15U out of the gate strong at Deep South

Cote and Blanche lead balanced scoring attack against East Coast United

The 15u Firecrackers kicked off play this morning at Deep South against East Coast United out of Florida. Madison Blanch grabbed the opening tip and fired a bullet to Amy Fleming for a layup and 2-0 lead with only 3 seconds expired on the clock. Paige Cote then scored back to back baskets, the latter on a terrific tap pass from Kaleisha Towle. Caroline Smith picked off a pass on the next position and fed Towle, who went from provider to producer with a baseline jump shot. When Smith buried the first three of the game, the Mainers led 13-0. ECU remained cold and the Firecracker defense produced several turnovers as freshman Adele Nadeau made her first two shots (3+2) and classmate Glory (“Faith Jr”) Blethen knocked down her first shot courtesy of a Fleming assist. When Jacqui Hamilton (6 rebounds) powered in a deft pass from Blanche the Firecrackers extended their lead to 38-10 at the half.

Defense continued to lead to offense in the second half but the Firecrackers slowed the game down to work on executing sets for the next games and the half went fast due to the 20 point running time rule. The scoreboard read 54–19 as time expired. Highlights included 14 team assists responsible for 30 of the 54 points with lots of unselfish play and finishing perfect (10-10) from the foul line. Cote (8 rebounds) and Blanche (3 assists) led a balanced scoring attack with 10 each, Smith 9(3 assists and 3 steals) Nadeau 7, Fleming and Towle 6 each, Blethen 4, and Hamilton 2. The competition will get stiffer in game 2 this afternoon against One Dream of North Carolina.