TOURNEY 2020: Five schools represented on All-Hancock County girls’ team

first_img Latest Posts Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 Bio Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at mmandell@ellsworthamerican.com. Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all)center_img The 2019-20 girls’ basketball season saw players all across Hancock County rise to the occasion. In some places, familiar faces returned to cement their statuses as top players; in others, new stars made names for themselves with breakout seasons.Comprised of one senior, two juniors, two sophomores and one freshman, this year’s All-Hancock County team highlights local players of all ages. Representing five different schools, these six players show that talent across the area will be running strong in both the days to come and the years ahead.Leah Carroll, sophomore, Mount Desert IslandA Mount Desert Island team with four new starters had to overcome its inexperience quickly to keep pace in the ever-competitive Class B North field. Carroll answered the call for Brent Barker’s group, which got off to a 5-1 start en route to yet another tournament appearance.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textCarroll finished in double figures in each of her first five games, a stretch that included a 19-point, 12-rebound performance Dec. 18 against Washington Academy. In addition to her team-best 11.2 points per game and her impressive 6.3 rebounds per game, she shot a Big East Conference-best 45.0 percent from 3-point range.Bucksport’s Jade Leeman shoots as George Stevens Academy’s Evelyn Dagan (left) and Sophia Biggie-Jennings defend during a high school girls’ basketball game Jan. 29 at Bucksport High School. Leeman, a freshman, averaged 19.1 points, 8.2 blocks, 3.9 assists and 3.2 blocks per game. KARIN BOS PHOTO“Leah has made some great adjustments this year to become a key player for us,” Barker said. “She’s shot the ball really well, and she’s been real aggressive. We know teams are going to try to key in on her.”Jade Leeman, freshman, BucksportThe Bucksport girls’ team fell just short of a tournament berth in 2019-20, but the Golden Bucks’ young players should have fans excited about the team’s future. No Bucksport player encapsulated that more than Leeman, who averaged a Hancock County-best 19.1 points per game along with 8.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.2 blocks.Last Wednesday, Leeman scored a career-high 37 points in Bucksport’s 66-40 win over Sumner. Among her other strong efforts were a 20-point, eight-rebound, seven-block showing Dec. 20 against Central, a 23-point, 10-rebound performance Dec. 28 against Stearns, a 28-point outburst Jan. 2 against Narraguagus and a 26-point effort Jan. 29 against George Stevens Academy that included five 3-pointers.Luna Perry-St. Peter, sophomore, George Stevens AcademyNo one in Hancock County came remotely close to Perry-St. Peter’s average of 12.6 rebounds per game this season. The sophomore captain was also GSA’s top scorer, averaging 12.6 points per game as she helped lead the Eagles back to the playoffs for the first time in three years.Perry-St. Peter scored a season-high 22 points Jan. 18 against Calais. Her other strong performances included 16 points and 15 rebounds Dec. 11 against Narraguagus, 20 points, 12 rebounds and four assists Dec. 13 against Searsport and 15 points and 16 rebounds Dec. 18 against Bucksport.“Luna is everything that you would want in a student athlete,” GSA head coach Brandi Ensworth said. “With her size and athleticism, she can play any position, which makes her a matchup problem for opposing teams. She gives everything she has every time she steps on the court.”Trinity Montigny, senior, EllsworthMontigny makes her second appearance on the All-Hancock County team after leading Ellsworth back to the playoffs with a remarkable senior season. The senior led the Big East Conference in scoring at 17.4 points per game and was also in the top three in assists (3.3) and steals (2.8) per game.Montigny’s biggest game this season came Jan. 29 as she scored 42 points to join Ellsworth’s 1,000-point club and lead the Eagles to an 80-35 win over Foxcroft on Senior Night. She was named Big East Player of the Week for the second and eighth weeks of the season.Deer Isle-Stonington’s Kaylee Morey shoots over Shead’s Maleeka Barnes during the second half of a high school girls’ basketball game Dec. 14 in Deer Isle. Morey led the Mariners in assists (4.7) and steals (3.3) per game and also averaged 9.0 points and 3.3 rebounds. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL“She’s just a great kid and a phenomenal athlete,” Ellsworth head coach Andy Pooler said. “She does the right things on and off the court, and she raises the level of those around her. There just aren’t enough good things to say about her. … She’s a joy to coach.”Kaylee Morey, junior, Deer Isle-StoningtonMorey was the starting point guard for a Deer Isle-Stonington team that went 16-2 in the regular season. She was immensely valuable as the facilitator and top defender for the Mariners, who will be playing in the regional quarterfinals for the fifth year in a row.Morey averaged 9.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 3.3 steals per game. The Stonington native’s best games included a 13-point, six-assist, four-steal effort Dec. 14 against Shead, a six-assist, seven-steal performance Jan. 5 against Machias, a 12-point, four-assist, six-steal effort Jan. 14 against Machias and a 16-point, four-rebound showing Jan. 21 against Bucksport.Rylee Eaton, junior, Deer Isle-StoningtonAfter claiming a spot on last year’s All-Hancock County team as the leading scorer for a Deer Isle-Stonington squad that went unbeaten in the regular season, Eaton has earned the honor yet again in 2019-20. She led the Mariners in points per game (12.6) and also averaged 6.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.4 steals.Eaton will be eagerly anticipating this year’s tourney after missing all three of Deer Isle-Stonington’s postseason games a year ago. Forming an elite tandem with Morey on both ends of the floor, the All-Hancock County duo will look to lead the Mariners to a deep run through the Class D field.“They play very well together, and they also play well with everybody else,” Deer Isle-Stonington head coach Randy Shepard said. “They’re great kids.” Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020last_img read more

