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2006 AAU National Runner-Ups-Fencor 1989s!

Posted by Stuart London at May 4, 2019 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )

The web site for Fencor 1989's AAU girls basketball team. They have made the AAU national championship game 5 times in a row (winning 3) and made the finals in 2006 with just 7 players.
Note: Go to News section for additional stories & pics of championship team.

                        2006 Fencor 16A team tournament schedule
April 1-2: Charlie Smith Memorial Tournament at Wilmington PAL (3-1)
April 8-9: AAU SuperRegionals (6-0, champions) 
April 14-16: Nike/Boo Williams Tournament (3-1, pool champion)
April 29-30: 16-and-under Middle Altantics at Phila. Belles (7-1)
May 21-22: 16-and-under Middle Atlantic championship games:
Fencor 57, Rebels 44; Fencor 64, Rebels 59 (win 8th straight title)
June 10-11: Temple University Camp (4-0, including wins over NJ & MD champs)
June 17-18: Fencor Summer Classic (4-0, pool champions)
July 6-9: Nike/End of the Trail Tournament in Oregon City (6-2, Red bracket champs, made overall finals)
July 11-18: AAU Division I 16-and-under nationals in Orlando (9-1, second in country, Doty, Acker, Shine named All-America).
July 27-31: Women's Nike Nationals in Augusta, Ga. (3-3, made championship round)
Sept. 30-Oct. 1: Blue Chip Fall Ball at VIllanova (5-0, with wins over Penn State champion Empire Dragons and Exodus)

Season's record to date: 52-9


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Fencor heads to Oregon

Posted by Stuart London at Jul 19, 2006 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
The End of the Oregon Trail tournament is this week, featuring some of the nation's top girls stars
Thursday, July 06, 2006
The Oregonian

As the coach of Fencor -- the three-time AAU girls basketball national champion out of Philadelphia -- Stuart London has seen more than his share of tournaments.

Up until last year, though, he hadn't been to the End of the Oregon Trail tournament in Oregon City. And after one visit, he is sold.

"We loved it," London said. "It was great competition, different competition. We're from Philadelphia and we were playing Team Alberta. It was a cultural experience, to say the least.

"That's why we're coming back. We liked it, so we're back. And hopefully we'll come back next year, too."

Fencor is among 192 teams descending on Oregon City for the All-Star Division of the 27th End of the Oregon Trail tournament. The All-Star Division, which starts today and ends Sunday, is the grand finale of four weeks of tournaments at Oregon City.

The multi-site event attracts much of the best talent in the nation, and along with it, more than 400 college recruiters. Tennessee coach Pat Summitt and Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma were among those in attendance last year.

The top club teams -- many of whom use the tournament as a tuneup for the AAU national championships next week in Florida -- are in the 128-team National bracket. The 64-team American bracket has mostly West Coast and younger teams, including high school teams from Oregon powers Oregon City and Southridge.

The championship games are Sunday at Oregon City High School -- the American final at 2 p.m. and the National final at 3:15. Brackets are listed on the tournament Web site,

The Fairfax (Va.) Stars, which lost to Boo Williams in the final of the Boo Williams Spring Invitational, are seeded second. Cal Swish Black, Fencor and West Coast Elite Black are the next three seeds.

"Any of those top five can win it," tournament organizer Carl Tinsley said. "Boo is the favorite."

Connecticut and Duke are among the colleges courting the Fairfax Stars' Jasmine Thomas, a 5-9 senior guard from Vienna, Va., and Fencor's Caroline Doty, a 5-10 junior guard from Fort Washington, Pa.

Two of the nation's best players won't play for their teams at the tournament, however.

Fencor's Elena Delle Donne, a 6-4 junior guard from Wilmington, Del., who is widely regarded as the country's best high school player, sprained an ankle at the USA Basketball national team tryouts and isn't making the trip.

"There's going to be a thousand people asking me, 'Where's Elena?' " London said.

Angie Bjorklund, a 6-0 guard from Spokane's University High, will not play for Spokane Stars Elite Blue because of a stress fracture in her leg. She has committed to Tennessee.

Jerry Ulmer;

©2006 The Oregonian

The 7-time state champion Comets Red AAU team finally captures the crown.

Buddy Collings
Sentinel Staff Writer

July 19, 2006

LAKE BUENA VISTA -- With parents poised to take pictures, Brooke Thomas gave a trophy shaped and sized like a basketball a playful kiss. Then the shortest player on the FBVA Orlando Comets Red girls basketball team hugged the shiny treasure symbolizing national age-group supremacy.

