McALESTER — Championships continue to rack up for the McAlester-area girls in the Wayman Tisdale Youth Lightning League of Oklahoma. Team Crush and Team Ambush have brought back to McAlester two state championships and a state runner-up in the last 3 years since entering the league.
This season was all about Team Ambush. Ambush is a collaboration of second- and third-grade students, mostly from the McAlester area. Members include: Tiffany McNeelis and Asa Blackwell of Tannehill; Erin Underwood, Keeley Couch and Janiya Koger of Frink-Chambers; Bradi Harmon of Allen; Akiera Hawk of Haileyville; Tina Davis of Haywood and Allie Blanchet of Hanna.
Blanchet and Hawk are the only two to make the team as second-grade players. Playing up in this division is quite an accomplishment in itself considering these are some of the best third-grade athletes in a competitive league.
The Wayman Tisdale state tournament took place March 8-9 at the Santa Fe Family Life Center in Oklahoma City.
Before the state championship, Team Ambush defeated the OKC Cyclones and the Ada Longhorns, then met the top-ranked Enid team in the finals. Each game was a tough challenge for the youngsters from the McAlester area but, they were able to work together each and every time to defeat their opposition.
Team Ambush combined a powerful offense with a stingy defense to impose their will on its opponents. Bradi Harmon, Keeley Couch and Akiera Hawk powered an offense that averaged 25 points per game, while Erin Underwood, Tiffany McNeelis and Allie Blanchet stifled the opponents with a menacing defense that hold the opponents to a mere 9 points per game.
Janiya Koger and Asa Blackwell were also instrumental in harassing their opponents forcing numerous turnovers, while Tina Davis filled the role of team captain. Davis was a threat on both sides of the ball and kept the team in check by motivating the players to keep a positive attitude.