Hoops and Hockey Find Their Groove
After a restful winter break, Bridgton is back and the winter season is in full swing. While most of our programs focus on weight training and technique refinement in January, the hockey and basketball teams are entering their busiest season.
Most recently, the hockey team competed in the Tier 1 Showcase tournament held in Middleton, Massachusetts. Over the course of two days, the team played four games, finishing with a 2-1-1 record. The Wolverines opened the weekend with a 3-2 victory over St. Jean Vianney College, led by goalie Claden Daubney (Madbury, NH) who stopped 28 of 30 shots. Christopher Conroy (Dorchester, MA) and Gavin Sampson (Kingston, MA) contributed goals while Cole Usseglio (Wethersfield, CT) scored the game-winner. Next up were the NPU Rebels, who proved a more difficult opponent in game two. The Wolverines fell 3-2, with Conall Gately (North Kingston, RI) and Finn McDonough (Manchester, NH) scoring the only Bridgton goals and Justin Loveland (Simsbury, CT) putting out a valiant 29-save effort in the defeat. The team rebounded quickly with a 4-1 win over Norwich Academy, which was more difficult than the scoreline suggests. Claden Daubney had to make 39 saves to secure the win, while Brendan Stamm (Dedham, MA) lit the lamp with three goals and an assist at the other end. Christopher Conroy added three assists to his tally for the weekend and Finn McDonough also chipped in with a goal and an assist. The showcase’s final game against the Protec Ducks provided a high-scoring show for the spectators, ending in a 4-4 tie. Brendan Stamm continued his hot streak with two more goals and an assist while Christopher Conroy made the scoresheet with a goal and three assists. It was a strong showing in a competitive environment and the Wolverines benefitted from contributors up and down the lineup throughout the weekend. Defensemen Kenny Madill (Georgetown, MA) and Calvin Parker (Wellesley, MA) were outstanding on defense, while Thomas Ledbury (Needham, MA) led the team with relentless energy on the forecheck and dedication on the penalty kill. In addition to his goal, Gavin Sampson came up with some huge hits to keep the team’s energy up over a grueling weekend. With the Maine Prep Cup right around the corner, there will be no rest for the weary, but Head Coach Mike Meserve likes his team’s energy, “It was a solid weekend for us, especially given that we were dealing with some key injuries. The boys played hard and never quit and they’ll need more of that as the games keep coming.”
Meanwhile, the basketball team is nearing the apex of its NEPSAC AAA (New England Prep School Athletic Conference) season with three consecutive home games over the last two weeks. The homestand began with an 80-58 defeat by Brewster Academy. The Bobcats look like one of the best prep teams in the country once again this year and, with a packed Wolverdome at full voice, Bridgton kept the game close into the second half. The loss did not discourage the Wolverines and they came out with a 66-65 win over Vermont Academy in their next game. Jackson Brennan (Englewood, CO) led the way with 19 points in a strong team effort. The next day, they went right back to work against Northfield Mount Hermon. It is NEPSAC policy and tradition to wear white uniforms on the road so that the home team can wear their school colors, but the Hoggers accidentally packed black uniforms for their trip to Bridgton. The Wolverines were unfazed by the uniform snafu, beating NMH 76-57 in their road gray, rather than the traditional home black. Miles Klapper (Hillsborough, CA) scored 20 points while Seth Joba (Orchard Park, NY) was hot on his heels with 19. With the Bridgton Academy Winter Classic coming up this weekend and a visit from South Kent School on the horizon, the comfortable victory over NMH is a great result to build on for a team that seems to have found its identity since returning in January.