Improvised co-ed team reaches goal
Hot on the heels of a fourth place showing at last weekend’s Jaycees tournament, Uncharted Shores Academy took the crown at the Burnt Ranch tournament on Saturday.
Uncharted Shores Academy’s co-ed team poses with its first place trophy from the Burnt Ranch Rural Schools Basketball tournament on Saturday. Submitted
USA accepted a late invitation to Burnt Ranch School’s second annual Rural Schools Basketball Tournament and went home with first place.
Not all of the players from both the USA girls and boys teams could go to the tournament on short notice, so USA made do with a co-ed team.
“Some of our players were eighth-graders, and their goal all year was to win just one tournament,” said coach Christian Taylor. “It’s the last time a lot of (the eighth-graders) are going to be able to play, so to go out on a high note is extremely good for these kids.”
The boys season ended last week with the Jaycees tourney, and the girls season ended a few months ago.
“It was one last chance to put on a uniform and have some fun on the basketball court,” Taylor said. The team got together for its first practice as a co-ed team last week, and Taylor told his players: “‘Our name is the fun squad. As long as everyone has a good time, I’ll be proud of you.’”
The team had fun and dominated as well with wins over the Burnt Ranch boys team, Burnt Ranch girls team, and Van Duzen, the only other co-ed team at the tournament.
“They meshed well and everyone worked together,” Taylor said.
Michael Marcinek was named MVP of the tournament.
USA player Denisha Thomas had an allergic reaction during the first game and was rushed to the Mad River Hospital. After the tourney, team members called and kiddingly told her they got beat real bad, but they were coming to pick her up and go out for pizza. The whole team crowded into Thomas’ emergency room, first place trophy in hand, to surprise her.
“She was surprised, happy, ecstatic and a little loopy from the medication,” said assistant coach Jade Sherman.