Jaguars compete in national AAU basketball tournament

Submitted photo Kneeling: Marissa Picinich, Cammy Jones, Shannon Mullen, Katie Schell, Candice Sweisfort; Standing: Alyssa Conway, Devin Scilingo, Juliana Alessandroni, Sydney Wagner, Lexi Nugent, Hannah Thomas; Coaches: Greg Alessandroni, Jim Thomas.

From July 13-18, the 7th Grade Jaguars Blue team traveled to Kings Island, OH to compete in the AAU 7th Grade Girls’ Basketball National Championships. The girls qualified for both the Division I and Division II brackets and elected to play Division II for their debut at Nationals.

After the amazing Opening Ceremonies at Xavier University, the girls began their pool play facing teams from Ohio, Tennessee and Illinois where they went 1-2 and were placed in the Classic Bracket for tournament.In their first game of bracket play, the Jaguars faced the Matrix team from Virginia and came away with a 37-22 win. Moving on in bracket play, the team faced the Mid-Michigan Excel team where they dominated from every position earning a 46-18 win and moved on to the Elite 8.

In the next game, the Jaguars went down early in the game against the Connecticut Storm Premiere, but they fought back, played their hearts out for the full 32 minutes of basketballand pulled away in the final minutes with the most amazing come from behind win of the season with a final score of 48-43 to earn them a place in the Final Four.

The final two games of the tournament did not culminate in wins for the Jaguars on the court, as they lost to two very strong teams, the Texas Hoyas and the Tuscaloosa Warriors, but they did win a whole lot more: new friends from around the country, memories to last a lifetime and an impressive Final Four finish in their inaugural visit to Nationals.