Re: Firecrackers: 15U & 16U head to ATL for the Suwannee TOC

Postby Tom Nolette » Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:11 am

We all appreciate the updates and live game coverage !!

video: https://www.facebook.com/joan.k.holmes


While we await updates , latest twitter post:
Maine Firecrackers‏ @me_firecrackers
Two hard fought losses for 15U & 16U tonight. Consolation games tomorrow, and then on to Louisville.
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Re: Firecrackers: 15U & 16U head to ATL for the Suwannee TOC

Postby LennyH » Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:14 am

Tale of 2 Games!

As Tom mentioned the evening session did not go as well for the Firecrackers program. The 15U Team playing up in the Tournament simply ran into a better team. Defensively the girls competed their hearts out, but the 1-2-2 Zone employed by the Starz team, while leaving open gaps gave the girls plenty of looks from deep, but they simply could not connect. The final score was indicative of the type of defensive battle it was as the girls lost 33-20.

The 16U game was a similar first half for the older team. The choose a bad time to put up one of their worse offensive halves of basketball this season. The team they played was not the same FBC Club they played in the exhibition game as one parent told us before the game, this is our ELITE team! She estimated 7-8 of the players had Division I scholarships in hand. They certainly looked the part with 4-5 girls in the 6'2" - 6'4" range, big and strong would be an underestimate. However, it would be their electric Purdue bound guard that would later be the difference maker.

It didn't start poorly for the Maine team as they rebounded from a slow start and has become customary Mackenzie Holmes got them going and when she connected on her 5th early point with 1-2 from the Foul line, Maine led 7-6. FBC connected on 2 long 3's shortly and after Holmes hit another basket the FBC lead was cut to 12-9 with about 7 minutes to play in the half. Unfortunately it would be the last point of the half for the Firecrackers as they continued to miss shot after shot which led to a 18-9 half time score.

The ladies from Maine coming off a "spirited" half time speech from Coach Briggs, quickly got back into the game with a 6-0 to start the 2nd half as Anna DeWolfe and Eva Mazur mixed in some hoops. Throughout the 2nd half the Firecrackers would cut the lead to 1, once with a 3 from DeWolfe and then again on a Faith Blethen 3 pointer. Every time, however, the FBC point guard would answer - with deep range, driving lay ups and pull up jumpers. Slight of build but lightening quick, she continued to ward off Firecrackers leads.

Down the stretch a driving power Lay up by Holmes again cut the lead to two points and the Firecrackers had to foul quickly after to stop the clock with about 30 seconds to play and put the FBC point guard on the line. Remarkably, she missed both free throws, however, a failed block out attempt by the FIrecrackers resulted and FBC retained possession. From there it was free throw shooting contest and the final result was a 40-35 loss.

The girls each play a "consolation" game today before heading to Louisville for next weeks Summer Playoff Finale of the ASGR circuit. The 16U take on the very strong Alabama Starz team at 12:20.
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Re: Firecrackers: 15U & 16U summer travel....

Postby Tom Nolette » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:10 am

Maine Firecrackers‏ @me_firecrackers
Back in action, 15U tips against FBC (GA) at 12:15. 16U follows at 2:25 against FGB (FL). Games at Mid-Am Sports Center, Louisville, KY.
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Re: Firecrackers: 15U & 16U summer travel....

Postby Tom Nolette » Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:00 am

Maine Firecrackers‏ @me_firecrackers
15U & 16U rolled to opening wins today. Next up, 15U meets Wiggins Waves (CA) at 9 AM Tuesday, 16U plays Meanstreets (IL) at 10:05. #asgr
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Re: Firecrackers: 15U & 16U summer travel....

Postby LennyH » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:21 am

The 15's lost a close one by 4 to Wiggins Waves after a Brooke Obar 3 put the FC girls up by 2 with a minute to play, Wiggins answered with a 3 and another hoop to pull away. Great basketball game as both teams played well.

The 16's advanced with a strong win over the Meanstreet's team from Illinois with a 40-26 victory. For the 2nd consecutive game the girls held their opponent to 26 points with GREAT 1/2 court defense, by everyone. Holmes and DeWolfe provided much of the scoring in the two contests with double figure scoring in both games. The team's rewards for the strong showing is game against the #1 Team in the Country - the FBC 17U - United Hunt team. This team won the Deep South Classic in April going away. A quick glance at their game the other day and the Baseline was packed with coaches from everywhere including UConn!

What an AMAZING opportunity for the ladies from Maine to see where they match up in the big picture!
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