Prep Tour: Bridgton Academy

Bridgton Academy coach Whit Lesure has experienced success over the last two years with what some would call "average" talent. So, he's not changing anything for this season and is going with the same blueprint.

Bridgton Academy coach Whit Lesure has won back-to-back NEPSAC Class A crowns, so it's no wonder that he's trying to keep his roster similar from year to year.

It's been a blueprint of one or maybe two high-major guys and then a crew of mid-major guards who are tough, hard-nosed and get things done.

``It's the same," Lesure said. "There's no mystery. Is there any reason to change? It seems like it's worked a little bit."

Lesure hopes this year is no different – and that's exactly the way it looks with a quick peak down the roster.

``This team's a little smaller, but we're probably a little quicker and faster overall," Lesure said. "We have pretty aggressive guards and these guys seem to be putting team first."

Athletic forward Justin Burrell is the high-major guy of the group. He's 6-foot-8 or so, runs the court, plays hard and blocks shots and will likely be one of the most dominant frontcourt guys in the prep ranks.

``We're a fast, up-tempo team," Burrell said. "That's the kind of style I like. I think the other thing about our team is that we've got heart."

The backcourt will be anchored by Greg Hill, an underrated 6-foot-2 guard out of Merrillville, Ind., who just might be the best long-range shooter in the preps.

The point guard spot is up for grabs between Brian Rudolph, who got into some legal problems after signing with Providence last year, and Paul Becklens – another Massachusetts native who is learning how to become more of a floor leader under Lesure and his staff.

It's likely that Paris Horne and Rashard Green will fill out the starting lineup. Horne is a slender 6-foot-3 wing who can score the ball in a variety of ways while Green is basically a done deal for N.C. State and will see plenty of time at both forward spots.

The "X" factor on the team just may be Aaron Ellis, a skilled 6-foot-8, 190-pound forward who has a European game and for good reason. The South Carolina-bound Ellis spent almost all of his life in Germany.

It's not a bad scenario for Bridgton when Lesure & Co. may be able to bring a guy like Ronnie Moss off the bench. The strong 6-foot-2, 185-pound Texan should receive plenty of minutes and could even challenge for a starting spot as the year progresses.

Look for guys like Clay Harris (6-6, 240), an England native, and Cory Vejraska (6-6, 190) and Max Kierman (6-3, 185) to all get plenty time – as Lesure usually likes to use all of his players.

``I worry about these guys not knowing how hard you have to play to be successful in our league," Lesure said. "These guys haven't won anything, so as far as us defending something, I don't think you can defend something you don't own. I think we've got to go out and get it."

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