Wolverine Basketball at Perkiomen Tournament
The first weekend of January, Bridgton made the long trip down to Quakertown, PA for the second annual Perkiomen Basketball Tournament. Beyond the intrigue of Head of School Diana Gleeson’s Wolverines’ return to her former stomping grounds, the basketball team faced the challenge of a highly competitive, eight-team, three-day tournament. Returning to a quiet campus on January 2 for two days of preparation, the team enjoyed an early morning practice and breakfast before heading out for the weekend.
Bridgton opened up with nationally recognized Spire Academy and came away with a convincing win, led by some hot shooting from Peter Gellene (Needham, MA).
On Saturday, Bridgton squared off against Bridgeport Prep, who shocked the host Perkiomen Panthers the night before. Mamadou Kane (NBA Academy, Africa), Chris Yapo (Leicester, UK), and Will Davis (Newton, MA) led the Wolverines’ defense against an enormous front line, while Silvano Ismael (Portland, ME) paced the offense down the stretch in a tight contest.
Championship Sunday pitted Bridgton against the Patrick School, who at the time were ranked #5 in the nation. BA trailed by seven at the half but, as has been their way, clawed back to stay within striking distance late in the game. Down 6 with less than 30 seconds remaining, BA used a full-court press to force two critical turnovers that ultimately set up a dramatic long-range 3-point bomb by Nick Moore (Amherst, NY) to send the game into overtime. In overtime, Bridgton rode the momentum to a thrilling championship victory. Silvano Ismael was named MVP of the tournament.
Coaches Lesure and Horne were effusive in their praise of their team’s effort throughout the weekend. “This one began with their responsible return to campus and sacrificing a bit of their well-earned vacation time,” shared Lesure. “As has been the case all year, different guys stepped up in big-time ways at critical moments to contribute to our success.”
Mrs. Gleeson reflected on the championship win, “This game was a great example of why I love the lessons that come from sports. When you put the time into practice, worry about what you can control, stay locked in, support each other, do your job, and never give up (not even when there are only seconds left) then you have earned being a true Champion. I had SO much fun watching Bridgton play – each game was different, and in each game, the team played well and was well-coached. Every player on the team contributed to bringing home that trophy.”
Sometimes, in retrospect, these things appear to have a good dose of karma to them. In this case, no one could have written a better script for Diana Gleeson’s weekend return to her former home filled with past colleagues and students so clearly happy to see her. “Our guys were aware of that, for sure,” commented Lesure. “But their joy in sharing their accomplishment with her is something you can’t make up…it’s a memory none of us will soon forget, I promise you…”