Defending & Hooping at the Rose Classic – April 2013

“We are defense! All you have to do is look at the name of this program, if you want to know who we are. We are defense! That’s who we are, and that’s what we do…!”, bellowed Coach Stone, to his team, during the first timeout huddle of Sunday morning’s contest in Brooklyn. The Defenders took their tenacious style of basketball to Brooklyn’s iconic Rose Classic tournament this weekend, and escaped with 2 wins in 3 attempts. Early season jitters, and new team chemistry issues didn’t seem to plague the lady ballers of Somerset, New Jersey, as they managed to finish the weekend with more wins than losses.

In the first game on Saturday, the Defenders went head to head with “Queens Finest”, and benefitted from High School teammates, Jackie Rodriguez, and Alyssa McDonough who scored 18, and 17 points respectively. Kyra Fox added 6 points, Ashley Opitz 4 points and Kadijah Matthews added 5 points and 3 blocked shots to help the Defenders fight off Queen’s Finest, who fell short in the final moments of what was an electrifying, see – saw battle. The Defenders prevailed, 51-47.

In the second game on Saturday, CAS Douglas took advantage of a fatigued Defenders squad, who managed to have only one scorer in double figures. Jackie Rodriguez led all Defenders with 10 points. The Defenders fell to CAS Douglas in a forgettable performance 51-22.

On early Sunday morning, the Defenders faced off against the Long Island Renegades. However the early morning tip-off proved to be a worthy opponent, also as the Defenders struggled early to find their legs. Eventually the Defenders found their way behind the reliable shooting of Jackie Rodriguez who led all Defenders with 12 points. Alyssa McDonough provided much needed leadership and poise, as the Renegades applied full court pressure. The Defenders also benefitted from timely scoring by Camille Duncan, and a stoic defensive effort from Morgan Mitchell who also contributed 6 points, as the Defenders held on to beat the Renegades 36-34.

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