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First-Year Champions

The Arkansas Lady Cardinals won the Hoop Play National Championship in their first year of existence. The tournament was held the weekend of July 18-19 in Russellville. The team is comprised of eighth-, ninth- and 10th-graders from Watson Chapel, Pine Bluff, Dollarway, Jack Robey Junior High, Rison, Star City and Woodlawn. The Lady Cardinals lost their first game of the tourney to the Arkansas Sting by 15 points, and then defeated the Arkansas Chaos by 10. The team finished pool play with a 1-2 record after losing by five points to the Tennessee Team Dez. In bracket play, the Lady Cardinals knocked off the Arkansas Storm, 36-24. In the semifinals, edged out the Arkansas Hoyas, 39-35. The Lady Cardinals won a defensive battle with the Arkansas Intensity, 27-26, to win the championship. Those pictured are, first row from left, head coach Yolanda Scott, Amber Witherspoon, Kyamber Jackson, Kyaira Jackson and Jada Anderson; second row, Tymesha Cole, Sarah J. Linsy, Sana Ragland, Kierrie Brice, T’aja Williams and Kyaira Brice. Coaches Demetrice Nelson, left, and Charles Witherspoon are in the back row.