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Jaguars on the Prowl in Virginia

04/26/2014, 7:30pm EDT
By John Novarina

Four Girls Teams at DQT in Thorofare, NJ, Three at West Chester

9th Grade Blue, High School Blue and High School White headed south this weekend but to work on their game, not their tans. This weekend is the one major spring NCAA viewing period where NCAA Division I coaches are permitted to view and evaluate up and coming talent from across the United States. Our girls are at both prestigious East Coast Tournament, the Boo Williams Nike Invitational and the Blue Chip Pre-Season Challenge, representing our organization and our region's girls basketball.

At Boo Williams, 9th Grade Blue, with only 8 players, kicked off their weekend action with a thrilling 1 point victory. The girls trailed by as many as 9 to Miami Suns in the second half, led by Shannon Mullen's 10 points and Juliana Alessandroni's 8. Facing a team that had a 6'4 and 6'0 girls the Jags fought hard on the boards to make up for the lack of size. Coach Alessandroni said "Madison Haney, Marissa Picinich, Shannon Mullen and Taylor Keys were all HUGE on the boards. Rachel Yerger, Juliana Alessandroni, Devin Scilingo and Lexie Nugent were able to handle the constant pressure applied by the opponent."  The girls dropped their second game by 9 in the final minutes to eventual quarterfinalist New England Crusaders. The team rebounded from that defeat with a crisply played 55-38 victory over the NJ Sparks.  Marissa Picinich got the Jags started knocking down 2 early baseline jumpers. Rachel Yerger led the way this time with 10 points, Shannon Mullen added 9.  Juliana Alessandroni and Taylor Keys continued their strong play by contributing 8, and Maddie Haney banged the glass and kicked in 7 points.

Also at Boo Williams, High School Blue is 1-2 through their first three games. Let's just say the first game didn't go so well but Coach Mellon did get to meeting Geno Auriemma (see blurry picture below), so he had that going for him. In game 2 the girls dropped a tight contest to a team from Vancouver called BC Finest by a score of 58-53. Marissa Sandone continued her torrid play with a team high 14 points. She was assisted by Abby Beyer's 12 and Taylor Evans' 8. The girls got in the win column during the second Saturday game, beating the New York Lightning by a score of 37-35. Abby Beyer dropped 17 points and Jordan Webb chipped in with 6.

High School White is playing in the Blue Chip Tournament and dropped their first two games. Details to follow.

In the Girl's District Qualifying Event the Jaguars are being represented by 4th Grade Blue, 5th Grade Blue, 6th Grade Blue and 6th Grade White.

4th grade blue played their best competition of the year, and they rose to the occasion.  We started out tight in our first game and fell behind by 8 in the first half against the Chester County Wizards.  A much better second half got us back into the game, we eventually lost by 4 points, 21-17.  Amelia Kennedy led the scoring with 7 points.  Julia Breisch contributed 4 points, while Lauren Keyte, Erin Skomsky and Samantha Brown each contributed 2 points.  Our second game against the Rockers started much better.  We jumped out to a 10 point lead and eventually won by 3, 23-20.  Amelia Kennedy again led all scorers with 12 points.  On Sunday we played a hard fought game against the Philly Heat.  It was a physical game that went back and forth, we eventually lost by 1 point.  Amelia Kennedy had 16 points and Julia Breisch contributed 4 in the 25-24 loss.  We finished the tournament strong by beating the Delaware Lady Sharks by a score of 36-15.  Amelia Kennedy, Erin Skomsky and Avery White all contributed 6 points in the win. It was a great effort by all of the girls.  Everyone contributed offensively and we continued our strong defensive play only giving up 81 points in the 4 games.  The games were very physical, which we weren't used to, but the girls played through it and showed they can compete with anybody.

5th Grade Blue dropped both Saturday games, details to follow.

