Defenders 13U Team Officially Starts 2012 Season

Coach Brown’s Defenders 13U team started its 2012 season with three games as part of the Rose Classic in Brooklyn during the weekend of April 28-29. Sunday’s first game, a loss to the Lehigh Valley Heat, had the Defenders start out strong underneath on the defensive boards. The Defenders showed good ball handling skills with Alexzandra Walker driving to the basket and Imani Lue setting good picks. The Defenders were up against a strong press throughout the game. Shauna Randolph experienced early foul trouble, while Gabrielle Turner came in, played aggressive defense and made some quick passes to Imani.

As the game progressed, the girls showed they were able to cut and run some of the plays Coach Brown had called. The Defenders were able to force a number of turnovers, but were unable to capitalize on their opponents turnovers.

During the third quarter, Alex helped the team again, scoring after a strong drive and following a technical foul by the Heat. Shaunna Randolph also contributed by scoring from inside for the Defenders. The team became more comfortable in the quarter with a number of good passes to Brianna Rodrigues who scored with a jump shot. As the Defenders pressed harder, they were able to force more turnovers. Final Score: 32-11 Heat.

In their second game on Sunday, the Defenders 13U team came out victorious against the Staten Island Stingrays. The Defenders were more aware of the ball, anticipating opportunities for turnovers. Aahmira Brown forced three quick turnovers and Alex Walker scored an early three pointer. Shaunna Randolph scored two quick baskets in a row followed by a strong score by Roshanna Lewis underneath.

Imani Lue converted a steal for a layup, followed by another steal and another forced turnover. She was very quick on the floor and able to move quickly and fearlessly from end to end. Jewel Walston turned a rebound and a fast break pass into a score by Imani. Gabrielle Turner and Imani were able to read the opponents offense, making multiple steals and forcing turnovers in the second quarter. Imani provided a nice assist to Jewel Walston inside for the score. Aahmira Brown followed with a quick layup.

In the second half, Jewel Walston scored a few times from inside. Shaunna Randolph added to the score with a short jumper and a foul shot. Aahmira forced a turnover showed she can be persistent after scoring off multiple offensive rebounds. Imani continued to hustle, working to keep the ball in play and making yet another steal. The Defenders continued to force turnovers including a Stingray three second call. Gabrielle Turner, able to read the defense even better in the second half, prevented the fast break by the Stingrays. The crowd enjoyed a stronger defense inside during this game, including a clean block by Jewel Walston and another by Roshanna Lewis. Final Score: 33-10 Defenders

What are some lessons learned from the play during these two games? Work on being able to rebound more, box out, always expect the pass (especially if you are cutting) and play hard no matter what the score.

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