Phoenix Girls V Basketball Season Opener @ Aleigh Mills

The 2013-14 Phoenix basketball season tipped off for the ladies this past weekend up at Hebron Academy with the Aleigh Mills Tournament.  The tournament included our Phoenix along with the Lumberjacks of Hebron, the Huskies of Kent’s Hill, and the Wolfpack of Hyde, Connecticut.   The tournament is an annual event that commemorates the life of Aleigh Mills, a young lady who was a student-athlete at Kent’s Hill and whose life was tragically taken a few years ago.   It was an honor for the Phoenix to meet and spend time w Aleigh’s father who is a presence at all Kent’s Hill games.   He commented on how much he admires the sportsmanship and enthusiasm that Hyde brings to the tournament that honors his daughter.

On Friday night, the Phoenix captured their first victory of the year with a 32-20 win over Hebron.  So. Captain Diamond Brownoffered exemplary leadership to our young team acting as an on-court coach, not to mention leading all scorers with 21 points.  Sr. Captain Emma Leonard scored a career high 8 points and played tough defense to do her part to lead the team.   So. Lute Bartlettplayed tough defense as did Sr. Captain Carolyn Moore.  Every girl who suited up that night got a chance to play, which was quite exciting since many of them had never played in an actual basketball game before.  The victory on Friday evening earned Hyde a ticket to the finals on Saturday to take on a tough Kent’s Hill team that defeated Hyde Woodstock to advance.   Unfortunately, Saturday’s game didn’t go as well for the Phoenix as they struggled to match the enthusiasm and intensity with which they played the night before and fell to Kent’s Hill 38-23.  Nevertheless, there were several shining moments in Saturday’s game as a couple of our younger players, Fr. Allison Grover and So. Cherry Weng set an example for how to play with absolute courage and determination as they chased defenders and loose balls all over the court.  In the end, the tournament proved to be an incredibly important learning experience for a young Phoenix team.   They experienced both the potential highs and lows of a basketball season, and now they understand the hard work that it will take to develop and bring to fruition this team’s unique potential.

Next Up:  Home Opener on Tuesday vs Rangeley at 5:30 pm.  (Rangeley is a very strong team, perhaps the best team in Class D West, so the girls can use a lot of fan support.)

Girls Varsity Basketball vs Kent’s Hill

Richard Polgar