Phoenix Girls Varsity Team @ Aleigh Mills Tournament

Phoenix Girls Varsity Basketball: 37
Hyde-Woodstock: 25

Phoenix Girls Varsity Basketball: 43
Hebron: 37

The phoenix girls basketball team was hard at work last week preparing for the 5th Annual Aleigh Mills Tournament at Kents Hill.  This has been a great season opening tournament we’ve participated in each year and pressure was on as the returning champs.  There are a number of individuals with basketball skill and talent on the roster this year and the Aleigh Mills tournament was an excellent test to see how well the girls could play together as a unit on the court.

On Friday, the girls faced their first opponent, our sister school, the Woodstock Wolfpack.  From the tip off the girls worked to settle in and traded baskets with the Wolfpack.  Hyde Woodstock has a skilled freshman who sunk some nice shots from the outside.  The Phoenix needed to work to tighten up their defense.  Timesha Walker ‘17 ignited her teammates with key steals on defense and back-to-back outside shots to put the Phoenix ahead.  By halftime, the Phoenix had a comfortable lead heading into the locker room.  In the second half, freshman Brook Clement ‘19 did a nice job at point guard controlling the offense and making the Wolfpack work on defense.  Allie Grover ’17 was aggressive and forced some great turnovers, while Alex Bassinger ’17 contributed by crashing the boards.  The final score was 37-25.  Walker had 10 points, Lutes Bartlett ‘16 with 8, Bassigner with 7 points, and Diamond Brown ’16  with 6.  Every girl was able to get into the game and contribute.

As a result of the win, the girls returned to Kents Hill to play in the championship game against regular season opponent Hebron Academy.  In the first quarter it was clear that it was going to be a competitive game.  Silly turnovers worked against Hyde, and Hebron had a great ball handler and an outside shooter that tested the Phoenix defense.  It was a close 10-6 after the first quarter, but after a quick three from Diamond Brown ’16 in the second quarter elevated the girl’s offense.  The score was 22-17 at half time.  Going into the second half Hyde needed to step up their defense and rebounding.  In the third quarter Hyde outscored Hebron 15-8 and had a 12 point lead going into the final quarter.  It was a very competitive fourth quarter and Hyde struggled to find the net as Hebron began to close down the lead.  With only a 7 point lead, Lutes Bartlett ’16 did a nice job under the boards on both ends.  3 minutes left to play and Bartlett was fouled and sank both free throws to put Hyde up by 9.  Hebron answered by hitting a three which put pressure on Hyde with only a 6 point lead.  Fortunately Hyde had the clock on their side and used that to their advantage to work the ball to the final buzzer.  Hyde was able to finish the job and earn the victory to be the champs of the Aleigh Mills tournament for the second year in a row!  Brown was high scorer with 19 points and also earned Player of the Tournament.  Walker had 10 points, Clement added 8, and Bartlett finished with 7 points.

While the girls are still learning each other’s style of play and what it means to work together, they did a nice job making adjustments and hustling all four quarters of both games.   It was a fun weekend and the Phoenix have shown that it will be a competitive season.  They’ll have to continue to work hard today and tomorrow when they face Temple Academy away on Monday as well as Richmond, a tough Class C opponent, in their gym on Tuesday.

Coach Lobozzo and Coach Nuffer