6th Grade Blue had a very difficult draw and dropped a pair of games on Saturday. In the first loss to the Comets the team welcomed Maya Bokunewicz back from injury and she was in a group of 3 players, including Kayla Viney and Sydney Tornetta who each had 4 points. Tornetta also added 5 rebounds and 3 steals. The girls fought hard with a talented Magic team and trailed only by 6 at halftime but the Magic's outside shooting was the difference in the 45-21 defeat. Sydney Tornetta again was the leading scorer with 5 points, followed by Caroline Pellicano, Hannah Clay and Skylar Sullivan, each with 4. On Sunday the team faced another stiff test against the Lower Delco Wildcats who beat the Jags by four in their last meeting. On this occassion however, the girls rallied from their disappointing Saturday and played a solid game at both ends of the floor to secure a heart pounding, come from behind 22-20 victory. Sydney Tornetta once again led all scorers with 12 points, including two huge, back to back three pointers to forge a tie game at 20-20. Lucy Olsen nailed a big three pointer early in the game and Hannah Clay had 3 points to go along with her 4 rebounds. Unfortunatley the team dropped the tournament finale to the Explosion by a score of 36-27. The girls got off to a slow start trailing 10-1 before going on a 13-1 run of their own to take a 13-11 lead. Tornetta again led the way with 8 points and Hannah Clay had 6 points and 5 rebounds. The girls improved their seeding in Division 1 from #7 in 2013 to #6 in 2014. (see pictures below)

6th Grade White dropped their first game to the Comets, Corinne Meyer led the way in the defeat with 4 points. The team rebounded to win their second game in thrilling fashion with a 19-18 over the Rockers. Leading scorers were Corinne Meyer and Gabby Marinacci with 4 and 8 players tallied in the win. Riley McGettigan and Nikki Foller-Moll hit huge free throws in the last minute to steal a win after falling behind late. On Sunday, the Jags used a 15-4 second half to secure another come from behind victory over the Mid-Penn Motion, final score 24-16. Corinne Meyer continued her strong tournament, leading the way with 7 points. Nikki-Foller Moll and Riley McGettigan each had 5 in the win.

 

7th Grade Blue went 3-1 on the weekend led by a total team effort on both the offensive and defensive game. The last game on Sunday against the Wizards was quite the thriller and the girls really stepped up and put it all on the floor- not an easy thing to do playing back to back games. Our scoring front was led by Ariana Maggazolo who had 16 points including two 3 point goals that opened up the lead for us at crucial times. Also, a big performance by Abby Goodrich who also netted 16 points and was a major presence on the boards throughout the entire game. Defensively, the intensity and discipline is what ultimately won us the game. Huge defensive performances by Morgan Flynn, Meghan Moore, and Cassidy Landis were crucial in the second half. Coach Taylor says the girls are playing their best basketball of the season and is looking forward to see where the team measures up at the upcoming regional tournament. In the first game The Jags easily handled Kyniska by a score of 48-20. Lauren Beppel netted 13 points in the win and was shooting the lights out. Abby Goodrich also came up big with 12 points. In the Jags loss to the Mid-Penn Motion Logan Bonewitz lit up the floor from beyond the arc and netted three 3-balls, finishing with 10 points. The game against the Crush resulted in a 49-27 victory and Abby Goodrich led the team with 17 points in a 49-27.

7th Grade White had a very successful 2-2 weekend. Saturday started out with a close, hard fought 2 point loss to Kynska. The team fell behind early and played catch-up until the end. Jenna Finley sunk two huge 3s at the end of the game to force a tie, however the Jags came up a bit short at the buzzer. The second game Saturday against Southern Berks pitted the girls against their biggest challenge to date. After a rough game, the girls played hard and came up 5 points short in the end. A team effort kept the Jags close all game, but a late run was not to be had. Ameerah Green brought her "A" game defensively in this one. Sunday brought sunshine and wins. In the opener the girls played a total team game and beat Philly Flight. Aigner Thaxton had one for the record books: 12 points and 19 rebounds. The Jags overcame 7 made 3s by the Flight and held on at the end to secure a victory.  To start the game, 7th Grade White jumped out to a 12-2 lead with a flurry of made shots - started by a Jenna Finley 3 and held a 5 point half time lead. The Flight kept coming at the us, and were one of the purest shooting team we faced all season. In the end, the Jags controlled the ball down the stretch and finished out a solid effort with a 3 point win. Flush with confidence the girls played some tether ball, and then played the Chesapeake Chicks. Finishing off the weekend with a strong 40-11 victory, the Jags played a complete team game and kept their composure against in a hostile environment. The weekend was very successful with 3 very close games against solid competition and one easy victory. The smiles at the end of the weekend told a great story.

