By Kevin Harvison
Fresh off their third grade girls state championship of the Wayman Tisdale League, Team Crush is picking up right where they left off with their winning ways. Crush, now fourth graders, are 8 – 0 in the Boys and Girls competitive basketball league. Considering the competition consists of some of the best coaches and players around, the wins are very hard to come by. However, Team Crush is loaded with some of the best players in the area themselves. Judah Owens of Crowder is the team’s leading scorer followed by Rylee Underwood and Emmalie Green of Frink Chambers. Underwood and Green’s aggressive attack allows them to lead the team in steals. Coincidentally, defense is the main ingredient in the team’s success. Crush has held their opponents to a combined 24 points over eight games compared to the 145 they have scored. Owens has single handily outscored all opponents combined. Team Crush defense is ran like a well oiled machine by Karley Fewel of Oktaha and Sydney Linscott of Kiowa. The two lead the team like orchestrated maestro’s. Fewel is the captain of the ship and Linscott makes up the identity/personality of the team.
Controlling the boards for Crush is Jaylee Kindred of Oktaha and Kourtnie Mckormick of Kiowa. The two intimidating figures have dominated the defensive as well as the offensive ends of the court throughout the season. Kindred also leads the team in block shots. Also contributing on both sides of the ball is Jaxie Wilson of Cottonwood. Wilson has been the silent killer opponents have overlooked. Jaxie is a top five scorer as well as being a top rebounder. She has been a major contributor in every game.
Two newcomers to the team are Jennifer Garcia, one of only two third graders on the team with Mckormick being the other, of Tannehill and Gia Elfers also of Tannehill. These two additions have a hard driven work ethic and make the others work to maintain their starting positions. Every member of the team has scored and contributed on the defensive side of the ball. Team Crush is working hard to represent the McAlester area in hopes of another state championship. Thursday, February 7th, the team travels to Stidham to play in a tune-up tournament before entering into the exhibition tournament where they will have an opportunity to compete against some of Missouri’s finest in a best-of-the-best shoot-out. The two best will play an exhibition game on the OKC Thunder court where they will get to meet the players at the start of the Thunder vs Bulls game on the 24th. Pictured from left are, Coach Corley Underwood, Jennifer Garcia, Rylee Underwood, Jaxie Wilson, Emmalie Green, Karley Fewel, Judah Owens, Jaylee Kindred, Gia Elfers, Kourtnie McKormick and Sydney Linscott. Reader photo