Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Shooting Stars 16's Finish 5th at USA Invitational

The New England Shooting Stars girls 16U team has begun their farewell tour (the start of their final season of AAU basketball). After winning the Division II National Championship last July in Florida, the team picked up where it left off with a 5th place finish out of 128 teams in their age group, at the USA Invitational at Penn State University. The tournament hosted 304 teams in 3 age groups, 14U, 15U and 16U.

The Stars beat their first opponent, the Ohio Lady Dragons 76-59, thanks to some hot shooting. As a team they hit on 58% FG shooting, 40% from threes and 74% from the line. Jane White had 23 points and 5 steals and Rebecca Arnone chipped in with 14.

The team gritted out consecutive victories over Exodus II NYC by a score of 44-43 in overtime, with Nicole Boudreau (committed to Boston College) leading the charge with 12, Jane White had 9 points, while Lia Nawn pulled down a team leading 5 rebounds and adding 5 points.

The Stars defeated the Lady Running Rebels from Philadelphia in another nail biter by a score of 61-59. Arnone tallied 6 boards and 4 points, with Katie Prothro hitting for 6 points and 3 steals.

In game 4 against the Maryland Lady Panthers, the Stars hot shooting cooled considerably as they fell behind by 19 in the second half. But they came back from their deficit to tie the game with just 47 seconds remaining, and then took a three point lead with 20 seconds to go. As time ran off the clock, the Panthers swished a three to send the game to OT. The Stars comeback fell short as they lost by 5 in overtime.

“We just could not get in sync in the early going and we had a big hole to dig out of" said assistant coach Courtney Cheetham. "But fortunately our kids get really focused when playing from behind and they made a great effort, resulting in a great game.”

The girls bounced back quickly with a victory over the Maryland Lady Terps by a score of 60-57. White had 13 points on the game.

The Maryland Flames stood between the Stars placing 5th or 9th. Not to be denied the game was decided on the inside with the Stars controlling the boards. Nawn had 6 boards and 8 points, Cailey White hit for 5 points and 3 boards, Ceara McNamara added 2 points and 5 rebounds, with Shayla Hubbard grabbed 4 boards of her own. Jane White scored 14 points. The win over the Flames secured the Stars 5th place finish with a 53-44 win.

The Stars success comes in large part from their balanced scoring, full court defensive pressure and strong passing.

“This is a very unselfish team, each cares deeply for their teammates and there is no concern about who scores what" said head coach Dennis Reed. "This team is all about the extra pass, working together and covering one another, it’s real easy to be proud of this fantastic team of athletes."

The team includes many of the top players from NH including Becca Arnone (Campbell HS), Shayla Hubbard (Laconia HS), Ceara McNamara and Jane White (both from Souhegan HS), Lia Nawn (Trinity HS), Katie Prothro (Bedford HS) and Cailey White (Keene HS).

The Stars continue their tour from Penn State and head to Chicago for the Nike Invitational Tournament of Champions and conclude their season in Washington, DC at the US Junior National Championships at the end of the month.

In the above picture:
Pictured left to right front row; Cailey White-Keene HS, Katie Vareika-Tabor Academy, Jane White-Souhegan HS, Rebecca Arnone,-Campbell HS, Katie Prothro-Bedford HS
Back Row- Lia Nawn-Trinity HS, Nicole Boudreau-Andover HS, Ceara McNamara-Souhegan HS, Danielle Davis-Masconomet HS, Bri Stoyle-Goffstown HS(injured), Shayla Hubbard-Laconia HS

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