14U “Gold” Adds to Stars’ History

| July 31, 2009 | 0 Comments

md-lady-starsThe Maryland Lady Shooting Stars basketball team did what many of their supporters thought was possible–improve upon last year’s impeccable season.  The 14U “gold” not only duplicated last year’s success, they surpassed it by ranking fourth at the Division I Amateur Athletics Union (AAU) National Tournament.

Prior to this AAU season, Coach Bailey and his staff were scrutinized for the Shooting Stars inability to rank in the top ten last year.  As the heavily favored team representing the District of Maryland, most seemed to think last year’s results were a disappointment for both the organization and the entire district.  With that fresh in the minds of most, supporters and critics were reserved with their praises despite another spectacular AAU season for the 14U “gold” squad.  A year later, with varsity high school experience under their belts along with a more focused and determined coach, the team picked up on their winning ways from last season with the ultimate goal of winning a national championship.

However, prior to the Nationals, the Shooting Stars, again, faced turmoil within the organization.  Parents and supporters had concerns about the coaching staff’s aggressive scheduling of tournaments: Nike Midwest Showcase, American University Team Camp, Georgetown-Boo Williams two-day run, Penn State Invitational, Adidas Northeastern Summer Showcase, and Team Sol Pre-National Tournament, which ended one day before the “gold” left for the AAU Nationals.  Despite an impressive 23-5 record over the three week span, parents were a bit leery about the talents’ stamina.  In addition to questioning the team’s endurance, the Stars learned that three players would not be continuing with the team.  In Stars’ fashion, the remaining eight did not panic rather rallied around each other to form an impenetrable nucleus that was best exemplified in pool play where they went 3-0 (winning 1 game scoring a record 111 points and winning another in overtime with only 4 players for the remaining 3:21) to capture the #1 seed.

In the Championship bracket, the Stars played with moxie and showcased their talent.  The fantastic freshmen elevated themselves to the magnificent eight.  The girls demonstrated poise, passion, and confidence that resulted in the organization’s first-ever top four national ranking.  For a team whose core talent has been together for only two years, their overall record of 192-17 is staggering.  We congratulate Coach Bailey, his staff, the 14U “gold” and Maryland Lady Shooting Stars Organization for a historical representation and finish.  We applaud all of your efforts and wish you much success in developing these exemplary student-athletes.

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Avid fan of girls’ basketball in Baltimore and Anne Arundel Counties.