Photos by Eric Flores
Brianna Archuleta of Antonito works on dribbling two basketballs at the same time as part of Adams State’s prep girls’ basketball camp this week.
By ERIC R. FLORES
ALAMOSA — More than 140 high school and middle school basketball players from the San Luis Valley and surrounding areas attended the largest girls’ individual skills basketball camp held at Adams State College in quite some time.
The camp was directed by the Adams State women’s basketball head coach Kelly Kruger and his Grizzly team. The turnout was an increase of more than 50 players than previous years when the Grizzlies attracted 95.
The Grizzly players were put to the test as they served as coaches for the camp. Standouts such as Crystal Loch, Kelsie Kruger, Chloe Cable, Nicole Tatum, Brandie Telfer, Jocelyn Pardilla, Vera Jo Bustos and Laurel Mortensen all were given the task of coaching and teaching the prep student-athletes the basic fundamentals of basketball. The campers were classified and divided among the coaches. The high school teams were given names from the WNBA and the middle school teams were given names from the NBA.
The camp started on Monday and had an exciting finish. Each year over a hundred awards are given in various categories. The hot-shot competition is a strong competition that starts on Monday and ends on Thursday. To win the hot-shot competition, athletes had to achieve a high score by hitting shots that are placed around various spots on the court.
This year the 7th grade runner-up was Faithe Mullins of Sargent who scored 31 points, while the champion was Kendra Garcia with 34. In the 8th grade, Haley Martinez was the runner-up with 34 points and the champion was Theresa Chavez who scored 38 points. In the WNBA, Shelby Rushing was second as she scored 38 points and Marki T. Cook was crowned champion as she was able to score 40.
Another hot competition was the free throw shooting contest. Every day each athlete was given the opportunity to shoot 10 free throws and the one at the end of the camp with the most made was crowned champion.
The 10th place finisher was Kylie Hammes with 21. There was a 3-way tie for seventh place but by outdoing the other girls in a shootout, places were awarded. In ninth place, Breeta Moe had 22 points, Jasmine Gallegos finished in eighth place with 22 points, and Lindsey Baker edged into seventh place also with 22 points.
Another 3-way tie for fourth was decided by a shootout, so Hannah Goldsberry finished in sixth place with 23 points, Haley Martinez in fifth with 23 points and Dani Lewis in fourth place with 23 points. Third place went to Kim Armijo who had 25 points. Shannel Pena-Bernal grabbed second place with 25 points as Alexis Albert from San Luis won the competition with 29 points.
While learning the fundamentals of basketball each team competed in games and were put into various honorable teams at the end of the camp. The first team was the All-Hustle team in which an athlete had to show willingness to learn the game and show hustle throughout each game. The athletes named to the NBA All-Hustle team were Brianna Archuleta, Blake Faucett, Lacey Darnell, Kodie Standefev, Amanda Saenz, Sheridan Rushton, Faithe Mullins, Marissa Quintana, Lauren, McDonald, and Kayla Garrison.
Over on the WNBA side, Cherrie Liu, Vanessa Gonzalez, Jordan Melgoza, Kristina Seufer, Megan Costa, JoAnna Martinez, Angelica Quintana, and Ashley LeFon were named to the All-Hustle team.
Another of the honor teams that was named was the All-Defensive team in which an athlete had to show willingness to learn and great defensive skills, especially during the defensive league games that were played. The NBA All-Defensive team consisted of Dezirae Armijo, Tori Fringer, Briana Baca, Rachel Valdez, Victoria Archuleta-Trujillo, Brooke Archuleta-Trujillo, Morgan Holm, Tai Zollars, Shaina Lopez, and Karlee Smith.
The WNBA All-Defensive team consisted of Shanae Esquibel, Gabriella Quintana, Lauren Madrid, Jalyn Carsons, Dani Lewis, Naomi Germaine, Breeta Moe, and Katelyn Compton.
The next honor team was the All-Screening Team where an athlete had to show great skills at setting up and avoiding screens. The NBA All-Screening team included Nicole Broyles, Kensie Simon, Kendra Garcia, Rachel Anderson, Tara Crowther, Michelle Franke, Chelsea Roybal, Monica Martinez, Hannah Goldsberry, and Candace Coberly.
On the WNBA side of things, Joleen Miles, Victoria Espinoza, Allison Sanchez, Kayla Gutierrez, Kelsie Zimmerman, Kimberly Armijo, Haley Sheldon, and Shelby Weeder made up the All-Screening team.
The final honor team was the All-Coaches team, made up by the Adams State women’s basketball team members who served as coaches. They chose who they thought were the best in all aspects of the game. The students that were selected for the honor were Shelby Janz, Chelsea Velasquez, Mary Brinton, Haley Martinez, Haley Sheldon, Nicole Salazar, Kylie Hammes, Bailee Canty, Janelle Lopez, and Savannah Plane.
The campers played numerous games that that taught them the skills that they need to do well in the season ahead. In the Defensive League games there were two teams selected as Defensive League Champions, one for the NBA and one for the WNBA. In the NBA, the Sonics were the champions. Coached by ASC sophomore Crystal Loch, the Sonics included Tara Weller, Bailey Curtis, Theresa Chavez, Tara Crowther, Jasmine Gallegos, Jordan McMaster Neely, Morgan Holm, Sheridan Ruston, Adrianna Cordova, Rachel Valdez, Nicole Gonzalez, and Candace Coberly.
In the WNBA, the Laurel Mortensen-coached Mercury took the championship. That team included Marki Cook, Shelby Janz, Shannel Pena-Bernal, Danielle Lewis, Maggie Chavez, Joleen Miles, Ashley LaFon, Kimberly Armijo, Leann Armijo, Rylie Jefferson, JoAnna Martinez, and Chloe Ray.
The final awards given represented what all summer camps are about - improvement. Each league chose who they believed to be the Camp’s Most Improved Player. In the NBA, Jamie McCorkindale was named most improved. In the WNBA Nazaree Albert earned the honor as she worked hard all week. Their award was a fitting one, a basketball that their coach handed them and specifically noted, “Make sure and use it.”
As the camp ended, many students were happy for the break as they had worked hard at least 10 hours a day. The coaches on the other hand, only had an hour to take a break because a their annual team camp was starting and will run through Saturday.