The lessons of Allen Griffin, Syracuse’s newest assistant coach

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 1, 2017 at 12:12 am Contact Sam: sjfortie@syr.edu | @Sam4TR The professor strode into Syracuse’s practice unannounced, and Allen Griffin knew he was in trouble.It was fall 1997 and Griffin, a freshman from Brownsville, Brooklyn, watched Marlene Blumin approach Bernie Fine, whom she knew as a former classmate and Griffin knew as his head coach’s lieutenant. Griffin remembered Fine looking around until he saw Griffin looking back at him. Fine extended a pointer finger and beckoned. Come here now.Griffin trudged over, and, once he was within reach, Fine put his hand on the back of Griffin’s head. In that moment, Griffin regretted not paying the proper respect to Blumin’s warning: Turn in your homework or I’ll come get it. Fine glared at Griffin as the point guard stammered through an explanation. In his next College Learning Strategies class, Griffin handed in his assignment.“That established that I cared about him,” Blumin said recently. “After that, back then, he would come (into my office) if he felt lonesome.”This spring, two unrelated things happened to make Griffin’s return to Syracuse as an assistant coach possible. Within a week in late March, longtime SU assistant Mike Hopkins departed to become the head coach at Washington and then Griffin’s boss at Dayton, Archie Miller, left for Indiana. This put Griffin in limbo, until Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim called. Griffin had tried to become a Syracuse assistant before, serving as the team’s director of basketball operations from 2003 to 2005, but Boeheim had recommended gaining assistant coaching experience elsewhere first.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn early April, Griffin replaced Hopkins as the big-man coach and understood the significance of joining a staff of alumni helmed by a 42-year head coach that had been a core for six straight seasons. Those relationships, like with Boeheim; fellow assistants Adrian Autry and Gerry McNamara; and Blumin, drew Griffin back to Syracuse. Coming into the fold, Griffin said, gives him “the opportunity to walk around with a little swag.” Taking this job, said his brother, Anthony Griffin, allowed him to share as a coach the lessons he learned as a player.“I grew into a man here,” Griffin said. “(Syracuse) put a lot of things into perspective in terms of life for me. The relationships I built here…” He trailed off.“I’ll be honest, I thank God every day that I’m back, and I’m not a Christian.”Andy Mendes | Digital Design EditorCoaching big men hasn’t bothered Griffin though he never was one himself. He felt like a coach on the floor in college and then, at Dayton, coaches worked with every position.“Everybody makes a big deal about working with big guys,” Boeheim said. “The best guy I ever worked with at big guys was Pete Newell, he was a guard. He was the best big-guy coach that I’ve ever seen. Mike Hopkins was a guard, he was a great big-guy coach. Bernie Fine was a great big-guy coach. He didn’t play basketball. It’s kind of a myth to think, ‘Well you have to be big to coach big guys.’ I did it when I was here.“It’s like you’ve got to be a bird to jump out of a plane.”When Syracuse hired Griffin, he thought he would have three big men, but Taurean Thompson, the only one of the group who has played in an Atlantic Coast Conference game, transferred to Seton Hall. Griffin had looked forward to working with Thompson, because he had watched nearly all of Syracuse’s games from the season before and had seen the offensive potential. Now, Syracuse’s big men are the most unproven part of its roster, and the Orange will rely on Griffin to bring the unit along.One of the first things Griffin did after he got the job was take his two remaining players — redshirt junior Paschal Chukwu and freshman Bourama Sidibe — out for pizza so they got to know each other. At first, they were both quiet, but as Griffin watched Sidibe and Chukwu in the