The U.S. Junior National girls’ basketball tournament was held from July 26 to July 29 in Washington D.C. Windham’s Hannah and Sarah Talon competed in the tournament, playing on the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Maine basketball team, Blue Wave Elite, comprised of girls from Portland, Gray, Wells, Standish and Cumberland.
The tournament was structured with seven brackets stemming from 96 teams. Teams played five games in order to get to the championship bracket. Blue Wave won all five of those games and the chance to play in the championship. Unfortunately, they ended up losing to the Lady Lakers, a team from Rochester, New York in the final round. However, second place out of 96 teams is very impressive.
To play in this tournament, teams had to qualify by playing in other tournaments and the players must have met talent requirements to be placed in the appropriate group of teams who have a similar skillset.
Hannah, an incoming junior, played on the Windham High School varsity girls’ basketball team and has been playing on the Blue Wave basketball team since she was in fifth grade. Sarah, an incoming freshman, has been playing on the Amateur Athletic Union since third grade and played on the Blue Wave basketball team as a way to hone skills.
“It was a great experience. I got to see some of the best players in the country,” observed Hannah.
She said playing in the games was a little overwhelming at first, mostly because of the size of the 20-basketball court gym, but once she started playing, she was fine and had a lot of fun.
“U.S. Junior National girl’s tournament was a great experience,” remarked Sarah. “Most of the girls I played against were bigger, faster and stronger and will help prepare me for the upcoming high school season.”
The Northeast Girls recruiting website, a website that identifies strong players from tournaments, named both Hannah and Sarah as players to watch in the upcoming seasons.
Congratulations to both of you!