The Southwest Sunz headed to McAllister, OK on Saturday to play in the ‘Summer Slam’ basketball tournament. The girls competed for the championship title against teams from NW Arkansas and NE Arkansas.
“There were some good sized girls on those teams and we are pretty small, I think our tallest girl is probably 5’7. We just pressed and used our speed and our quickness to go against their size,” Head Coach Austin Kidd said about the girl’s ramping it up on the court.
Playing four games total, the girls lost their first game by ten points but came back with vengeance to win the next three. They then went on to battle in the finals against the Fort Smith Patriots, which was the team that beat them by ten in the first round.
As they pressed on for the win, Blaklee Adams was the high scorer with 18 points and Livi Tyree came in right behind her with nine on the board. Forcing fifteen turnovers that lead to easy buckets on the other end, the girl’s overtook the Patriots to bring home the coveted championship title.
“All the girls are so passionate about basketball and doing their absolute best, that’s what it’s all about,” Kidd said.
The team consists of seven athletes, six which are from Spring Hill and two from other areas in the state; #5 Reynlee Brown (SH), 7 Livi Tyree (SH), 13 Sydney Mounts (Dierks), 20 Atesa Johnson (Lafayette C.), 21 Ava Purifoy (SH), 24 Emma Rhoads (SH), 32 Blakelee Adams (SH), and 33 Cami Porter(SH). Assistant Coaches are Katie Rivera and Kaylee Brooks.
“I am very proud of the girls. That first game we were really rusty, we haven’t played since February but after that first loss we made some adjustments and we really picked it up. We played a little more physical, a little more intense. We got after it on defense. That’s the brand of basketball we want to play, forced turn overs, just to get after them and pressure them into making mistakes and laying it up on the other end. I was really impressed, that last game in the fourth quarter after we had played all day, we were still sprinting, getting up and down the floor while the other team was dragging. I was impressed with our effort and just the hard work they’ve put in and I just couldn’t be more proud of them,” Kidd said about the girls performance on the floor.
Photos courtesy of Nicki Purifoy