gym they were “better than expected,” he said. In his fourth season, Chukwu seemed naturally more at ease in the college game than first-year Sidibe, who was more “wide-eyed.” Yet Sidibe’s athleticism and dunking ability has impressed Griffin and bolstered optimism in Boeheim’s plan to use each 20 minutes per game.Going out for pizza, to Griffin, symbolized the way he’d always done things. The ability to cajole teammates and players stuck out to Griffin’s former teammates, and it doesn’t surprise his brother. As long as Anthony has known his brother, he’s seen him connect and communicate with other family members as well as he has with strangers who approach him when he’s out in town.Recently, as the brothers ate together at one Griffin’s favorite spots in Syracuse, Attilio’s Restaurant, a fan mistook Anthony for his brother and gushed about how great it was having him back as a coach. The brothers played along for a few minutes before Allen, laughing, explained the mix-up.When Griffin was a point guard, he sensed the differing needs of his big men Billy Celuck and Jeremy McNeill, so he tailored his approach to each player. Sometimes he went out for a beer or two with Celuck, because he knew that’s what Celuck liked to do. He gave mostly encouragement to McNeill, whom Griffin sensed was hesitant to trust.“C’mon big Perm,” Griffin said quietly to McNeill when the team needed him.“Me being a point guard,” Griffin said, “I had to learn how to deal with different personalities at one time (with Celuck and McNeill). I use that now to this day, especially with (Chukwu and Sidibe). … I’ve had a lot of hands-on training with centers, and the one thing I learned is this: They’re big gentle giants and you got to show them love, but you also got to put your foot up their butt if you need to.”When Griffin criticizes Chukwu or Sidibe, he always tries to do so in a quieter voice, so they understand he wants them to get better and he’s not just yelling out of anger. He takes the same approach with his two sons, 18-year-old A.J. and 7-year-old Trey. And now, Griffin wants to be there for his players like those who were there for him when he was a student.When he came to Syracuse, it was the first extended time away from his grandmother, who raised him because he hadn’t known his father and his mother died when he was about 7 years old. Griffin often went to Blumin’s office to talk throughout college. When his role on the team grew as a sophomore. When he was benched as a junior. When he started every game as a senior.One day during that time, Griffin walked into Blumin’s office and sat on a chair that was next to a sofa. He picked up the Whee-lo, his favorite toy of the collection Blumin kept to help calm those who came to see her, the one where magnets inside a red plastic wheel propel it along two sides of a U-shaped metal track, in a way that sort of looks like gravity.As Griffin spun the wheel back and forth, Blumin continued typing on her computer. Students often wandered in and out, so a few minutes passed before she looked up at Griffin. Then, she saw tears streaming down his face. She walked over, sat on the sofa and asked what was wrong. He couldn’t remember his mother’s voice. They sat together for a while in silence until Blumin suggested Griffin call his grandmother.Last year, Blumin retired from SU. While cleaning out her office, she called several former students to see if they wanted anything. When she reached Griffin, he knew immediately.Blumin boxed up the Whee-lo and addressed the package to Dayton, Ohio. A few days later, Griffin ripped open the package, sat down and spun the toy, he said, for the better part of two to three days. Then he put it on his desk and, as players visited his office throughout the season, some picked it up as they talked. Griffin hasn’t yet brought the Whee-lo to his new office, with its high glass windows overlooking the Melo Center. For now, he keeps it at his apartment, but it’ll be ready for anyone who might be in need. Commentslast_img read more

