The Waldo County Crush, a seventh- and eighth-grade girls travel basketball team that plays at Point Lookout in Northport, has started its season under the guidance of coach Howard Fogg Jr.

The team includes eighth-graders Kaitlyn Shute, Melinda Ogden and Anna Bucklin of Searsport, Nicole Hall of Stockton Springs, Mavis Taungatu’a of Prospect, Ari Curtis of Rockland and Megan Elkins of Knox; seventh-graders Karigen Coffin of Stockton Springs, Paige Ireland of Searsport and Harley Kirk of Frankfort; and sixth-grader Alison Defeo of Belmont.

Fogg said he wanted to coach an independent travel team and “to give an opportunity to girls in the middle school age group an opportunity to play during and after the school season is over. I approached my returning [player] parents and they all were in 100 percent support of the idea, and from there the idea took off.”

Fogg found outside interest and slowly built a core of players to participate in the Eastern Maine Basketball 7th- and 8th-grade League. The team’s games are played at the Point Lookout Resort Fitness Center in Northport.

Fogg said the seven athletes who previously played for his Stockton Springs recreation program were Shute, Ogden, Bucklin, Hall, Coffin, Ireland and Kirk.

Last year, the group included sixth and seventh graders playing in the seventh- and eighth-grade league. “At the time we took our bumps and bruises as a very young team, but we were driven to success and ended up finishing with a 6-4 regular-season record, earning the No. 6 seed in the EMBBL playoffs,” Fogg said. “We were the lone team to pull off an upset in the quarterfinals versus No. 3 seed Hermon and lost our next [game] to Orono in the semifinals to finish at 7-5 overall.”

The Crush came from brainstorming between Fogg and his wife. “We wanted to do something unique. After brainstorming we came up with the name and team colors of orange and white being primary, with blue being a secondary.”

Fogg said there remains one spot open on the team that can be filled by an interested youngster.

The Crush beat host Brewer 48-25 in its first game Nov. 12. With an eight-player squad, balance and team chemistry led to the victory. Keying the offense were Shute with 15 points; Ogden, 10; Bucklin, nine; Taungatu’a and Coffin, both four; and Elkins, Hall and Ireland, all two.

The team’s remaining 2011-12 schedule includes:

Nov. 20 Mount Desert Island 3 p.m.

Nov. 27 at Orono/Veazie 5:30 p.m.

Dec. 4 Holden 3 p.m.

Dec. 11 Orono/Veazie 3 p.m.

Dec. 18 Brewer 3 p.m.

Dec. 31 at Hampden TBD

Jan. 8 at Corinth 4 p.m.

Jan. 15 at Old Town 1 p.m.

Jan. 22 Brewer 3 p.m.

Jan. 28 playoffs

Feb. 7 playoffs

For more information, email Fogg at froggiegstat@gmail.com or click on one of the links below.

VillageSoup sports staff can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at sports@villagesoup.com.