IMG Academy’s women’s basketball program has been dominant, if not unstoppable, throughout much of the 2012-13 season up to this point. The program ended the year strong with the Women’s National and Academy teams powering through the month of December with an impressive 8-1 combined record. To date, the Women’s National Team has amassed an incredible 18-6 overall record, with four of its wins coming against junior colleges. The Academy Team stood out in its own right, finishing up the fall undefeated at 6-0.
Leading the way for the Women’s National Team in December was Canada’s Khaleann Caron-Goudreau, who returned to the floor after recovering from an injury that left her sidelined for most of the fall. She came back with a vengeance, leading the team in scoring twice with 23 points against Tampa Catholic, and again with 17 points versus Geneva School. She is joined at IMG Academy by her identical twin sister Audrey Ann, who helped the team to big wins at the Sweet 16 Invitational and Santa Fe Classic earlier in the fall.
In addition to its regular high school competition, the team made a trip to Durham, N.C. to compete in the John Lucas Tournament, and did not disappoint. The team scored two additional wins in Durham led by Norway’s Weronica Green and the Cayman Islands’ La-Torae Nixon. Nixon was on fire in the first game against Mount Zion, tallying 12 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 deflections, leading the team in all four categories. In the next game, Green took control with 13 points and 4 rebounds.
Women’s National Team December results:
Record 5-1 (18-6 overall)
vs. Tampa Catholic (W), 65-32 (MVP: Khaleann Caron-Goudreau, 23 pts, 5 rebounds)
vs. Geneva School (W), 57-38 (MVP: Khaleann Caron-Goudreau, 17 pts, 5 rebounds)
vs. The Rock (W), 60-22 (MVP: Natascha Hartivch, 9 pts, 4 rebounds, 6 steals, 4 deflections)
vs. Lake Highland (L), 28-58 (MVP: Kavita Akula, 12 pts (3-5 from 3pt), 3 rebounds, 3 steals)
vs. Mount Zion (W), 65-32 (MVP: La-Torae Nixon, 12 pts, 7 rebounds, 4 steals, 4 deflections)
vs. Durham (W), 75-31 (MVP: Weronica Green, 13 pts, 4 rebounds, 1 steal)
However, the Women’s Academy Team was a juggernaut in December. The team sizzled on the offensive end, and absolutely smothered their opponents on defense. In three games, the Academy Team did not yield more than 11 points to their opponents, while not scoring less than 51.
India’s Pooja Ambastha, who came to IMG Academy through the IMG Reliance Student-Athlete Program, had the most impressive showing of the month, leading the team to a 65-9 victory over Lake Highland. Ambastha led the team with 16 points and 7 rebounds in the game. Additionally, another player who is emerging as a defensive terror for the Academy Team is Japan’s Ellie Hill, the younger sister of National Team star Rina Hill, who led the team in a 51-4 rout of Bayshore High School with 7 steals, on top of her 6 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Women’s Academy Team December results:
Record 3-0 (6-0 overall)
vs. Tampa Catholic (W), 58-11 (MVP: Abigail Tinsley, 12 pts, 9 rebounds, 1 steal)
vs. Lake Highland (W), 65-9 (MVP: Pooja Ambastha, 16 pts, 7 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 deflection)
vs. Bayshore HS (W), 51-4 (MVP: Ellie Hill, 5 pts, 6 rebounds, 7 steals, 2 blocks)