Dunne misses cut at European Masters

first_imgThe Wicklow man ended on 6 over par after two rounds.Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke is also set to miss out on being involved over the weekend.Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell will both be in action later this evening in the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston.last_img

LeBron James proves in Lakers’ win over Clippers that he can still be one of NBA’s best defenders

first_imgLeBron James made the NBA All-Defensive Team in six consecutive seasons from 2008-14 (five-time First Team selection, one-time Second Team selection). During his prime years with the Heat, James was a one-man wrecking crew, the kind of player who could put an opposing star in a torture chamber. (Somewhere, Derrick Rose just started shaking.)In recent years, though, James’ focus on the defensive end has been, to put it lightly, inconsistent. His last Cavs team was a mess defensively, and he faced plenty of criticism for his effort during his first season with the Lakers. Without even getting into the stifling on-ball defense, here are a few of the ungodly rotations LeBron made tonight. Absolute genius pic.twitter.com/RXgz7UkBpi— Max Carlin (@maxacarlin) July 31, 2020The numbers back up the eye test. Prior to the suspension of play, James was third in ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus-Minus metric, a significant jump from 2018-19 when he finished 51st. The Lakers are also third in defensive rating, behind only the Bucks and Raptors, compared to 13th last season.James is obviously not the sole reason why Los Angeles is elite on that end of the floor. He’s not even the best defender on his team. That honor goes to Anthony Davis, who should be an All-Defensive Team selection this year.But as he proved against a top contender Thursday, James is still capable of being an incredible disruptor. When it matters most, you can bet he’ll be standing directly across from his opponent’s biggest offensive threat. MORE: What another championship would mean for LeBron’s legacyBut now, with the Lakers sitting atop the Western Conference and chasing a championship inside the NBA’s “bubble,” James appears to have rediscovered his passion for single-handedly destroying an offense. Just ask the Clippers.In the Lakers’ 103-101 victory over their LA rivals on Thursday night, James showed off the athleticism, effort and IQ that made him one of the most terrifying defensive forces the league has ever seen. His most noteworthy stop came on the final possession when he stifled Kawhi Leonard, then switched onto Paul George, forcing the six-time All-Star into an off-balance 3-point attempt.LeBron switching on defense pic.twitter.com/CwlDbpWjos— Ⓜ️arcusD ▶️ (@_MarcusD3_) July 31, 2020That wasn’t even the first time James shut down Leonard. He also stood strong on an isolation play earlier in the game, and Leonard had no choice but to hoist up a fadeaway jumper. No chance.Bron put the clamps on Kawhi 🔒 pic.twitter.com/ePCVV3xVIk— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 31, 2020James’ biggest lapses in the past few seasons have come when he’s away from the ball. He often drifted away from his assignment and stood in no-man’s land rather than rotating.Not anymore. James is once again a locked-in free safety, a ball hawk anticipating passes ahead of time and attacking with great vigor.last_img read more