Krystal Thomas, the tallest Comet, looked down, laughed, and said with palpable satisfaction, "Finally, we got one."

Who said kids these days need instant gratification?

The Comets, an all-star squad of girls who have chased titles since they were 8 and 9 years old, made state history Tuesday by dethroning Fencor of Philadelphia as national champions in the 16-and-under age group final at Disney's Wide World of Sports.

The Comets came from behind in the second half to win 71-65 and become Florida's first AAU girls basketball champion.

"We've been trying to win this since we were 8 playing up in the 10-and-under division," said Brooke Thomas, a rising junior at Edgewater. "It feels so good because Fencor killed us when we were little [in a 12s matchup]."

The Comets, who went 11-0 in the weeklong tournament, have exchanged some parts every season -- winning seven consecutive state AAU championships along the way. But the puzzle fits almost perfectly now, with Thomas in the middle of a team that has all the pieces.

"Each person brought something different," said Jaimie Givens, who delivered 15 points, eight rebounds and three crucial 3-point shots.

Krystal Thomas, a 6-foot-4 senior bound for Duke, struggled to score early but finished with 14 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocked shots and was voted tournament MVP by coaches.

Alexa Deluzio, a junior who plays alongside Krystal Thomas and Givens on First Academy's high school state title team, had a team-high 19 points. Deluzio and Sthefany Thomas (14 points) of Wesley Chapel made the 15-girl all-tourney team.

Fencor, which won the 14s title two years ago and the 15s in 2005, got 24 points from Caroline Doty, who put up big numbers all week. But they had to go without injured phenom Elena Delle Donne, a 6-5 junior.

"Elena averages 28 points and 12 rebounds, and she's a matchup nightmare," said Veronica Algeo, the Fencor coach. "But you still have to play the game, and I'm proud of my girls. Credit the Comets. Their defense was very tough."

The Kenner Angels of Louisiana won the third-place game, 67-64 against a Dayton (Ohio) Stars team that included Carlee Roethlisberger, sister of Ben, the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback.

Buddy Collings can be reached at
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Acker verbals to St. Joe's

Posted by Stuart London at Jul 3, 2006 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )

06/25/2006 - Citizen's Voice
Nanticoke’s Acker commits to St. Joseph’s

Without having to gush over her abilities on the court, St. Joseph’s University’s women’s basketball coach Cindy Griffin gave Nanticoke Area’s Sarah Acker a tremendous compliment.

“Coach Griffin actually told me that if they got Sarah Acker, she was guaranteed a job for the next four years,” Nanticoke Area coach Jack Rentko said. “That is such a great thing for a coach to say.”

If that’s the case, Griffin can keep her whistle around her neck and her office intact as Acker made a verbal commitment to accept a full athletic scholarship to play Division I basketball for the Hawks.

The Trojanettes’ 6-foot-3 senior center decided on St. Joseph’s over Penn State.

“I went to St. Joe’s on Thursday and it was my third visit,” Acker said. “I loved Penn State, but there was something about St. Joe’s that kept pulling me back. The people there are great, the program is great and I just felt I would really fit in there.”

Acker has been a dominating force in the paint the past three seasons for Nanticoke Area. She’s racked up 1,250 career points, 1,300 rebounds and 570 blocked shots.

She was also named a Class AAA third-team all-state selection as a junior after helping the Trojanettes to a 29-1 record.

While her size and strength under the boards were often too much for other post players to handle in the Wyoming Valley Conference, Acker said she is is confident going up against Division I players with similar abilities.

“I’ve been getting a lot more practice playing against girls my size,” said Acker, who plays for the Fencor AAU team during the summer. “But I’m comfortable taking an outside shot, too.”

Rentko has been working with Acker on her versatility on the court and last year she proved to be a threat inside and outside the lane.

She closed out her junior year averaging 18.6 points per game and 15.6 rebounds.

Her dominance was obvious in Nanticoke Area’s game against Oxford in the second round of the PIAA playoffs.

Acker scored 14 of the Trojanettes’ 16 first-half points. The Trojanettes lost that game, 39-35, with Acker fouling out in the fourth quarter.

