August 18, 2005

Fromm Helps Missouri Team ‘Storm’ Nike USA Cup Hoops Tournament

Stepping up to the free-throw line late in a basketball contest is a pressure packed situation for a high school athlete. That should be no sweat for Scotland County’s Ali Fromm this season. The senior learned a new meaning for pressure as she took part in the Nike USA Cup this summer.

Fromm was part of the Missouri Lady Storm team that earned the consolation trophy in one of the most competitive events in the nation. The starting point guard helped lead the Storm to a 4-1 mark in the event that brought together eight of the best juniors and seniors from northeast Missouri.

Not only did the kids get some valuable playing experience against some of the best competition in the United States, but the girls also got the chance to perform in front of more than 400 collegiate basketball coaches. Legends like University of Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma were among those coaches that annually attend the event in Chicago to scout talent on the more than 200 teams that gather to compete.

Auditioning for some of the nation’s premiere college programs should make that free-throw scenario seem like a cakewalk.

The Missouri Lady Storm left their mark on the event. After dropping the opener 53-42 to the Southern California Swoosh, the team overcame the jitters of playing in such a prestigious tournament and rebounded to win four straight games.

Rock River of Rockford, IL, was the first victim of the streak as the Storm built an 18-point half-time lead and held on for a 64-54 victory.

Game three resembled David vs. Goliath as the Storm went up against the huge front line of the Denver Centennial that featured players standing 6’2”, 6’3” and 6’5”. The smaller Missouri squad overcame a half time deficit and prevailed 72-68 replacing the slingshot with deadly accuracy from the free-throw line where the girls sank 25 of 28 attempts.

Fromm helped fuel a huge second half turn around in game four. The Storm trailed 24-12 at halftime to Naperville, IL. But the SCR-I standout hit five three pointers during a blazing rally that saw the Storm score 27 points in the first five minutes of the second half.

“We couldn’t find a way to score in the first half and then the second half started like that,” said coach Matt Dubbert of Madison. “It wasn’t like we made any great adjustments to start the second half, the girls just started shooting the ball.”

The hot streak fueled a 39-16 run that allowed the Storm to advance to the consolation game with a 51-40 victory.

The trophy game proved to be more than fitting for the title as the two teams saw the lead go back and forth before the Storm finally outlasted the Wisconsin Lakers to post the 62-60 victory.

Dubbert praised his team’s efforts, noting that none of the eight players from across northeast Missouri likely had ever faced competition like what they saw in the tournament, yet they all stepped up their play and met the challenge.

The Missouri Lady Storm capped off a remarkable 34-2 summer season by traveling to Colorado Springs, CO at the end of July. The team ripped through the competition to win seven straight games and be crowned national champions at the State Games of America.

This marked Fromm’s second season of competition with the Missouri Lady Storm. Dubbert praised her play-making skills as the team’s floor general. He added that her pressure defense and shooting skills were equally as important to the team’s success.

Over the past two years, Dubbert stated the Missouri Lady Storm have had five players go on to sign to play basketball at NCAA Division I schools. He noted that Fromm has attracted numerous suitors including at least one Division I team.

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