For the first time, Waldorf defeated Martin Luther High School in the first round of the annual Portledge Basketball Tournament by the score of 37-22. Waldorf now advances to the tournament finals.
Prior to the game, Coach LeSueur reminded his veteran players that Waldorf had never beaten Martin Luther and that last year, Waldorf lost by 20 points. This year, things were different. Waldorf came out with high intensity - using their experience over the past few years. "We were the aggressors and attacked the rim every chance we got," said Coach LeSueur.
Firing on all cylinders out of a revised 1-2-2 offense, Waldorf put up 16 points in the first quarter and never looked back. The team's half court pressure defense also prevented the Martin Luther players from getting into their offensive sets. This resulted in many turnovers which Waldorf converted into scoring opportunities. "Our team's up tempo offensive strategy will be valuable as our players need to demonstrate we can handle the ball and make quality passes against future opponents who have athletic abilities at every position," said Coach LeSueur.
Once again, senior co-captain Isabella Fraim led the team in scoring. She registered a season high of 18 points. Her ability to position herself underneath the offensive boards was complimented by the excellent vision and passing of her teammates. Senior co-captain Carolyn Smalls (7 points), who has three years experience as the team's point guard, is "running the show" and sharing the ball all around.
Junior Ajanai Miller Randolph contributed more than just eight points. Remarked Coach LeSueur, "She is playing a lot stronger off the boards and keeping the ball alive so her teammates get more looks at the offensive end of the court." The junior trio of Marianna Paone, Sophia Trikas and Jaclyn Proctor have also been invaluable. "They are demonstrating that if you are willing to commit to getting better in each day of practice, the results will show up in the game."
Paone had two points and freshman Skyla Davis had two points to round out the scoring sheet. "The team still needs to attack the basket more intensely and get to the foul line to improve our offensive point production," said Coach LeSueur, "but we are moving forward."
In the team's last three games, Coach LeSueur and Coach Brown have had the opportunity to give every player on the roster significant playing minutes. "Coach Brown and I hope these on court experiences will serve the players well when they face opponents like Portledge and Schechter later in the season."
The team's reward for winning pits them against Waldorf's traditional rival - the Portledge School on Saturday. December 8th at 2:30 pm. "We will be highly tested to deal with their defensive pressure, but it is a long season and our team will give our best effort!"