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Jane Baron, mother of JP (JAGS 6th Grade Black) and Jaylen (JAGS 7th Grade Blue) lost her courageous battle with pancreatic cancer on Sunday morning, May 1st. John Baron, coach of our 6th Grade Black and 7th Grade Blue teams, has been Jane's caretaker for over 13 months as she has battled this illness and the way John and the family cared for, tended to and paid tribute to a beautiful woman, Jane, was a blessing to see each day. Jane we will miss you so much and your legacy will live in all of us forever!
John's 6th Grade Black team traveled to Spooky Nook for the 2nd Annual Warriors Court Championship hosted by Spooky Nook Sports this weekend. There were 9 teams in 6th Grade A boys bracket and the JAGS got things started early on Saturday morning with a 50-39 win against House of Sports. In the afternoon they bested the Central PA Elite team 49-30 which had resulted in the JAGS being ranked 3rd out of 9 in pool play. Saturday evening they demolished the 6th seed Luzerne County Lightning 57-12 getting them into the semi-finals for Sunday AM. John Baron coached the team in all three games that day knowing Jane's condition was worsening as the day went on.
He and JP did not return on Sunday and Assistant Coach Klauder got the team together prior to the 8:50 AM tip off and dedicated the rest of the day to Mrs. Baron. For the rest of the day, every time out, every break from the huddle we all in unison chanted, "Mrs. Baron". The boys were laser focused and played the semifinal game with such effort and positive attitude and we beat a very good House of Sports team, 59-39. Late in the game I learned that Jane had passed while we played and we gathered all the players and parents together and had a very emotional and tearful talk with everyone.
We had to wait around 3+ hours for the championship and we all worked to keep the boys positive while respecting the passing of Jane. We faced the #1 seed Rochester Select Basketball Academy (RSBA) and it was a great basketball game. Once again the "Mrs. Baron" chant was heard repeatedly by a jam packed crowd watching this game. Back and forth for most of the game, with big bucket after big bucket by both teams, the JAGS pulled through in the end and won the championship 51-45. The boys conducted themselves with such class and poise and they were constantly thinking of Mrs. Baron, Coach John, their teammate JP and his sister Jaylen.
Personally, I have been around a lot of things with sports over the years and today was one of the finest moments I have ever had in spite of the terrible news. I give these young men so much credit and today we witnessed why sports are so powerful and uplifting. I have cried a lot today but I smile at what they accomplished. More importantly, is how they accomplished it.
We stand with the Baron family and our prayers and support are with them. The viewing will most likely be Thursday night and the funeral mass Friday morning at St. Eleanor Church (Collegeville).
Several Jaguars teams were in action the weekend of March 19th.
In the March Madness Tournament at Lehigh Valley, playing predominately 6th grade competition, the Jags 5th Grade Blue girls team got their season off to a positive start. Using a stifling tough TEAM defense that held their opponents to an average of 21 points per game, the JAGS brought home the first place trophy!! In the championship game, Anne Greek led a rotation of four players to harass the opponents good point guard (who earlier in the tourney scorched us for 12 points) to zero points!! Defense led the way!! Ask newcomer Abbie Schweitzer, who had a good first tourney, how TOUGH the Jags played defense. After the first day, she showed up with her kneepads – because the JAGS led the tourney with “getting on the floor” for every loose ball. In their first tournament as a team, the girls’ unselfish sharing of the rock produced four different leading scorers. Cass Kropp, Frankie DiMichele, Megan Robbins and Ella Stein had the honors. The baseline bullet pass from Ashley OShaughnessy to Megan will be talked about for days.The Jags were anchored by a tenacious team effort on the boards. Nikki Morello and Reana Torres put the TOUGH in TEAM TOUGH. Boxing out with a dogged persistence that would have made Moses Malone jealous. To complete the TEAM theme of the unselfish efforts, injured Kiersten Pumilia (subbing for assistant coaches, PAC10 players and ex Jags players McKenna Kohler and Taylor Evans who were in Florida for a nice end of season break) worked the bench. Making timely substitutions flawlessly with the skills of experienced college coach.On a weekend where the coach was most concerned about seeing a strong tough team effort – we were rewarded with a trophy worthy performance. It makes our fans wonder – who good could we be? Hard work, time in the driveway and time will tell. But it is promising!!
8th Grade Blue (see pictures below) went 2-0 in the ABE Tournament in Reading, playing in the high school division. The team overwhelmed the Lady Vipers in the first game and had a hard fought 34-26 victory over Boyertown's JV team. Top performances were turned in by Kaitlyn Early, Jess Leftwich and Olivia LeClaire.
6 Grade Black (see picture below) won the 6th grade A bracket of the Mid-Atlantic Showdown @ Competitive Edge this past weekend. The team was 4-0 and beat Haverford 54-29, beat Backcourt Hoops 56-23 and East Coast Power (Manning) 54-36 in the semifinals. In the championship game it was a great back and forth game and they beat Wall to Wall Basketball 41-37. The team was paced by Andrew Johnson and Brett Byrne through the weekend.
6th Grade Gold had a strong start to the season at the Mid Atlantic Showdown going 2-1 and finishing 2nd in the division. The first game Saturday evening featured balanced scoring with all 10 players tallying and an excellent team defensive effort. Michael Merola led the way with 8 points in a 40-32 win over Rising Stock. In the late game Saturday the Jags played a well-organized and talented (and eventual champion) SCBC team that had a late first half burst to break the game open. Anthony Gervais led the scoring with 14 in a 55-36 losing effort. On Sunday morning the Jags trailed by 3 at the half, but in the second half a trapping defense caused havoc on Triple Cities Dream Team. Anthony Gervais (14 points) and Cooper Stone (7 points) applied the defensive pressure and Colin Meyer led scoring with 15 points. Again the entire team scored and played well together.
9th Grade Black went 1-2 in their tournament in Ocean City, MD. Deb Hagan was a star with the accomodations.
10th Grade Black had a strong weekend in the Mid Atlantic Showdown at Competitive Edge. Playing up in the 17U division the Jags went 4-0 and won the first CHIP of the year. Ryan Kendra and Jerry Kapp battled for leading scorer rights, each doing so in 2 games a piece. Ryan Kendra made the play of the tournament with a steal at the top of the key and Ferocious Dunk on a defender at the other end, video coming soon!! Lights out shooting from the rest of the team including the Mongoose (Carson Parke.) Two new additions to the team, Aidan McCarthy and Vince Viney, fit right in and contributed right away. Next up for the Jags is Under Armour Mid Atlantic SUPER SHOWCASE on 4/2-3.