“For a kid her size, she has great quickness,” Rentko said. “She’s the type of center that can have the basket behind her or in front of her. We knew she could be a power center, but she runs the floor really well and she has good foot skills so we wanted her to get more moves to the basket. There are times when she beats our guards with her first step.”

Acker will join a St. Joe’s program that competes in the Atlantic 10 and finished 21-11 in 2006, good enough to earn a berth in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament.

She had the opportunity to see the Hawks knock off Temple, 65-64, in a league game in January and was impressed with their tactics.

“I actually think they play a lot like (Nanticoke Area’s) style of play,” said the 17-year old daughter of Lorraine and Terry Acker of Nanticoke. “And the closeness of their team is a lot like ours. Now I’m hoping to find some fans like we Aly Byorick’s (Trojanette teammate) grandfather and his friends that come to all of our Nanticoke games.”

Before Acker suits up for the Hawks, she has one more year to wear her Trojanette uniform.

This season, however, may prove a bit less stressful.

“Now I can go out and play and have fun,” Acker said. “But still be serious, of course.”

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UConn is watching

Posted by Stuart London at May 8, 2006 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
Article published Mar 17, 2006 Recruits are watching UConn NCAA games could impress future stars By ARTHUR SHERMAN Norwich Bulletin Geno Auriemma decided to surprise one of his prized recruits on one of her biggest nights. Sprinkled into the crowd of George Washington's Smith Center was the UConn women's basketball coach, there to see Kaili McLaren of Good Counsel High in Tuesday night's Washington, D.C., girls title game. McLaren, one of two UConn recruits selected to play in the McDonald's High School All-American game along, with highly-touted Tina Charles, had been in contact with the Huskies' assistants, but the presence of Auriemma caught her off guard. "I talked to Tonya (Cardoza) and Jamelle (Elliott) actually before, and I was thinking maybe one of them were going to come," said McLaren, who totaled 20 points and 17 rebounds in a 62-34 win over H.D. Woodson. "And I ended up seeing Coach there in warm-ups and it was real special and I thanked him for coming." March is typically a big month for future college players, especially those who are fortunate enough to compete in state tournaments and title games. The year's third month is also significant because it gives these players a chance to watch their school of choice -- or the many suitors vying for their services -- compete in the NCAA tournament. McLaren said she'll be paying close attention to UConn, which begins its pursuit of a record-tying sixth national championship Sunday against 15th-seeded Coppin State. While the Huskies' recent success in March and early April weren't huge factors for McLaren -- "I always wanted to go to Connecticut ... I think Diana Taurasi walks on water," she said -- many players still uncertain of their college destination keep a close eye on the happenings of March Madness. Elena DelleDonne of Delaware looks specifically at what coaches do on the season's biggest stage. "Adjustments throughout the game, their ways of winning and their techniques," said DelleDonne, a 6-foot-4 sophomore who has been called the LeBron James on women's hoops. Coming off a record 50-point effort in leading Ursuline to a second-consecutive state title, DelleDonne said she's cut her prospective schools down to about 10 and lists UConn as, "high." A member of the two-time defending AAU national championship Fencor team, which is based in Philadelphia, DelleDonne is not the only member of her program drawing the Huskies' attention. Sophomore guard Caroline Doty, who attends Germantown Academy near Philly, is also high on UConn's radar and attended Senior Night in Storrs against Marquette last month. The notion of DelleDonne and Doty playing together in college is not unlikely, and there are a handful of schools competing in the recruiting process that both are interested in. "We talk about that all the time, how it would be great to stick together," DelleDonne said. If the duo remains intact and UConn is not the destination of choice, Big East rival Villanova is a potential beneficiary. A local school for both, Villanova is also a finalist for another one of their Fencor teammates, high school junior Lindsay Kimmel of Harpursville in upstate New York. "I think that they are going to look separately, making individual, separate decisions," Fencor coach Veronica Algeo said of DelleDonne and Doty. "Those individual, separate decisions could put them on the same path." Another member of the 2008 graduating class that has been linked to UConn is Heather Buck, also a 6-4 sophomore, who helped guide Stonington to a state title last Saturday. Like the others, Buck will be watching how the NCAA tournament unfolds, but she's keeping the results in perspective. "I look at the tournament and I pay attention to who's making it to the final and who's doing well, and who's losing," Buck said. "But it doesn't really play into my thoughts about a school because teams change every year." A lot of that change is based on whatever makes a kid like Buck, DelleDonne or Doty decide which school is right for them.