Guest Author - Lori Collvins
I spent Saturday at an elementary basketball tournament in a little town called Tipton in Southwest Oklahoma. It was really fun to watch those young athletes do their stuff! (If you don’t count the time spent waiting for your favorite team to play between games.) Eight teams lined up their buses and piled out into the gymnasium for what turned out to be a very exciting (and somewhat surprising) tournament. The teams involved were as follows: Class 4A Bulldogs from Cache, Oklahoma, Class 3A Bearcats from Hobart, Oklahoma (Team 1/6th grade), Class 3A Bearcats from Hobart, Oklahoma (Team 2/5th grade), Class 2A Tigers from Mangum, Oklahoma (Team 1/6th grade), Class 2A Tigers from Mangum, Oklahoma (Team 2/5th grade), Class A Tigers from Tipton, Oklahoma, Class B Panthers from Eldorado, Oklahoma and Class B Sandies from Davidson, Oklahoma. You can see for yourself the challenge these young people found themselves facing with the major differences in school size.
The final standings for the Tipton Tournament were as follows: Boys Teams Final Standings: Cache Bulldogs streaked by other opponents, battling it out in the end to win the Championship over Hobart Bearcats Team 1 who left the tournament in second place. Taking third place for the boys teams were the Hobart Bearcats Team 2. Girls Teams Final Standings: Hobart Bearcats Team 1 raced to the top of the finals and found themselves faced off in the final round of the tournament by the Eldorado Lady Panthers. They had to fight for the win, but win it they did with a final score of 14 –12 in the Bearcats favor. Taking home third place were the Tipton Lady Tigers.
Now that you know the outcome let me tell a little bit about the battles fought by the Eldorado Panther teams: The Eldorado Panthers boys team fought hard to make a comeback in the their first game out. At half time the Mangum Tigers Team 1 led the ball game with a 12 to 2 lead over Eldorado. Towards the end of the third quarter the Panthers cut loose and began to gain on the Tigers and carried the momentum into the fourth quarter. The Panthers managed to hold the Tigers to 4 points in the last half and gained 10 for themselves. Despite the great effort from the Panthers, they ceded their first game to the Mangum Tigers with a score of 16 – 12. Next, the Panther boys faced off against class A Tipton Tigers finishing with a score of 16 – 10 in the Panthers favor. In their last game of the tournament, the Panthers streaked past Mangums’ Team 2 with a final score of 11 for the Panthers and 4 for the Tigers. The Eldorado Panthers never gave up and left the Tipton Tournament in 5th place. Starters for the Eldorado boys were 6th grader Kale Thompson, 5th graders T. J. Hunter and Landon Bridges and 4th graders Santo Galvan and Bray Houston. Other players for the Panther team were Dillon Cross and Justin Medina.
Now about the girls’ teams: Here is where you get to see why I said “Dynamite comes in small packages.” The Eldorado Lady Panthers came out fired up and ready to play and faced Mangums’ Lady Tigers Team I in their first game of the day. The Lady Panthers walked away from their first game of the season and their first victory of the day, beating the Tigers with a final score of 9 – 3. The Panthers took the floor against the Tipton Tigers during their second game and held them to only two points for the entire game, ending the game in victory for the Panthers with a score of 12 – 2. This left the Lady Panthers waiting for their final round of play in the Championship Winners’ Bracket. They knew that they were facing Hobart Bearcats Team 1 who had annihilated the Davidson Sandies early on with a 42 – 2 win over the Sandies. They also knew that at least 4 of the 5 starters for the Bearcats had a height advantage over the Lady Panthers with three of them averaging about 5’ 4”. Knowing that the tallest starting players on the Lady Panther team were two 5th graders: Cheyenne Collvins standing about 4’ 8 1/2” and Cheyenne Edwards standing about 4’ 7 1/2” , didn’t intimidate the Lady Panthers. In fact, they seemed to view it as a challenge! The Lady Panthers, who had already surprised other teams with their dynamic aggressiveness and hustling, quickly put the Bearcats on their guard. A game the Bearcats might have thought would be an easy victory over the Panthers changed into a battle to the last buzzer. The game was close and at the end of the first half the Bearcats led by 2 points with a score of 8 – 6 in their favor. The Lady Panthers never gave up and fought hard to the end. As the buzzer sounded the score was 14 Hobart to 12 Eldorado and the ball was in the air, fired off at the last second by the Lady Panthers’ starter Brandelyn Coronado. It just wasn’t in the cards though as the ball came so close but just wouldn’t fall. The Hobart Bearcats left the Tipton Tournament in first place leaving the Lady Panthers of Eldorado finishing in second place. Starters for the Lady Panthers were 5th graders Cheyenne Collvins, Brandelyn Coronado and Cheyenne Edwards, and 4th graders Kriston and Katlynn Shumaker. Other players for Lady Panthers were 6th graders Kelsey Edwards, Tara Triplett and Megan Gaustid, and 5th graders Haley Hamersley and Syhanne Dehtan and 4th grader Elizabeth Reese.
Okay so now you know why I said so much about the Eldorado teams! Teams from my town and am I proud? Yes I am, all of these kids are hustlers, they have the ability and they have the desire and I for one can’t wait to see what these two Panther teams grow into! And so you see: Dynamite does come in small packages! If you haven’t attended a grade school ball game lately, you should. It is a refreshing change from all the commercialism and you never know what those kids will do! See you on the court!