Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Freshmen Flames are on Fire

By: Jeremy Leveille
With the official end to the high school basketball season over the weekend that only means one thing – it’s AAU time. One team that is ready to make some noise in 2014 on the AAU circuit is the NE Flames freshman team, coached by Hudson Middle School coach Frank Girginis. Coach Girginis is very excited about the potential of his team, which includes many of the top freshmen players in the state.

The Flames roster includes four players from Bishop Guertin - Abbi Field, Meghan Donovan, Meagan Morelli and Molly Dee as well as Amanda D’Amico and Bri Nordegren from Merrimack, Alvirne’s Nicole Teague and Amanda Wetmore, Eireann Kolden from Trinity and Campbell’s Hannah Fabiano.

“Wetmore and Field are new to the team this year” explained Girginis. “The one thing we were missing last year was size and now we have that. The other 8 players have been with my team since 7th grade. The plan is to keep them together and develop them through high school.”

The team has already started practicing, and their first tournament is ‘Claw the Ball’ on March 29-30 at the Sports Zone in Derry, NH. According to Girginis, they also plan on playing in the Crusader JamFest in May.

“We will also play in the NH State Tournament” said Girginis, whose Hudson Middle School team has been in the championship game in 7 of the last 9 years. “We need to play in states in order to qualify for nationals. We’ll also play in Gym Rat in NY, Boo Williams in Virginia, the Rose Tournament and Junior Nationals in July which is during the Division I viewing period.”

Girginis’ assistant coach is Scott Pucell, who has three daughters who were all star players at Alvirne High (Amandra, Deanna and Sandi). According to Girginis, Scott Purcell excels at teaching the game’s fundamentals. Here’s a closer look at each of the players on the team (listed in alphabetical order).

Meghan Donovan, Bishop Guertin HS – Donovan is a 5’7” combo-guard who will look to take on a bigger role next year at BG with the graduation of star point guard Jamie Sherburne. According to Girginis, Donovan is a great player who has an engine that never quits. “She is an important player for our team and her versatility makes us better as she is a complete basketball player. Whether its taking charges, getting rebounds, or pushing the ball in transition Donovan does it all for our team.”

Amanda D’Amico, Merrimack HS – a quick, 5’2” point guard who really pressures the basketball well on defense. When the team needs energy, they turn to D’Amico. Girginis calls her his “Energizer Bunny” because when she is on the floor she gives nothing less than 100% and just keeps going and going.

Molly Dee, Bishop Guertin HS – Dee is an athletic kid with good length and versatility. Her skill set was on full display in BG’s quarterfinal game vs. Pinkerton, when she had 11 points and 7 rebounds. Dee, a 5’10” wing, finished well inside and can also lead the break and take it to the rim as her first step is extremely quick!

Hannah Fabiano, Campbell HS – Fabiano’s skill set and tenacity on the court were on full display in the D-III finals. Fabiano had a game-high 14 points and 6 steals to lead the Cougars to the title. The 5’8” wing is another who can play inside or out. Fabiano is a good finisher, is tough on the boards and on defense. Girginis says of Hannah “She might only be 5’9” but she plays like she is 6’5”!

Abbi Field, Bishop Guertin HS – Field often times started for BG this year, and considering she’s 6’1” with an emerging skill set and feel for the game she is definitely a player to watch. Field will battle opposing bigs in the post, has a soft touch in the paint and according to Girginis she also has a perimeter game.

Eireann Kolden, Trinity HS – Kolden is an athletic kid with a smooth outside jumper. She worked her way into more and more playing time as the season went on, and was one of their leading scorers in their late season win over Dover. According to Girginis her basketball I.Q. is off the charts and has one of the sweetest shots he has ever seen.

Meagan Morelli, Bishop Guertin HS – Morelli is a player to watch in the future for BG. She is another versatile kid who can play inside or out. Morelli is a big, strong player who can also step outside and nail the 3. “Meagan is a player for us who does all the little things. Along with that, she is one of the hardest working kids I have seen as she is always working to improve her game.”

Bri Nordengren, Merrimack HS – Nordegren is a 5’10” forward who attacks the basket, and while many players this young get out of control at times when going to the rim and get called for charges she has great control. According to Girginis she’s a fantastic player who is really someone to watch for Merrimack in the coming years.

Nicole Teague, Alvirne HS – like D’Amico, Teague is another player who can defend the heck out of people. She’s a 5’9” forward who can hit shots, but her strength is man-to-man pressure. According to Girginis, Teague is a beast. Playing for Girginis in middle school Nicole broke the schools scoring record and has contributed in her freshman season at the Varsity level at Alvirne. Nicole is a player to keep an eye on in the future.

Amanda Wetmore, Alvirne HS – at 5’10”, Wetmore gives the team some more size and another player with upside. According to Girginis he has coached her since 7th grade and he is amazed at how much she has improved since then. “I am very excited to add a player of Amanda Wetmore’s ability to our team, if she continues to improve her game the sky is the limit for her. Alvirne is in good hands going forward with her on their team.”

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