Adam Spencer, The Triplicate

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.

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


"She was surprised, happy, ecstatic and a little loopy from the medication," said assistant coach Jade Sherman.

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