 

8th Grade Blue was 3-1 this weekend in the Chesco Lightning Tournament in West Chester, PA.  In game one 8 Blue beat a solid West Chester Wizards team 41-34.  The team was paced by Megan Jonassen 15 points and 9 rebounds, Alex Blomstrom had 8 and Kali Kratz had 7.  Victoria Melton had 9 rebounds.  In game two 8 Blue suffered their first lost of the year losing 53-29 to a very talented Potomac Valley Lady Classics team.  Melton had 7 points and Ali Higgins and Ashlyn Duda each had 4 points.  On Sunday the Jags 8 Blue bounced back with two wins.  Game one on Sunday saw the team down 27-20 to the well rounded Perkasie Knights with 5:20 left in the game and the Jags 8 Blue reeled off the last 18 points of the game to win 38-27.  Great defense and passing lead the way.  Jonassen had 11, Kratz had 7 and Blomstrom and Higgins each had 6 points.  In the last game the Jags 8 Blue beat the host Chesco Lightning 36-24 with Blomstrom and Jonassen each with 11 points and Maggie Welsh and Duda with 4 each.  In the two Sunday games, 8 Blue shot 24-28 from the foul line!  Next up is the Mid-Atlantic District Qualifier 5/9 to 5/11 in Easton, PA.

7th Grade Black is the only boys team in action this weekend and, as usual, went 2-0 on Saturday and will be in the tournament quarterfinal on Sunday. In the first game the boys beat the 4th ranked DI AAU team in NJ, the NJ Collection, by a score of 53-43. The followed that up with a 58-29 win over Backcourt Hoops from Scranton. (See picture below). Sunday was much of the same with contests against two different BackcourtHoops and then a rematch with the NJ Collection. The Jags pasted both Backcourt Hoopes teams by scores of 58-38 and 66-48. The boys were running on fumes having played 3 games in 5 hours and fell to the NJ Connection in the Tournament Championship Game by a score of 68-57.(see picture below)

9th Grade Black won the One Day Shootout Championship this past weekend at Girard College.  Proving themselves to be a team that needs their rest, the Jaguars started the day with a tough loss at 8:00 against the Lower Bucks Lightning losing by 5, only scoring 16 points in the first half, and falling behind by as many as 14 points.  Their second half comeback fell just short, placing them in the tough losers bracket and needing to play 3 back to back games in order to win the championship, which they did.  In the second game of the tournament, the Jags welcomed Avery Close to the team.  Avery, new to the Jags this season, had his coming out party, playing inspired defense disrupting the offense of the Philly Flight Ballers, and leading the way offensively with 17 points.  Avery, the tallest player on the Jags, played that way the entire tournament, getting Coaches excited with having another weapon as they head into the District championships this coming weekend.  The Jags had a convincing win, beating the Ballers by 26. Coming right back and playing a second straight game, The Jags handled things with good solid play winning the Semi final game by 13, setting up a rematch with the Lower Bucks Lightning for the Championship.  The Jags were playing their third game in a row, against a rested Lightning squad, but that didn’t matter with the Jags getting off to a hot start scoring 11 straight points to start the game, leading to a five point halftime lead.  Unfortunately, the Jaguars leader, Justin Jaworski, took a hard foul and was knocked out of the game with a head injury early on, making the road an even tougher one.  However Justin’s High School teammate, Hogan Millheim came to the rescue, putting the team on his back and scoring 16 of his 22 points in the second half to lead the Jaguars to a 12 point victory, and championship.  Coach Paul has enjoyed a very talented guard oriented team, but with adding 3 new bigs to the team this year, along with Hogan Millheim, it allows the team now to beat you inside as well as outside, which they did this weekend, leaning heavily on their “bigs” to bring home the Championship.  The Coaches are excited about how the team is jelling as they enter the second half of their tournament schedule, and District Championships this weekend.


7th Grade White Relaxes After a Win


Coach Geno Auriemma...not sure about the photographer...


7th Grade Black Adds to Their Medal Collection


7th Grade Black at Another Party


Hannah Clay Muscles Her Way Through a Crowd


Sydney Tornetta Goes Up Strong


Kayla Viney Listens Closely to Coach Janine

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