2010 Adidas Northeast Elite College Showcase

Friday, April 16th, 2010

The weekend began with the Defenders arriving throughout the late afternoon and into the evening at the Howard Johnson’s in Hadley, Massachusetts, ready to participate in the 2010 Adidas Northeast Elite College Showcase. Everyone arrived safely after the four hour drive from New Jersey, and settled in to their rooms to get rested up for the next day’s games.

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Coach Stone’s team was up first on the schedule with an 11:15 AM tip off at the University of Massachusetts’ Boyden Gymnasium. They would face the MA-South Central MA Sharks in their first contest of the tournament. After stretches, warm-up, and shoot around, they were ready to go. The team had a disappointing first half, trailing 12 to 23. The second half saw little improvement, with nothing seeming to click. With their opponents scoring at will, and the Defenders taking very few shots, they lost 27 to 47. There were glum faces, all around.

Janissa, Jenean, and Shalette tied for high score with 6 points each.  Shari and Ashanti each had 2 assists.  When asked after the game, what she would like to see in the upcoming game, Dewyna (Tia’s Mom) said: “Shoot the Darn Ball!”

The second game for Coach Stone’s team got off to a very fast pace, with the Defenders trading baskets with the NH-NE Crusaders.  The game stayed close throughout the first half with the Crusaders pulling ahead by five to close the half at 30 to 25.  The 2nd half opened withthe Crusaders sinking a “3” to extend their lead to 8.  Janissa answered with a “3′ of her own, to bring the game to a more manageable 28 to 33.  Unfortunately, the Defenders seemed to run out of gas as the game continued, committing significantly more turnovers.  They fell to the aptly named Crusaders, 46 to 61.

High scorer for the Defenders was Jasmine Walker.  Ashanti and Shalette were tied with 5 assists each.  Charmika (Jenean’s sister), a vocal spectator on the sidelines, commented that the team “needs to talk on D, and communicate more.”

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Day 2 of the Tournament opened with Coach Stone’s team facing the Visionary Basketball 17 Elite in the 9:30 AM game.  The team fought hard to come back from a deficit of 10 points, to bring the score to within 4 (23-27) at the half.  After the half time break, the Defenders came out playing more aggressively, which led to several turnovers, and brought the game to within 2 points.  Coach Stone made some defensive adjustments in the 2nd half, which made a real difference.  The team kept the defensive pressure on, and continued to find ways to score, leading to an exciting 51 to 48 point win!  Ashanti was the high scorer with 11 points, and 2 assists.  Shalette led the team in rebounding with 7.  There’s still much more work to do, but it’s good to see the team come together in a win.

In the final game of the tournament, Coach Stone’s team faced the NH-NE Shooting Stars 16 in what would prove to be a very exciting game.  The Defenders got off to a good start wtih a 19 to 10 lead with 9:21 to go in the first half.  They would see that lead slip away in the second half, with the score tied at 36-36 with 4:37 to go in the game.  The Shooting Stars pulled ahead in the final minute of the game, but a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Ashanti, after a feed from Jas, let us put the game in the books as a win!

Jas was the high scorer with 19 points, while Ashanti led with 5 assists.  When approached after the game, Sharon said she was glad Ashanti “stepped up with the winning shot”.  What a way to finish the tournament!

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