The travel circuit is filled with teams that are driven by key stars. You frequently see teams that are built around a few high-profile talents. The Maine Firecrackers do not fit that mold, instead featuring a roster that is deep and balanced.
“We have a team that is going to share the basketball, they are going to play smart, and they are going to get after it on defense,” said Coach Brian Clement. “We have several players with Division I offers, we have good size and good guard play. We have had a lot of success with these kids.”
The Firecrackers will get an early challenge this spring in Raleigh, NC, on April 25-27 at the Deep South Classic. Now in its 17th year, the Deep South Classic annually hosts many of the nation’s elite travel teams in a field that will eclipse 200 squads, and hundreds of collegiate coaches will be on hand searching for talent. The 2014 event will mark the second year that the Deep South Classic has been held at the Raleigh Convention Center. The venue was a tremendous success in its debut last year, with all games played at one site on 18 courts, and it is in a convenient central location.
When the Firecrackers hit the court, their roster will include nine players that Clement believes have a future at the collegiate level. The players Clement highlighted (along with a comment from the coach) were:
* Victoria Lux (2015, 6-1, P) “Victoria is a big, very strong post player, and she runs the court well for her size. She is a classic back-to-the-basket post player, and coaches love her physicality.”
* Ashley Storey (2015, 6-3, F) “Ashley is very agile and she has very good speed.”
* Mary Butler (2015, 6-1, F) “Mary is another player who runs well, and she is a player who can compete inside, or on the perimeter.”
* Sarah Clement (2016, 5-7, G) “Sarah is combo guard who is coming off a torn ACL she suffered in September. She already had an offer from New Hampshire when she was a sophomore.”
* Ashley Briggs (2015, 5-8, G) “Ashley is an excellent defender and a tremendous competitor. She won’t blow you away with athleticism, but she is a gamer.”
* Katie McCrum (2015, 5-8, G) “Katie is very athletic, she has good all-around skills, and she plays hard on the defensive end.”
* Jess Willerson (2016, 6-1, F) “Jess has a nice mid-range game, and she is a very good shooter. She also has a good strong frame that college coaches like.”
* Olivia Dalphonse (2015, 5-3, G) “Olivia is a true point guard — she distributes the ball and she defends for us.”
* Abby Hamilton (2015, 5-7, G) “Abby is a two-three player for us. The main thing with Abby is that she is a pure shooter. She is our zone buster.”
All Star Girls Report analyst Bret McCormick has Storey listed as the No. 244 recruit in the Class of 2015, and he was also impressed with several other Firecracker players.
“Storey is aggressive in the paint, and she is a player who would excel in a high-low game,” McCormick said. “Clement is a point guard with a very high basketball IQ. She passes well, and she really knows how to get to the foul line. Lux is strong and athletic. She likes to bang inside, but she can step out to the perimeter. Willerson is another strong athlete who can post up or step out to the arc.”