FAIRBANKS—Mason Campbell has been with his group of junior high basketball players since they were in fourth grade, and this past weekend, Campbell and his Grizzlies 8 comp team won the First Annual Junior High Comp State Tournament, capping off a perfect season.
The girls played in four tournaments over the course of their season, which started in November, including the state tournament in Wasilla last Friday-Sunday. After winning every game they played in, the Grizzlies finished the season 22-0.
“There were a lot of times where this same team last year and the year before that would walk off the floor, and we were beaten by 20 points or 30 points,” Campbell said Tuesday night. “They’ve dedicated a lot of time to basketball and wanted to get better.”
The team is made up of: Kiana Moore, Ruthy Hebard, Kyja Campbell, Desiree Palicios, Taylor Hasting, Rachel Jordan, Teresa Sample, Kimi Duffield, Payge Boswood-Scannon, Dianna Wilson, Christy Everett and Asia Do.
“This is a group that listens and works really hard,” coach Campbell said, “and this year, it finally paid off for them.”
Next up for some of the team is Memorial Day weekend trip to the Northwestern Territories Tournament in Seattle, a regional, qualifying tournament. The winning team will qualify to go to nationals.
“I just think it’s neat that a team from Fairbanks, that has gone undefeated, gets to head to Seattle and see what they can do,” Campbell said, adding that six of the girls on his team will make the trip to Seattle. “This is definitely a good way to go out with this group.”
Contact staff writer Renee Thony at 459-7583.