The Maine Firecrackers made their first appearance at the Deep South Classic in 2014, and there was little question that they would be making a return trip this spring.
“They delivered on everything they promised, and we loved it,” said Firecracker coach Brian Clement. “The hotel was great, the facility was awesome, and everything was so convenient. It was really nice not having to worry about directions, or having people get lost.”
The 2015 Deep South Classic will be played in Raleigh, NC on April 24-26. The Deep South Classic, which annually features the nation’s top travel programs, will once again have the entire tournament in one facility — the tremendous Raleigh Convention Center.
The Firecrackers were established in 2006, and they have grown into one of the elite Northeastern travel programs. In 2015, the Firecrackers will once again be loaded with college-bound talent.
The club has an outstanding group of prospects in the Class of 2016, with Jess Willerson (6-1, PF), Kelsey Shaw (5-10, WF), Sarah Clement (5-7, CG) and Sierra Tapley (5-7, CG) leading the way.
“Jess is a strong inside player and she is a good mid-range shooter,” Clement said. “Kelsey is a left-handed player who can rebound, shoot the three, and attack the rim. Sarah (the coach’s daughter) is a combo guard who has already committed to New Hampshire. Sierra is a very good ball handler who is a tireless worker that competes like crazy.”
Bret McCormick, the analyst for the All Star Girls Report, also weighed in with his perspective on the Firecracker standouts.
“Willerson is a strong, aggressive player with an inside-outside game,” McCormick said. “Shaw is a lefty with a good all-around game. Clement is a good get for New Hampshire. She is a very intelligent player. Tapley is an athletic combo guard with a very high motor.”
The future of the program will be in the hands of a strong 2017 class that includes Emily Esposito (5-9, WF, rated at No. 180 in her class by ASGR), Lish Aube (5-9, SG) and Danasia Fennie (5-10, WF).
“Emily is probably the top recruit in Maine right now,” Clement said. “She is a unique talent. She can hang in the air on her jump shot like a boy. She’s just special for our part of the world. Lish is a long, talented shooting guard. Danasia is a raw player, but she can jump out of the gym. She is extremely quick, and she just comes out of nowhere to block shots.”
“Esposito is a very skilled player who does it all,” McCormick added. “Aube is a strong athlete who can post up and rebound, and she plays hard. Fennie is a great athlete. She is a leaper and she has good strength and a blue collar attitude.”