7th Grade Girls Basketball Team Beats Darby, Becomes City Champs


The audience screamed in excitement as the 7th grade girls basketball team beat Darby and became City Champs.

“They played hard and together and when one made a mistake, the others were there to pick them up,” Coach Ludgood said. “Usually, we make a lot of outside shots and this game we only made one. So we had to adjust our game and try to score at the basket. All year we had to play a man to man defense, and this was the first time we won in the zone defense.”

In 7th grade there are two teams, and both records count in order to get the team’s seeding for the tournament.

“Both teams played a role in helping us get that 1st place seed,” Coach Ludgood said. “They practiced hard, they were very coachable. They worked every day to get better. This class is such a special class, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for them!”

Tyleah Hinton, who has been playing basketball since she was little, had a favorite moment of the game.

“When we made the last shot, we all looked at each other, screamed as loud as we could, and hugged each other,” Tyleah said. “We practiced with eight and ninth grade, and they pushed us hard and so did Coach. That’s what it took to become champions.”

Zyon Johnson believed that the team improved and so deserved to win.

“A memorable moment was when Makayla crossed a girl named Alex up,” Zyon said. “We did what we had to do, and that was work for it.”

Makayla Thomas had a series of favorite moments.

“I did that reverse lay, Mallary made that three, TT made that lay up, and Kara made that shot,” Makayla said. “I prepared win it took us to play hard and score some points, I told the team we got to win. We won.”

Kayley Selig felt good about the girls’ teamwork.

“When the buzzer went off at out last winning shot, I already knew we actually won,” Kayley said. “We worked as a team, we practiced every day, and we believed in ourselves.”

Laney Buoh liked how hard the team worked to get the winning point.

“The most memorable moment of the game was when people made the shots, and the excitement on their faces,” Laney said. “We had to do a lot of drills and run, but we pushed through and now we are city champs.”

Paris Novak showed real confidence because her team started with nothing and improved.

“For me, the last six seconds of the first game were memorable because I went for a shot, missed, and someone else scored,” Paris said. “Even though I missed, I’m happy someone else got it. We won because we practice every day and instead of yelling at each other, we boosted each other up.”

Liset Vallejo will remember the last thirty seconds of the game.

“Makayla made a really bad shot and made a face that I will never forget,” Liset said. “We won because we trained every day and had to make sure that we pushed ourselves and our teammates to make each other better.”

Mallory Craig felt famous, even though it is out of Fort Smith.

“The memorable moments was when Makayla broke people’s ankles when I made a three, when Tahleigha was getting all those rebounds, and when Kara swished her shot,” Mallory said.

Darielle McGrew’s team learned from their mistakes.

“It takes wins and losses and being prepared not to win all your games. Be ready to work hard,” Darielle said. “Losses are bad, but it makes you ready for the next game.”

Jayana Bullock felt winning the city championship was amazing.

“The memorable moments were when Mallory made her free throws and hit a few threes because that saved us a lot and helped us win the championship,” Jayana said, “Coach worked us physically and mentally to get us right for the City Champs, and even when we wanted to be as in winning wise.”

Kara Khanthariah knew hard work paid off to be in this level.

“The most memorable moment was when we come back after half, tied, and scored many points, which led us into winning,” Kara said. “We worked hard every day at practice, pushed each other to our limits, and helped each other become better basketball players.”

Kiyana McKinney enjoyed being 1st place winners.

“When the clock had one second left and everyone cheered because it’s awesome to get 1st place,” Kiyana said, “We prepared by going to after-school practices with the older team and practicing defense.”

Emily Mendez felt good that her team earned a plaque.

“When we made the last shot and the timer went off, me and my teammates stood up and celebrated because we knew that we won the city champs,” Emily said. “We exercised and practiced shooting the ball and cunning with it and listening to Coach. She taught us how to shoot and challenged us to become better.”

Christina Nguyen feels honor to be in the city champs because the team has worked hard.

“It took teamwork and sportsmanship to become city champs,” Christina said. “We prepared to become city champs by working hard during practice and working together as a whole.”